Weird, wonderful chili. January 26, 2009Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, recipes.
Tags: chili, great winter recipes, pumpkin chili, vegetarian chili
Silence Dogood here (again). I know I posted a version of this recipe a couple of months ago, but it’s so cold outside, and this is so delicious and warming, that I’m posting it again. I made this version last night and loved it even more than the first version.
Like all chilis, there are endless possible variations, which leaves a lot of room for you to experiment, substituting things you know your family will love for things you don’t especially like. For example, I could easily have added oregano or pinto beans to the mix, or even dumped in some leftover coffee to deepen the flavor. Sometimes I like to use four kinds of kidney beans for a confetti-style chili: dark red, red, pink, and white (aka cannelini beans). But taking the classic kitchen-sink approach, I just tossed in the first four cans that came to hand. The result? Incredible!
Mind you, it doesn’t sound incredible. In fact, it sounds pretty darned disgusting. That’s why I’m urging you to try it and see for yourselves. You really won’t believe how good it is! And vegetarians, there’s nary a piece of meat, but vegans will need to modify the recipe to leave out the half-and-half. (Yes, you read that right, half-and-half in chili, and that’s not the, pardon the pun, half of it!) This is fantastic with hot-from-the-oven cornbread and a big, bold salad, or with a side of rice (my preference) or over rice (our friend Ben’s preference), too, or maybe some luscious grilled polenta.
I couldn’t help but notice the evidence this morning (hmmm, an unwashed bowl that wasn’t there last night… ) that some people who shall remain nameless couldn’t resist getting up in the dead of night to help themselves to even more. So try it, don’t tell anybody what’s in it, and watch how fast it disappears!
1 small or 1/2 large can pumpkin puree (not pie filling, 100% pumpkin)
2 cans kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can butter beans
4 medium to large onions (can combine pungent and sweet if desired)
4 large cloves garlic
1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper
1 small (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 to 2/3 cup half-and-half
vegetable stock (all boxed brands are good)
extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon black mustardseeds
2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
2-4 tablespoons chili powder, to taste
2 tablespoons Trocamare, Herbamare, Real Salt, or salt
2 tablespoons Pickapeppa or Tabasco Chipotle hot sauce, or your favorite
1 tablespoon garam masala (if you don’t have any, try substituting curry powder)
In a large, heavy Dutch oven (I love my LeCreuset), heavy pan, or stock pot, heat a generous amount of olive oil. Add all spices and seasonings, stirring constantly until well mixed. Peel and chop onions, peel and mince garlic, core and dice pepper, and add all to olive oil. Add veggie stock as needed to keep everything from sticking. When onions have clarified, add beans, tomato paste, and pumpkin puree. Stir well to blend, then stir in half-and-half, again stirring well to blend. Cook on low heat while making rice or cornbread to give flavors a chance to ripen, at least 20 minutes. Add more veggie stock as needed to maintain a rich, thick consistency—not soupy, please!—without burning or sticking. Serve with grated cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream on top if desired.
Serves four amply, unless one of them is our friend Ben. If you’re lucky enough to have any, leftovers keep and reheat beautifully.
So come on, be brave and try it! I promise you’ll like it.
‘Til next time,