Friday, October 26, 2007

A Halloween chili


Halloween, my favorite of all holidays, is next week. In its honor, I wanted to share a recipe I recently came across that's perfect for the season, since the main ingredients are orange and black. It's from One-Dish Vegetarian Meals by Robin Robertson. When I made it last weekend, I altered it for my spice-wuss tastes by leaving out the jalapeno and cayenne pepper, and reducing the chili powder to 1 T. I also added a tablespoon of cocoa. That's the beauty of chilis and stews -- they're so adaptable to personal taste.

Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili

2 pounds pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and seeded
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno chile, minced
One 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
One 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 c. water
1 c. apple juice
4 T. chili powder
1 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
3 c. cooked or canned black beans, rinsed and drained

Cut the pumpkin into 1/2-inch chunks and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved pumpkin, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, water, apple juice, chili powder, salt and cayenne, and stir well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 30 minutes.

Add the beans, and more water if the chili is too think for your taste. Cover and continue to simmer about 15 minutes to blend flavors. Serve hot.

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