Dinner, Disasters, Pasta / Grains, Vegetarian

Slamming Butternut Chilijack

Butternut Chilijack

All it does in Boston lately is rain every single day so this spicy and hearty recipe felt very fall and yet still appropriate when we made it. In his new cookbook, Food 2.0, the brilliant Charlie Ayers, former executive chef at Google, proclaimed that this dish was “slamming.” And oh how it lived up to its reputation…

CK and I have been obsessively watching Supernatural on DVD in the evenings so our nightly routines goes something like this: get home, I whine about not wanting to go on a run, CK makes me, shower, make dinner, watch silly boys battle ghosties, beasties, and ghoulies until I fall asleep on the couch. What’s missing? Oh yeah! That whole clean-up the kitchen thing.

So on Butternut Chilijack night, we were both very lazy and left the kitchen a complete mess. Honestly I didn’t even give it another thought. After all, CK is a fabulous kitchen picker-upper, but than I got a phone call and an odd question was posed to me, “Which towels don’t you like?”

It would seem that while trying to dispose of the butternut squash peelings in the garbage disposal something awful happened. The sink plugged, a leak sprung, and when poor CK bent over to investigate under the cupboard the pipe exploded stringy squash all over CK and the kitchen.

Just because you’ve always successfully stuffed everything from banana peels to limes down the disposal doesn’t mean it wont get back at you in some malicious way when you least expect it. In the end, I came home from work, the lovely maintenance man fixed the disposal, the kitchen was cleaned, and Chef Ayers Chilijack will live on in kitchen infamy.

Butternut Chilijack
Originally published in Food 2.0 by Charlie Ayers
Serves 4

2 butternut squashes, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 red onions, diced (Note: I only used one as I’m not a super fan of red onion).
1/4 cup sliced jalapeno chillies (from a can or jar)
1 tbsp mild chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 tomatoes, diced, or 1 cup drained, canned crushed tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed (Note: I left this out. CK wanted it, but I wasn’t feeling very corn friendly that night)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves torn into pieces

Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Combine the squash, onions, and chilies in a roasting pan and season with chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Drizzle the grapeseed oil over and toss well. Roast until just tender but still with some texture, 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and tip into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, corn, Monterey Jack cheese, and cilantro. Mix gently until the cheese begins to melt. Serve warm