Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tequila Pumpkin Chili

Tequila plays a minor role in this nummy chili, but I include it in the title because tequila just demands attention. I whipped up this chili during my lunch stop at home today, using some leftovers from the weekend. The whole thing was ready to go in about 10 minutes, but the prep time for the components makes this recipe a little more involved. I made a pot of black bean and onion puree, and a roasted sugar pumpkin over the weekend - those are the two main ingredients. To save time, canned pumpkin and beans would be fine. This would retain more of the glowing golden-orange color of the roasted pumpkin puree if I had used cooked whole black beans, but I wasn't as interested in appearances as in using up leftovers. The requisite chili chunkiness comes from a handful of cubed chunks of lentil-seitan roast:Trust me, these are perfect in chili. Since I was going back to work, I was responsible and added the tequila while frying up a little onion and garlic, and the alcohol almost certainly evaporated. That said, the smell of a shot of tequila tossed into a hot pot of onions and garlic makes a lunch break much more dramatic - it was great, and lent a nice hint of tequila flavor to the finished product.

Tequila Pumpkin Chili
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup diced white onion
2 cups roasted and pureed sugar pumpkin or other squash
1 cup black bean puree, or a 14 oz. can of rinsed black beans
1/2 cup cubed lentil-seitan sausage, or your fave faux meat, or more beans
3/4 cup sweet corn
1 8 oz. can salt-free tomato sauce
1 cup tomato salsa (I used homemade from family)
1 tsp. cumin
1 heaping tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. or so fresh lime juice
canola oil
1 shot Tequila (I had a one of those little tiny bottles of Cuervo)
green onions, corn tortilla chips, and vegan sour cream for topping
salt and black pepper to taste

1. Saute the onion and garlic in hot oil on medium high heat in a soup pot. When they begin to soften and brown, add the tequila. Continue to cook a couple of minutes, as the alcohol evaporates the the onion and garlic browns a little more.

2. Add the dry spices, and all of the remaining ingredients - like I said, this was done in 10 minutes at most. Bring to a simmer and you're ready to roll, but like most soups/stews/chilis the flavors are better if this sits a while. Top with green onions, crushed chips, and vegan sour cream right before serving.

A parting shot, with pumpkin grown by my sister and brother-in-law back home. Salud!


Ray said...

Nice recipe. I hope you don't mind a carnivore taking it and adapting it for his own dirty needs.

I'll send you the link when it's finished if you like.


Bianca said...

Dude, can I come over for lunch at your house? I love anything cooked with alcohol ... and tequila is my favorite. I'll have to add a splash next time I make chili.

River said...

That is one big pumpkin!
You are right, tequila does demand attention! The chili looks so delicious and comforting!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

This sounds fantastic! Except that I need a chili break since it was one of the main vegan dishes I could find during my out of town Thanksgiving trip. :) The tequila is a great addition.