December 18, 2008

Golden Acorn Squash Chili

2 1/2 cups peeled, cubed golden acorn squash
30 oz canned dark red kidney beans, drained
15 oz canned diced tomatoes (with juice)
10 oz diced tomatoes with green chile (like Ro-tel)
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 chipotle chiles in adobe, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons mesquite liquid smoke
2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Garlic Hoganero)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground chipotle
1 teaspoon ground jalapeno
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and gently stir to evenly distribute the spices and squash. It might look a bit dry but the ingredients will release a fair amount liquid as it cooks. Place on low for 6-8 hours. The squash should be tender but not mushy when ready to serve so try to avoid allowing it to cook for much more than 8 hours. Stir and serve piping hot.

Yield: 4-6 servings

My thoughts:
Golden acorn squash looks just like "regular" acorn squash, except the skin is bright orange, sort of pumpkin-looking. I think the flavor is a bit is sweeter but you can substitute the green skinned variety.

I was really happy with how well this chili turned out. I wasn't sure how the acorn squash would hold its shape and flavor but it really did, even with the long cooking time. I loved the juxtaposition of the sweet squash and the spices, it made for the best vegetable chili I've ever had. The leftovers the next day were good too.

Note: If you don't have a slow cooker, I'd try sauteing the onions and garlic in some oil then adding the remaining ingredients to cook on low until the squash is fork tender.