Hello pumpkin! We had a little fall/Halloween party last night. The girls and their husband/boyfriend and my bff Cherise came over. We started with pumpkin spice lattes. I know they’re “basic” but they’re also delicious. Then we had pumpkin chili served in a roasted pumpkin with cheddar, green chile and corn cornbread (you’ll find this recipe already on the blog). The chili is vegetarian but, let me tell you, you won’t miss the meat. It’s thick, hearty and delicious. We had an apple pie sangria which was out of this world tasty. We ended our meal with apple butter cake made with homemade apple butter. We ate, talked and laughed the night away. We’ll talk about the chili first, but I’ll share the other recipes in the next few days.
Ok, what can I tell you about this pumpkin chili? It’s delicious. It’s vegetarian. It’s loaded with fiber. It has unique ingredients that work very well together. A little pumpkin ale and jerk type spices give it a kick. You don’t have to serve this in a pumpkin but it does make for a good presentation. Next time I may serve it in individual pumpkins. How cute would that be? Grab your apron. Let’s make some pumpkin chili.
Do you see that apple butter cake peeking out behind the pumpkin? Hey cake hey!
Pumpkin chili in a roasted pumpkin
For the pumpkin:
1 medium-sized pumpkin or one small pumpkin for each guest
Vegetable oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper
For the pumpkin chili:
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 onion, medium diced
1 red pepper, medium diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg or 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
12 oz. pumpkin beer or ale (I used Schlafly pumpkin ale)
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 cup brown sugar
15 oz. can black beans
15 oz. can kidney beans (light or dark)
15 oz. can cannellini beans
1 cup corn, canned or frozen (no need to thaw)
1/4 cup canned chopped green chiles
Optional: your favorite chili toppings such as cheese and sour cream
To roast the pumpkin:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash the pumpkin(s) thoroughly. Cut out the top, scrape off the seeds and fibers and set aside. Scoop the seeds and fibers out of the pumpkin with a large spoon or ice cream scoop. Drizzle with vegetable oil inside and out and sprinkle with salt and pepper inside. Replace the top. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I had to remove the top rack in my oven and place the lower rack at its lowest setting in order for my pumpkin to fit. Bake for 90 minutes to 2 hours (45 minutes to 1 hour for small pumpkins), removing top after the first hour (40 minutes for small pumpkins) or until flesh inside is soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
While the pumpkin(s) is/are roasting, prepare the chili. Place the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat until hot. Add the onion, red pepper and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent. Sprinkle in the spices-salt, pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, allspice and nutmeg. Stir and cook for a minute or two or until fragrant. Pour in the ale to deglaze the pan. Stir to get all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat to low and simmer until the pumpkin(s) is/are done.
To serve: Place pumpkin in a clear glass bowl or small pumpkins in individual bowls. (They will be soft so you don’t want to take any chances of them breaking and chili running out all over.) Fill with chili. Put the reserved stem piece on top. I served mine atop buttered cheddar, green chile and corn cornbread and topped it with cheddar cheese and sour cream.
Wishing you love, laughter and cake,