Paula and I were on our own tonight, which is the new “normal.” I made a recipe that I found in the recent Food Network magazine, Beef and Summer Squash Chili. It was pretty easy to make and tasted quite good when Paula and I enjoyed it this evening. We had a bottle of VJB Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon with the meal and the rich red wine really went well with the chili. This chili wasn’t too heavy and would be a good way to use up some zucchini that you might have in the refrigerator. If you want to make the recipe, here is what  you will need:

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound ground chuck
1 onion, chopped
1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 15 -ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 15 -ounce can pinto beans or black eyed peas (do not drain)
2 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 avocado, diced

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat, until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, poblano and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Cook, stirring, until combined, about 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and the beans along with their liquid to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the squash. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and the chili thickens slightly, at least 10 minutes. Season with more salt to taste if needed. Top each serving of chili with some chopped avocado and some chopped cilantro if available.