Bean and Butternut Squash Picadillo

picadillo with beans, corn, peppers, and butternut squash

Serves 6

¼ pound (4 or 5 slices) thick-cut bacon, chopped

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

2 quarts chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)

1 medium butternut squash (about ¾ pound), peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ inch cubes

1 28 ounce can or to 15 ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons Garlic-Chipotle Love (recipe below)

1½ cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen

¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the bacon in a medium stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until it’s lightly browned and has rendered its fat, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook until the onion is tender and translucent, about 6 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and add the squash cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the black-eyed peas, Garlic-Chipotle Love, and corn. Simmer until the picadillo has thickened and the flavors come together, about 12 minutes.

Stir in the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Divide among six bowls, and serve with rice and salsa.

Garlic-Chipotle Love

Makes 1 cup

1 cup canola oil

12 garlic cloves, peeled

3 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Grated zest of 1 lime

1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Pour the oil into a heavy ovenproof medium saucepan and add the garlic. Cover the pot with foil, put it in the oven, and cook until the garlic turns a nutty brown and is really soft (think cream cheese), about 45 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven and let the garlic and oil cool to room temperature.

Put the garlic and the now garlic-infused oil in a food processor or blender. Add the chipotles and sauce, cilantro, lime zest, and salt and puree until the mixture is very smooth.

Store in the fridge in a tightly covered container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to a month.

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