Friday, December 2, 2011

Chili Baked Pumpkin

We decided to make pumpkin chili for our Thanksgiving dinner. But not just pumpkin chili, chili baked in a pumpkin similar to last year's dinner in a pumpkin.  That's right, for the second year in a row, the only turkey on our table this year was one made from a toilet paper roll. With a gobbler and all. (you can see him in our family photo below)



Wash your pumpkins. Dry thoroughly, making sure that the bottoms are completely dry. To remove the tops, use a sharp serrated knife and cut into the top at a 45° angle to ensure the top can be placed back on without falling through. Scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers gently with a spoon. Preheat oven to 350°F (190°C).



Ingredients:

Two 2 1/2-3 lb pumpkins
1 green bell pepper, chopped
poblano pepper, diced, to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, minced, to taste
1 brown onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
14.5 oz diced tomatoes
8 oz frozen corn
3-6 ounces can tomato paste
1 packet McCormick Chili seasoning, mild or hot 
3-4 cans of your favorite chili beans (we used red kidney, white northern and pink kidney)

Directions:

Heat the oil in your chili pot over medium high heat and add your onion and garlic. Saute until the onion is soft and golden brown. While the onion and garlic are cooking, prepare your peppers. It is up to you to determine how much jalapeno you want to add. One word of caution: the seeds are HOT. Be careful not to add them unless you want fire hot chili

Add to the onion and garlic mixture. Then, add the diced tomatoes and corn and stir well. Add your chili seasoning and stir it all up. Now it's time to add the beans! I added the whole can, liquid and all. It's up to you to decide when you add the tomato paste, if at all.  I added 1/2 the can of paste just before serving to take the edge off because ours came out pretty spicy for my taste. It also added a subtle hint of sweet tomato flavor and thickened it up a bit. If you're not sure whether you want to add it or not, wait until just before serving and do a taste test. Adjust accordingly! 

Scoop chili into pumpkins, cover with top and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until the pumpkin is easily pierced with a sharp knife. Be careful when lifting the pumpkin off of the baking sheet after baking as the bottom can be soft when hot. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before eating! Serve with buttermilk cloverleaf rolls and enjoy. 

Next time, I want to add pureed pumpkin to the chili for an even more noticeable pumpkin flavor. This chili is even better re-heated, so just scrape your baked pumpkin out into a tupperware with the chili and mix it up before serving seconds. Happy Harvest! :)


                                                    Thanksgiving 2011

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