Friday, September 21, 2012

heirloom bean & acorn squash chili

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yes! chili season is here - one of the best parts of fall & winter.
i love chili, the funny thing is my mom never made chili. i am pretty sure i had my first homemade chili experience at my uncles when i was about 10 - and let me tell you it was hot....super hot.

let me back up here - i did always order chili from wendy's, i loved the little packages of saltines it came with - but lets face it, its is nothing compared to the goodness of a homemade bowl of chili.

plus, i get boozy with mine - beer in chili?
YES!

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i came across an amazing selection of heirloom beans from williams sonoma that was mentioned on Kathy's blog Healthy Happy Life.
directly from williams sonoma - Originally from Africa, these wholesome beans have been a favorite in the eastern U.S. for over two centuries. Their large size, nutty flavor and creamy texture make them perfect for everything from stews and soups to homemade chili and baked beans. Or enjoy the beans on their own as a hearty side dish.
 Good Mother Stallard beans are sustainably grown at Mohr-Fry Ranches, fifth-generation family farms in Northern California. These botanical heirlooms support centuries-old plant varieties – and help preserve the genetic diversity of our country's food supply.
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not only are these bean gorgeous in color they are super tasty too!
if you aren't able to find these beans or are in a hurry, black or pinto canned beans can be used in a pinch. but if you have the time these beans are worth the extra effort.
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there is something ultra comforting about a big bowl of chili on a chilly fall day.
 chili reminds me of football, camping & cozy sunday suppers.
i love servings a steaming bowl of chili with a big slice of sweetened corn bread - it truly is one of my favorite cool season treats. this also cooks up really well in a crock pot - simply place all your ingredients in the crock the night before and store in the fridge until the next morning, then place in the crock in the cooker and set it on low for 8-10 hours and you have dinner ready when you walk through the door - plus super easy clean up.
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are you a chili fan - do you go for tons of heat or a little more mellow of a chili?
do you like boozy cooking or baking? what has been your most creative boozy cooking experiment?
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heirloom bean & acorn squash chili
serves 4

 you will need:
 1 cup dry heirloom beans - i used good mother stallard beans - soaked overnight and cooked for 1 hour or until soft and buttery when tasted. beans can be cooked up to 2 days in advance or cook a big batch and store in the freezer. in a pinch use 1 can or your favorite bean.

olive oil
1 large green pepper - chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 leeks - sliced, white & light green parts only
1 small jalapeno - seeds removed for less heat, minced
1/2 large acorn squash or 1 small- peeled, seeded & cubed into 1/2" pieces
10 tomatoes - peeled & seeded (or 2 cups canned/crushed)
1 cup canned san marzano tomatoes
1/2 tsp chili powder - more or less depending on your heat tolerance
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp all purpose seasoning/ herbs de provence
ufo pumpkin beer or other 12oz autumn beer
2 cups veggie broth
2 tbsp cornmeal

for garnishing
oregano/chives/parsley

for serving
maple corn bread

assembly:
if using dry beans, rinse and soak beans overnight and cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour
 (1 cup of dry beans plus 2 cups of water for cooking)

in a medium/large dutch oven over medium high heat drizzle pan with olive oil and saute leeks, garlic, jalapeno and pepper until fragrant and leeks begin to soften. add acorn squash , canned or cooked beans and remaining ingredients through veggie broth. cover and simmer on low heat for 30 - 40 minutes. stir in cornmeal to thicken chili.

garnish each serving with fresh herbs, sour cream or daiya cheddar

serve with your favorite cornbread!

enjoy

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Yum

26 comments:

  1. Oh Yum! I love this Squash Chili ;D
    And your photos are extra beautiful on this one! Love!

    ps. you *must* come over to my party this week ;D xoxo Ella

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  2. Yum yum yum! I love chili so much throughout the fall and winter. It's such a great comfort food. I also make mine with beer! :)

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  3. Hooray or chili season! I especially like chili at this time of year--because it's cool enough that you want soups and stews, but fresh corn and tomatoes are still around. Nothing better than chili with fresh veg!

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    Replies
    1. You are so right - and Chili is so versatile, I don't think I have ever had a bad batch of chili regardless of what I've thrown in :)

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  4. I looove chili too. This is such a nice fall recipe...:)

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  5. Mmm, this sounds good. Especially with the cooler weather rolling in! I love adding a splash of booze to cooking (and sometimes baking)... always, always in my chili. A bit of beer, and either some coffee grounds or cocoa powder to deepen the flavor (not too much!).
    This chili sounds just perfect. I like a little heat, but I usually adjust depending on who I'm cooking for. :)

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    1. Whoa Coffee Grounds - say what! I have to try this, how mich do you put in? I have added dark chocolate which I loved but never coffee grounds...

      I love alot of heat - Justin not so much :)

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  6. Wow this sounds delicious! I love squash, and especially paired with mexican food like chili! Yum :)!

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    1. Thanks Amy - Mexican Flavors and squash are pretty good together :)

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  7. A perfect sounding, looking and I'm sure tasting chilli :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  8. I JUST bought some pumpkin beer and oh man am I excited to get drinking it! I'll have to buy another one and try it in some chili because this sounds amazing!

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    1. Mmmm I Love Pumpkin Beer (and Blueberry) it was so yummy in this chili

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  9. i think boozy is a good keyword to get hubbs to eat more chili;)
    i love love the colorful chili in a colorful bowl, plate and setting. i just love the colors you use! so vibrant and the posts always make me hungry. its almost midnight here. and i want a bowl of chili:)

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    1. Totally, put boozy in front of anything and Justin is all over it :)

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  10. Yummy! I could need this right now!
    Beautiful pics, too!

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  11. I love a good chili! And it always reminds me of football and camping too! I never in a million years would've thought to put squash in it- this looks amazing! :-)

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    1. The squash at that little hint of sweetness I love in savory dishes! You should give it a try :)

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  12. So happy to find another fan of Good Mother Stallard beans! Love your beautiful recipe and photos.

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    1. I just came across a few new to me heirloom beans and I am in love!

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  13. so is it 10 tomatoes diced and 1 C tomatoes? just wanted to check. thanks!

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    1. Hi! Yes it is 10 tomatoes. (2 cups) plus 1 cup San marzano - 3 cups of tomatoes total.....if you are using all fresh I soul add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste or increase the simmer time so the tomato will thicken. Good luck!

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