Chilean harvest stew
I haven't had a lot of time to spend in the kitchen this week as I catch up on chores and pack for my trip to the annual "MoCool" gathering of online wine enthusiasts in Ann Arbor, Mich., this weekend, so I hope you'll pardon me for digging back into the archives for this easy, hearty meatless dinner.
It's a somewhat evolved version of a dish that I originally found in "Extending the Table ... A World Community Cookbook," an interesting little spiral-bound paperback published by the Mennonite Church.
I can't verify the authenticity of the dish - many of the recipes in this cookbook appear to be the contributions of North American families based on old recipe-box favorites - but I can confirm that it makes a thick, comforting stew that's just as good during summer's garden bounty as it is on chilly winter nights.
I was pleased to discover that this 12-year-old cookbook is still in print, by the way. For information about it on Amazon.com, click to
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Mince the garlic and chop the onion fine. Drain the beans and corn (or if you like, use reconstituted dried beans and fresh uncooked corn sliced from the cob). Peel and seed the squash and cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes; a medium squash should yield 2 to 3 cups. (Feel free to substitute acorn squash, pumpkin or other winter squash.)
2. Put the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and saute the garlic and onion with the chile powder, chopped green chilies, salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste.
3. Stir in the tomato sauce, beans and corn and the squash. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to very low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
A light salad and crusty bread are the only accompaniments you'll need for an ample vegetarian meal, with leftovers to spare.
MATCHING WINE: This hearty dish has plenty of personality to go with a crisp, fruity red or a dry, snappy white. The tomato accent suggests an Italian red, a Chianti or Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, but I often go back to the dinner's ethnic origins and choose a modest Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
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