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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Chili Verde with Sausage and Butternut Squash

I'm always looking for ways to use the other half of that enormous butternut squash that's still in my fridge. Well, you know me and all things chili...throw in the kitchen sink. But this is a special one -chili verde. And it has three key ingredients that I absolutely love: tomatillos, sausage, and hominy. Let me be clear about something though, I had never cooked with hominy before I made this and I actually didn't even know what it was and always wondered. I thought it was a bean (??). But it's not. It's corn. It's like eating boiled corn nuts. I will never turn back.

Tomatillo Base
1 1/2 lbs tomatillos, husked and rinsed
5 jalapenos - deveined and seeded to your own tolerance of hotness
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 white onion, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
olive oil
salt
1/2 cup cilantro

Chili
1 yellow onion roughly chopped
1 lb sausage meat out of the casing
1 1/2 tsp oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz can of hominy, liquid included
1/2 cup cilantro
2 cups diced butternut squash

1. Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic and onion on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Broil until softened and slightly charred, turning once. Let cool to room temp. Put the cooled veggies in a blender temp and puree with the cilantro.

2. As the broiled veggies cool, heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking it up as you go. Spoon out most of the excess fat and add the garlic.

3. Add the blended tomatillo mixture, hominy (and liquid), cilantro, and squash. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender.

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