i am in taos, new mexico right now (more on that in another post) and there are pumpkins everywhere...at the farmers' market, at roadside stands, growing in neighbors' yards...everywhere. i bought a few large jack-o-lantern ones for decorating and a bunch of the smaller sugar pumpkins for eating. these are the ones you want to use in cooking or baking. the large ones are really tough and stringy...best just for halloween. but the sugar ones...sometimes called "pie" pumpkins...are sweet and tender when cooked. this recipes calls for you to first roast the pumpkin before adding to the stew. here is a tip....taste a few pieces of the roasted pumpkin. you will fall in love! i roast double the amount i need just to have some to snack on. you can use as a side dish in place of the more typical squash whenever you like.
i used soyrizo instead of chorizo in my stew. it is healthier, has less fat, no cholesterol and keeps the dish vegetarian as i have lots of veg friends and family members. to be honest, no one has ever been able to tell the difference. feel free to use regular chorizo if you wish...just switch the recipe a bit to ensure you thoroughly cook the chorizo first and then drain before you sauté the onions, garlic and pepper. one last note...the cinnamon, chocolate and chile powder may sound odd...trust me, don't leave these ingredients out of the stew. you won't be able to taste any of them individually, but together they meld to add depth to the finished dish. if you can't find true new mexican red chile powder skip it...do not substitute regular chili powder. ok...enough of the notes and tips....try this stew. my family finds it addictive! (me too)
4 lb sugar pumpkin (sometimes called pie pumpkin)
extra virgin olive oil
12 oz "soyrizo" or chorizo, remove casing and chop
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 oz. dark chocolate
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp new mexican red chile powder, optional
2 15.oz cans unsalted black beans, rinsed
1 bunch cilantro
freshly ground black pepper
pepitas (from pumpkin)
preheat the oven to 400 degrees. prepare the pumpkin: with a sharp serrated knife, cut the pumpkin in half. scrape out the seeds and stringy fibers. (i use a heavy metal spoon for this) reserve the seeds for making pepitas*. cut the pumpkin in wedges. carefully cut the peel from the flesh following this process: using a very sharp knife, place the blade between the flesh and the peel. for safety, place your free hand on top of the pumpkin flesh to keep it from sliding. run the knife between the peel and the flesh, like you were preparing cantaloupe. cut the pumpkin into 2 inch cubes. place on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet. drizzle olive oil over...3-4 passes of the bottle...and sprinkle with salt and pepper. roast in oven for 20 minutes. remove from oven, stir and add back to oven. roast an additional 10-15 minutes or until pumpkin is tender with a caramelized crust. set aside.
prepare the stew: add 2 tbsp olive oil and onion to stockpot. sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. add garlic, green pepper and soyrizo. cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are soft and soyrizo is crispy on the sides. add broth and chocolate, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. reduce to high simmer, add cinnamon, chile powder if using, 2 tbsp. cilantro and beans. cook for an additional 20 minutes or until liquid has thickened and reduced by half. add roasted pumpkin and salt & pepper to taste. cook for an additional 5 minutes. serve topped with cilantro and pepitas.
(thanks to the farmers at the taos market for providing this technique...it worked!)
add the pepitas and the pulp to a large pot. cover with water and, using your hands, swirl the pulp around in the water. scoop out all the loosened seeds and add to a small saucepan, continue the swirling and scooping process until all seeds are free. you may need to pull some directly from the pulp to get them all. cover the seeds with water and 2 tsp salt. bring to a boil. boil for 5 minutes. drain and add to a small rimmed roasting pan. roast 5 minutes at 400 degrees. stir and roast and additional 5-15 minutes until pepitas are toasted and crunchy. do not roast for longer than 20 minutes to preserve nutrients. *note...for this stew i like the pepitas plain. but for other uses you can add any kind of seasoning or spices you like during the last 5 minutes of roasting. i particularly like the ground new mexican red chile mentioned earlier.
another pumpkin recipe you might enjoy:
pizza with spicy pumpkin sauce, black beans and fresh corn
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Chez Us: Pull Apart Pumpkin-Pecan Bread With Maple Bourbon Frosting
And Love It Too: Vanilla Pumpkin Swirl Cake With Vanilla Palm Sugar Glaze
Haute Apple Pie: Creamy Pumpkin Penne With Italian Sausage
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Pumpkins
From My Corner of Saratoga: Chocolate-Pumpkin Cake
Made By Michelle: Pumpkin Scones
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Pumpkin and Black Bean Stew With Chorizo and Pepitas
Devour: 5 Delicious Ways to Use Pumpkins After Carving
Virtually Homemade: Pumpkin Pancakes With Maple Cream and Candied Vanilla Pecans
The Heritage Cook: Gingery Pumpkin Mousse With Whipped Ginger Cream
Thursday Night Dinner: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie
Cooking With Books: Pumpkin-Bacon Brussels Sprouts
FN Dish: Primping Up Pumpkin
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Pumpkin Wedges With Chili, Lime and Cotija
have a good week!
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