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Zucchini Chili

  • Total: 2 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

4 poblano peppers

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 pounds firm small to medium-size zucchini, chopped into small dice

2 onions, chopped into small dice

3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red or green hot chile pepper, chopped or thinly sliced

1 tablespoon cumin, palmful

1 tablespoon coriander, palmful

A few sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram, 1/3 palmful

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (recommended: Negra Modela)

1 (15-ounce) can black beans

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup long grain white or light brown rice

2 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, optional

Directions

  1. Char the skins of the poblano chiles by placing them over a gas burner or under a hot broiler with the oven door slightly cracked. Turn the chiles until the skins are black. Remove and cool the chiles in a tightly covered bowl, then peel and finely chop or process into coarse puree in food processor.
  2. Heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat and add zucchini, onions, garlic, hot pepper, cumin, coriander, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper, stir frequently for 10 minutes. Add in the tomato paste, and stir 1 minute more. Deglaze the pan with beer, stir in poblanos and beans and about half of the stock, bring to a bubble then reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes to combine flavors. Cool completely, cover and store for make-ahead meal. Reheat over medium heat.
  3. While the chili reheats make the rice. Melt the butter in a saucepot over medium heat and add the rice, toast a minute or 2, then stir in 1 1/2 cups stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook covered, over low heat 15 minutes.
  4. To food processor, add the spinach, cilantro, if using, and a little salt, and pulse into a fine paste. Stir the paste into the rice after 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the rice stand another 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve in shallow bowls with zucchini chili and toppings of choice to garnish.
  5. Toppers to choose from: crushed tortillas or warm soft tortillas, sour cream, shredded cheeses, scallions or finely chopped onions, lime wedges.