Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Chili

Styrofoam cups are easier to eat out of than bowls  when in a field.
This past weekend was Delaware's annual Punkin' Chunkin, a masterful event during which a variety of contraptions ranging from air cannons to catapults do their best to fling pumpkins as far into a field as possible. A group of us went down to tailgate and watch these engineering marvels for the third year in a row.

No tailgating is complete without food, and we have discovered that with the magic of a dc to ac power converter, we are able to have a hot main course without worrying about bringing a grill or something like that. With it being 45 degrees, windy, and overcast, having something hot to eat in the middle of the day is almost essential.

This year, I made pumpkin chili and it was pretty delicious--and a huge batch was almost entirely consumed (so other people agreed with me on the delicious factor). I've found that I really like the pureed pumpkin in chili. Not only does it increase your veggies in the dish, I find that it makes the sauce heartier and feel really thick and smooth.
chunkin' fans!

I like my chili fairly spicy, so you may want to cut back on the chili garlic sauce or chili powder if you want something more mild. It's easy to add in spice, but almost impossible to take it out (as I learned last year when I used basically cayenne instead of chili powder by mistake--almost inedibley spicy!).

Pumpkin Chili


2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 bell peppers diced
2 Tbsp Huy Fung Chili Garlic Sauce
3Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage (or 1 Tbsp dried sage)
15 oz can of pumpkin puree
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
15 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
15 oz can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
2-3 potatoes (I used Yukon gold) chopped into small pieces.
1 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper
some of the air guns


In a large pot, brown the ground beef over medium high heat. You can drain off the fat if you wish, but leave in at least a couple of tbsps. Add in the onion and cook until translucent. Add in peppers, chili garlic sauce, cumin, chili powder, and sage. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add in both types of tomatoes and pumpkin. Check seasoning and add additional if necessary.

Add in potatoes and let simmer for about 15 minutes until tender. Add in beans and corn and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you have leftover chili, about 2 cups of chili plus 6 oz of velveeta can make a pretty awesome chili cheese dip for fritos or tortilla chips (it's a little too thick for potato chips).

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