I don’t remember eating chili growing up. I don’t know if that’s because it just wasn’t something my mom made, if I didn’t like it, or if I just have no memory of it. I adore chili now and it’s one of my favorite things to make during the cruel Minnesota winters. And I’m confident the chili I made this weekend will be remembered. It’s certainly one I will make again.
In the latest edition of Bon Appetit, there was a great feature article titled “The United States of Chili”. It featured different chilis from regions across the country. Brette made the Pork Chile Verde for our intimate Superbowl gathering (just the two of us and our cozy pants) and it was delicious. I was very curious to try the vegetarian (vegan if you don’t add any cheese or sour cream) version that represented health-conscious California. When it became apparent on Sunday that we would not be going anywhere due to the sky throwing up 18 inches of snow, it was quickly decided that this was a perfect day for chili.
I was a bit nervous because of the squash involved. Brette is not the biggest squash fan. So, when he asked what was in the chili, I may have left out a certain ingredient in my description. Thankfully, Brette loved the dish just as much as I did.
It takes a bit of time since you are using dried beans, but it’s not active time. You can easily get a cookbook read in the time your chili is cooking. I would highly advise against substituting canned black beans. They would get mushy quick. One thing I really liked about this dish is that the beans held their shape and actually gave you something to chew. The bulgur really thickens it up and gives it a nice texture. And the dreaded squash? I thought it brought a needed sweetness to the bowl.
I included the suggested toppings below. I opted for greek yogurt and cilantro. Brette added cheese and his homemade pickled jalapenos and thought they really made the chili pop. We also whipped up some cornbread which made a perfect accompaniment. It was super tasty and satisfying meal that didn’t leave you feeling heavy. The leftovers have been highly anticipated.
Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash
from bon appetit with notes from Jen
Makes 8-10 servings
Note: This makes a lot of chili. We found it keeps well in the fridge (at least 5 days) and I think it would freeze well too.
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Sprinkle chili powder and coriander over; stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, chipotles, and oregano. Add 10 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (time will vary depending on freshness of beans). Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Stir squash and bulgur into chili. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until squash and bulgur are tender, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Do you have a favorite chili? Please share!