Today was the annual Equal Justice Foundation Chili Cook-off at my home-away-from-home, the Boyd Law Building. Because I am an ardent supporter of law students doing public interest work, as well as any event that allows me to bring a kitchen appliance to school, I made a batch of chili.
Alas, it was not the winning entry, but it’s still good, I promise! See—these ladies thought so:
There was some excellent competition–check out this line-up:
When looking for a recipe to start from, I went straight to the ultimate online emporium of deliciousness, the Whole Foods website. I used one of their veggie chili recipes for inspiration, but modified it because it involved eggplant, and I thought eggplant in chili sounded a little sketchy. I used acorn squash instead—roasted at 400 for about 30 minutes.
I drizzled it with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, put a bit of water in the bottom of the pan, and covered with foil before roasting. Because that’s what my mom does, and that’s a good enough reason for anything, I think.
Saute the onion, garlic, corn kernels, and jalapeno in a tablespoon or so of olive oil for about 5 minutes, and then add the spices.
Then add the beans, tomatoes, and veggie stock and simmer until your chili intuition tells you you’re on the home stretch. (I’d say I let it go for about 20 minutes.) Add the acorn squash (just scrape it out of the skin and break it up in the chili as you stir) for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. Finally, add the lime zest and juice just before serving and stir.
- 1 c. frozen corn kernels, defrosted
- 1 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds scraped out, and roasted until tender
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 of a large onion, diced (or one small)
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds and ribs included for spice)
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can tomatoes (the fire-roasted kind are the best, I think)
- 2 cups veggie stock/broth (add more towards the end if you’d like thinner chili)
- zest and juice of one lime
Saute the onion, corn kernels, minced garlic, and jalapeno until softened and fragrant (5 minutes or so). Add the spices and stir. Next, add the beans, tomatoes, and veggie stock and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Scoop the flesh of the roasted acorn squash into the chili and simmer for another 10 minutes, breaking up the squash as you stir. Add the lime zest and juice just before serving.