Three Tantalizing Twists on an American Classic
Hearty, flavor-packed chili can be an all-season pleasure and just the right dish on many occasions. No two chilies—or chili powders—have the same flavor profile. The three dishes that follow are distinctly different, as reflected in the wine and beer pairing suggestions, yet each is comforting, easy to prepare and simply satisfying.
With crisp fall days leading us to winter, it’s the perfect time to try all three. Perhaps one of these unique chilies will become a favorite in your household.
Yellow Squash and White Bean Chili
Ground turkey can be substituted for the pork called for in this delightful chili with cumin notes complimented by oregano and cinnamon. For a Midwestern touch, add cooked corn.
1 pound ground pork
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1–2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 small summer squash, cubed (yellow or green Zucchini or 1 each)
Two 15-oz. cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine, optional
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/4–1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
Chopped tomato and cilantro, as garnish
In medium skillet, cook pork over medium heat, until brown, about 10 minutes; drain well. Sauté onion, pepper, garlic and cumin seeds in oil in a large soup pot for 5 minutes. Add cooked pork and remaining ingredients, except garnishes. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Simmer uncovered until thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve garnished as desired. Serves 6.
Suggested wine pairing: Bliss Schoolhouse Red Blend or a California medium oak Chardonnay
Suggested beer pairing: Deschutes River Ale
Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Incorporating canned pumpkin makes it suitable for anytime preparation.
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
2 cups pumpkin pie filling mix (spiced pumpkin puree)
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
One 15-oz. can black beans, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
fresh cilantro, snipped
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat then sauté the onion, celery, yellow bell pepper, garlic and turkey sausage, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and meat is browned. Add the tomatoes. Cook another minute. Stir in the pumpkin, broth, seasonings and beans. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with sour cream and cilantro. Serves 6.
Suggested wine pairing: Alexander Valley Sin Zin or other California Zinfandel
Suggested beer pairing: Schell Oktober Fest
Three Bean Vegetarian Chili
This hearty veggie-filled chili is a staple during football season at Editor Marlene Petersen’s house where her husband does most of the cooking, including creating and preparing this family favorite.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup each diced celery, carrot, green bell pepper and onion
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cloves minced garlic (approx. 1 Tbsp.)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 heaping Tbsp. tomato paste
Two 8 -oz. cans crushed tomatoes
One 14.5-oz. can no-salt added diced tomatoes
One 4-oz. can diced green chilies, drained
One 15-oz. can each tomato sauce, pinto beans, black beans and red kidney beans (drain and rinse beans in cold water)
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. chili powder or chili powder blend
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. each ground cumin and ground paprika
1 tsp. each dried basil and dried oregano
2 tsp. each sugar and salt
Heat oil in heavy, deep pot, then add all vegetables except the garlic. Add 1/4 tsp. salt to the vegetables (to release moisture). Sauté vegetables over medium heat for approximately 5-10 minutes until carrots are al dente. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, approximately 15 seconds. Add white wine and cook until wine is mostly evaporated. Add tomato paste; stir to evenly coat the vegetables. Add the remaining ingredients, incorporating thoroughly, especially the dried spices. Heat on medium-low to a simmer, then turn back heat to low. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring periodically. Season to taste. Serves 6 to 8.
Suggested wine pairing: Apothic Red
Suggested beer pairing: Sierra Nevada Autumn Tumbler