Chili…in a Squash Bowl!
Is it just me or is there something really exciting about eating out of an edible bowl? I meanreally exciting. It can’t be just me. Take, for example, the mousse in phyllo cups I made back in Spring. Mousse itself is spectacular, but when you scoop it into a bitesized little cup of goodness, magic happens. Magic, I tell you!
Now, armed with that little knowledge about me and my love of the edible container, you are ready to hear this story.
At some point last spring, a thought came to me. I’m not entirely sure when this thought came to me, but for the sake of dramatization, let’s just say I awoke in the middle of the night, suddenly inspired.
Okay, so there I was, lying in my bed, thinking: “chili in a squash bowl. Chili. In a squash bowl!” This though really excited me. I probably couldn’t fall back to sleep. I really love soup in a bread bowl, but sometimes you want something more veggie-like than bread. Please don’t hate me for saying that. It happens. Especially when eating such a meat-filled soup as chili.
Well, needless to say, when morning stuck and I was harpooned back into reality since spring was in the air and squash was not at its freshest. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And then last weekend I could not wait any longer.
I was borderline sick, but it was a weekend (mostly) free of work, and I refused to sacrifice my baking time. Luckily for me my amazing boyfriend made some chili to help me feel better. You see where I’m going with this, right? I mean, seriously–autumn is in the air, people!!!
Anyway, I was literally in the middle of our macaroon making twitterfest last Sunday (more on that to come shortly 🙂 ) when I could take it no longer. I was completely overcome with desires for my chili in a squash bowl. So I did what any logical person would do. I piped out my macaroons and let them sit while I made a quick run to the market for that much anticipated acorn squash. I kid you not: when I got to the store, there was exactly one squash left! Gotta be fate, right?
So with all that buildup, was there any way this meal could live up to my expectations? Oh, it did. And even more. The faint sweetness of the squash is almost akin to a sweet cornbread which we all know pairs famously with chili. The love of my dreams has become the new love of my reality. Plus, it’s way faster (and much simpler) than making a bread bowl!
Chili in a Squash Bowl
1 acorn squash
sour cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half through the stem and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Brush with olive oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, flip, and bake another 10 minutes or until fork tender.
Carefully spoon chili into the squash until just level and, if using, sprinkle your favorite chili-cheese on top. My favorites are cheddar or goat cheese (slightly tangy with the chili–trust me on this one). Return to the oven until cheese is melted. Garnish with sour cream if desired. Serve immediately.