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.

Ingredients:
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

Method:

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

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§ 2 Responses to Lip-Smacking Chili: My Favorite, with Pumpkin!

  • Amy says:

    Thanks for helping me decide what to make for dinner! I added cumin too, but I didn’t have any corn on hand… whoops. It was delicious anyway (and I’m sure it’ll be even more so tomorrow)!

  • […] I’ve tweaked her recipe and included some of my most favorite flavors. These are not my standard, googly-eyed breakfast muffins bulging with dried fruit and nuts or chocolate and bananas or smelling of all spice and nutmeg.  These fellas are dense, flecked with sunflower seed crunches, snappy arugula bites, sweet butternut squash hunks and loads of flavor from a couple scoops of whole grain mustard and a fluffy pile of grated Parmesan and cheddar cheese.  Packed with veggies and whole grains to boot, these guys are a stand-alone meal.  While I don’t dig into these guys for breakfast (I cave to my sweet muffin varieties with homemade pumpkin coffee on these chillier, fall mornings) I’m rather taken to digging into these squashy-mustardy bites with a bowl of creamy tomato soup or my favorite lip-smackin’ chili. […]

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