I was planning on making some chili the week that they arrived so I thought it would be perfect to add them to that recipe! If you read my post about Taverna Ouzo (and if not, make sure you check it out here) then you know I was not so smart and did not transfer all of my photos from my old phone when I got a new phone last week. Yikes. So, the photos of my beautiful chili and the step by step process are not available :( So I'll recap the best I can and you'll just have to use your imagination to picture how amazing this chili looked. If you attempt the recipe, sharing your own photos on the House of Skip facebook page is encouraged!
Here is what I used in the recipe:
1 lb ground lamb
One 14 oz can of tomato sauce
diced white onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
roasted butternut squash
diced bell pepper (use any color you want, I choose green for contrasting colors) :)
3 dried ancho chiles
liquid from soaking the chiles
Skip's special chili mix* (dark chili powder, chipolte chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, coconut sugar, garlic powder, oregano and salt)
*Skip does not measure, she just dumps the spices into a container and stirs them together, go by your own taste, you can certainly feel free to omit or add any of your favorite seasonings to the mix and use as much as you want to flavor your chili. Making this ahead of time and storing with your other spices is a good way to assure the flavors are married together.
Start by covering your dried chiles in boiling water and let soak for about an hour, you may want to use a small plate or bowl to make sure they are completely submerged. While that is soaking, you can also set your oven to 400 degrees and put your halved and de-seeded (save those seeds!) butternut squash, cut side down on a foil lined, greased baking sheet and roast for 1 hour.
When you are ready to start the chili, saute onion, garlic and bell pepper in a little olive oil in a heavy stock pot, I use my Le Creuset french oven. Once they are soft, give them about 5 minutes or so, add your ground lamb and stir to crumble it in the pot. Cook until the meat is browned While your meat is browning, or before you start, you can drain your chiles (reserve the liquid) and put them in a food processor or blender and puree until they form a paste, you may need to add a little of the liquid to really get it going, make sure to get a close look that all lumps are gone.
When your meat is browned, add a splash of chile liquid to get any brown, crusty bits form the bottom of the pot. Add your tomato sauce and spice mix and stir well to combine. By now your butternut squash should be done, if you roasted it earlier in the day it may already be cooled or you can use it straight from the oven if you roasted it while you were prepping the other stuff.
Use a large spoon to scoop the meat of the squash into the pot and stir until it blends into the chili. At this point your chili may be pretty thick, add the reserved liquid from the chiles until it reaches your desired consistency, you could also use stock for this. I usually make my chili on a day when I am home and it can simmer for long time on the stove, but you can certainly eat it immediately if you want!
Thanks Tarah for the awesome dried chiles! I loved them and will definitely incorporate them in future recipes.
Oh! Don't forget you should have saved the seeds you took out of your butternut squash and you can toast them in the oven for a nice snack! Also, if you don't have a butternut squash or don't want to roast one, you can sub canned pumpkin puree!