Sunday, April 29, 2012

Smokey Chili

I went for a long walk on the treadmill this morning in our apartment's basement gym.  It was just a little too chilly to walk outside - I am so desperate and anxious for Spring, but these chilly days keep sneaking their way in.  There is a crappy TV that hangs in the corner of the gym and when no one else is around, I watch the Food Network, naturally.  This chili is inspired by Rachel Rey's butternut squash hot pot chili.  Not to be a braggart, but this is one of the best dishes I have ever created.  Rach, thanks for spicing up my Sunday and for making me want to walk an extra mile to see the final dish!

Olive Oil
l butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons nutmeg
three Italian sausages, castings removed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium zucchinis, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, seeded, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon crushed garlic paste
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
2 cups chicken stock

Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and roast at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.  While the squash roasts, heat a pan with olive oil and cook the sausages (castings removed).  Remove the sausages to a plate to cool.  Add a little more oil to the hot pan, then add the onions and zucchini.  After about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft, add the roasted red pepper (I just roasted the pepper on top of my gas stove burner until all sides were charred, then let it cool, then removed the skin and seeds and chopped it up).  Then add sausage back to the pan, followed by the seasonings and the diced tomatoes and black beans.  Finally, add the chicken stock and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes.

I served it with a dollop of sour cream and some crusty french bread - YUM!

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