Monday, November 28, 2011

Kabocha, Black Bean and Corn Chili - Hearty Harvest

Kabocha Black Bean and Corn Chili
We love to cook with seasonal veg. It feels right and tastes better. Kabochas are yummo. Their flavour is lot more consistent than Pumpkins in sweetness. They have a nice firm yet 'dry' texture that isnt grainy. It holds well in long cooking stews and doesnt go mushy. Of course a nice thick hearty Chili that you forget is very healthy and Vegetarian is perfect for a chilly, rainy West Coast evening. D loves that I calls for Stout too!  As a substitute for Kabocha you can use Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash or Pie Pumkin, in that order of preference.

We served with a nice Skillet Corn Bread with a whole head of Roasted Garlic that D made!!! Don't freak out. When you roast garlic doused in Olive Oil and wrapped in foil until soft, you get a sweet, caramelly Garlic that you could spread and eat straight. Yummo!

Kabocha, Black Bean and Corn Chili

4-6 c cubed Kabocha, (1/2 of a 10" Kabocha Squash)
1 Onion (slightly smaller than tennis ball), diced
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 large tin Italian Plum Tomatoes (28 oz), squashed
2 tins Black Beans, drained
1 bottle Guinness (or your favourite Stout Beer, avoid flavoured)
1/2 of the empty beer bottle of Water
2 T Maple Syrup, real (use Honey if you don't have real)
1 T Chili Powder
1 T ground Cumin
1 t Cinnamon
1 t dry Oregano
2 Chipotle Peppers, julienned
1 T Adobo Sauce (the liquid in the tin/jar with the Chipotles)
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 small tin Corn, drained (1 c)
Olive Oil
Cilantro or Parsley
Salt and Pepper

We used a larger Kabocha than we needed because I find them easier to peel and handle and the yield vs effort is better. :-) Cut the Kabocha in half and clean out. I like to use a Grapefruit spoon because of the serrated edges. Cut into wedges along the natural ridges or into 1" thick slices. Peel each piece then dice into 1/2" cubes.

Heat 1-2 T Olive Oil in a dutch oven on Meduim-high heat. Sauté the Onion until soft but not brown, ~ 5 minutes. Add the Kabocha and cook, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes. Add the Garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the Tomatoes, Guinness, Maple Syrup, Herbes, Spices and Chipotle Peppers. Bring the qto a boil, then reduce heat to Low and simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes until the Kabocha is tender.

Add the Red Pepper, Black Beans and Corn, simmer for another 15 minutes at least. Let the flavours marry longer if you have the time. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Top with a nice dollop of Plain Yogurt (or Sour Cream) and Cilantro/Parsley. serve with a nice hunk of Roasted Garlic Skillet Corn Bread!


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