Chili con Calabaza Asada (Roasted Pumpkin Chili)

Oven-roasted pumpkin, fried pork belly, fresh & dried chiles, onions, toasted corn, cumin and oregano..


Chili con Calabaza Asada (Roasted Pumpkin Chili)

Serves 2

1-2 small pie pumpkins, roasted
3-4 dried chiles such as Ancho, Pasilla, New Mexico and Chipotle
1 fresh poblano pepper, chopped
1 Serrano or 2 jalapeño peppers, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/4 pound pork belly, diced (can eliminate if vegetarian)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup black beans, cooked (optional)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
salt & pepper

Split the pumpkins lengthwise through the stem and scrape out the seeds and stringy material.  Season with salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven until softened, about 15 minutes.  Set aside to cool, then scrape out the flesh with the edge of a spoon.

Meanwhile, place the dried chiles in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes. Remove from water, split and remove stems and seeds.  Process in a food processor until a smooth paste is formed., corn,

Cook pork belly over medium-low heat until crisp.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, then add the cumin seed and toast until fragrant.

Add the peppers and onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the corn, garlic, pumpkin and oregano and stir to combine.

Stir in the the chile paste, then thin with a little water (use the soaking water if you like).  Add beans if using, then reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, then ladle into bowls and serve with fried corn tortillas.


This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays!

Smoked Chili Powder and Chili Paste

(This is part 1 of a 2-part post- part 2 is here. You might also like this post about achiote paste)

Made from 16 kinds of peppers, herbs and spices, here’s a homemade smoked chili powder unlike anything you’ll find in the store..

Smoked Chili Powder

Smoked Chili Powder

I strongly recommend that you wear a pair of disposable gloves while doing this..

Gather a selection of dried chiles with different flavor profiles (hot, mild, fruity and smoky).  I’m using Pasilla, Petines, Arbol, New Mexico, Chilhuacle negro, Mulatto, and both Dorado and Morita Chipotles.

Using a pair of scissors, snip the tips off the peppers then split lengthwise.  Spread apart and remove the stem and seed clusters.

Arrange peppers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and roast in a 350 degree oven until fragrant and crisp, about 15 minutes, or (even better) smoke the chiles outdoors over mesquite.  Allow the chiles to cool.

Meanwhile, lightly toast cumin, coriander, anatto and cinnamon in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Allow to cool.

Working in batches, process the chiles in a food processor with the toasted spices, dried onion, garlic, cilantro, Mexican oregano and sea salt.

Pour all into a bowl and stir to combine.  Store in an airtight container away from direct light up to 6 months.

To make a paste for use in soups, stews or bean dishes, add a tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice (especially good with chicken or pork) to the chili powder and work into a thick paste.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months..

Fresh Chili Paste

Fresh Chili Paste

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter