Monday, October 13, 2014

Sharon's Award-Winning Sausage Pumpkin Chili

  I love when friends share recipes with me. I especially love when those recipes are ones that are new and different with combinations of flavors that maybe you haven't considered. This recipe falls squarely into that category!
 My friend Sharon entered a chili contest with this recipe, and guess what! She won! Among the judges was a professional chef who commended her on taking such a risk with something so different. It definitely paid off! As soon as she emailed me the recipe, I thought, I think I'll make this right now! I already had just about all the ingredients on hand and I had the afternoon off, so I figured, Why not?
 Now, I know you may be thinking PUMPKIN? IN CHILI???? Yes, just go with me on this one! No, it doesn't taste like a pumpkin pie. It's just a delicious bowl of chili with a different vibe, that's all. My sister Cathy (who is always a willing taste tester) said it reminded her of a Cincinnati Chili which also has warm spices in it, such as cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Absolutely delicious!
 So if you're one who usually likes to think outside the box, give this one a try. Actually, even if you're one to play it safe, TRUST me! You'll be amazed at how well pumpkin and sausage go together! It's the perfect thing to warm you up on a brisk autumn night.
Thanx Sharon!

2 tsp olive oil
1 yellow onion (diced)
1 each green, orange, yellow, and red bell pepper (diced)
1lb of Sweet Italian Bulk Sausage
1lb of Mild Italian Bulk Sausage
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 bottle of lager beer
2 cans (14.5oz can size) of diced tomatoes
1/2 a jar of tomato sauce
1 can (15.5oz) of kidney beans (drained)
1 can (15.5oz) of black beans (drained)
1 can (15oz) of pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp curry
1 tsp cumin
Dash of salt/dash of pepper
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a large skillet sauté onion and peppers, in olive oil, until tender.
Add sausage, breaking it up as you brown it.
Add garlic, cook another minute.
Transfer into a large pot.
Add beer, tomatoes, sauce, beans, pumpkin puree, and spices.
Bring to a boil and then simmer (stirring often) for an hour.
Taste periodically and adjust spices as needed.
Garnish with Maple Syrup Sour Cream.
Serve with Pumpkin Corn Bread.

For the maple sour cream, simply stir 1 tbs of pure maple syrup into 1/2 cup of sour cream.  Not a fan of maple syrup? Just use plain sour cream!
Use whatever kind of sausage you like. Do you like it spicy? Use hot instead of mild!
I didn't start with a large skillet. I just sauteed the vegetables in a heavy Dutch oven and added everything to it. Easier cleanup!
I didn't have a jar of tomato sauce, so I added some tomato paste with a little water, since that's what I had on hand.
I also added a little extra pumpkin pie spice, just because I wanted to pump it up just a little more.
Instead of pumpkin corn bread, this would also be wonderful served as you would any other kind of chili, with cheddar cheese melted on top and a big hunk of regular cornbread. SO GOOD!

No comments: