When it starts to get colder out, there are few things that are easier and more enjoyable to make than a big pot of chili. No matter what kind of food you’re into, there’s a chili recipe out there for you. I  usually prefer a vegetarian chili or a ground turkey chili over the big beefy man chilis. I also like my chili on the milder side, with just enough spice to warm you up, but not quite enough to burn your tongue.

This past Saturday, Stu and I stayed in and made chili from a recipe that I’ve been wanting to use for a while. It’s from Better Homes and Gardens and it calls for all types of ingredients that you might use for the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m thinking about bringing it to a holiday potluck dinner next weekend, so I wanted to give it a try. The link to the recipe is here, but we don’t have a slow cooker/crock pot, so I’ll post my version, with Stu’s adjustments below.

New World Chili
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

1 lb. ground turkeybreast
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (or you can dice yourself)
1 15 oz. can black beans
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash (pumpkins were hard to find by the time of the season)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup whole kernel corn (Stu loves corn. So do I.)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 jalepeno peppers, 1 with seeds, 1 without, finely chopped
3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder (Stu’s contribution).
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups shredded spinach
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese with jalepeno peppers, shredded
In a skillet over medium heat, sautee the turkey meat until no longer pink.

In a large pot over medium high heat, sautee onions, garlic and jalepeno peppers until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the meat and stir until combined.

Add the squash and cook over medium heat until squash softens, about 5-8 minutes.

Add the black beands, crushed tomatoes, corn, cranberries, tomato sauce and vegetable broth. Stir in chili powder. Bring to boil, then simmer as long as desired, up to 2 hours.

Before serving, stir in shredded spinach and sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.

New World Chili

The chili was delicious, not exactly what I expected, maybe a little too tomato-y. But it was very different from any other kind of chili that I’ve had recently. Next time, I will omit Stu’s additions, such as extra jalepenos, chili powder, and corn.  I think the flavors of the squash and cranberries might stand out more without the overbearing flavors of spiciness from the peppers and chili powder.

I must also mention that along with our chili, we were able to guzzle the sweetness of Russian River Brewing Company’s Blind Pig IPA, thanks to a new take-out beer store that opened not too far from our neighborhood. Hawthorne’s, a beer cafe, is new to the area and offers mix-a-sixes as well as…. Growlers! My favorite! We took home a growler of our favorite IPA, which complimented the flavors of our chili very well and made for an excellent evening at home.