Lip-Smacking Chili: My Favorite, with Pumpkin!
November 8, 2010 § 2 Comments
When I hear the phrase, “I’ve got a great chili recipe!” I tend to get about as excited as when someone says they have “the best banana bread recipe ever.” I never say no to a recipe-swap, but with chili, banana bread and probably chocolate chip cookies, there are millions of recipes floating out there in the internet ether and really, it’s hard to go wrong.
But guys, I can’t resist — I’ve got to share this recipe! I make a lot of chili and I’m a chili fuss pot. I don’t like chili that’s so spicy I can’t taste any flavor. I also don’t like chili that’s chalk-full of everything. (One time I had a batch with sauteed celery (gasp!). Talk about everything-but-the-kitchen-sink!) Chili is my favorite tote-to-work lunch, especially if I haven’t eaten all the cornbread the night before. This recipe is my crem della crem, inspired by (never home)maker. I’ve fed batches to my mom, dad, aunt, grandma and I’ve smelled up the entire office with whiffs of ancho chili powder and garlic. To put it simply: This recipe gets positively gobbled!
I recommend whipping up this recipe (and most of my favorite soups) a day in advance; the flavors will have melded and it tastes better. In a pinch, make this chili an hour-and-a-half before serving, so you can give the pot an hour’s rest on the back-burner (off the heat) to sit. Judging by the ingredient list, you might wonder if there’s enough cooking liquid. Rest assured, between the glugs of beer (pumpkin-flavored is wonderful) and reserved tomato juice from the plum tomatoes, the liquid-to-bean ratio is spot-on.
1 large onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ancho powder
1 teaspoon Santa Cruz mild chili powder
1 teaspoon Syrian paprika, smokey
sea salt, pepper
2 cups corn
2 cups black beans, pre-cooked
4 cups tomatoes, chopped (or 1 28-oz can plum tomatoes, liquid reserved)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup beer, pumpkin flavored preferred
1. In the bottom of a large pot, saute chopped onion in a tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat with a pinch of sea salt. When onion turns translucent (approximately 6 minutes), add garlic and stir until fragrant (another minute). Add spices and cook until aromatic (another minute).
2. Add remaining ingredients: corn, beans, tomatoes, pumpkin and beer and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid off on medium-low heat. After 20 minutes, ideally move pot off the burner and cool completely before refrigerating. Reheat the following day (this allows the flavors to fully meld). In a pinch, let the pot on the back burner for an hour and then reheat before serving. Delicious paired with buttermilk-quinoa cornbread.
Diet Notes: vegan