What's cookin'? Pumpkin
Treat the family to dinner from the jolly squash
Happy autumn!: Time to celebrate the pumpkin. Sure, you can carve, decorate it — but by all means you should cook this fiber-and-vitamin-packed squash. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
2 cans (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 to 11/4 pounds smoked turkey wings or smoked turkey drumsticks
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (29 ounces) Mexican-style hominy, drained, rinsed
Garnishes: Roasted pumpkin (see recipe), chopped cilantro, thinned sour cream or shredded cheese
1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large (7- to 8-quart) Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork in single uncrowded layer; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate; continue to brown all pork, adding more oil if needed. Transfer all pork to plate.
2. Add bacon, onions and carrots to pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onions are golden, 10-15 minutes. Stir in garlic and both chili powders; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in broth, diced and crushed tomatoes and smoked turkey. Heat to a simmer; reduce heat to low. Cook, partly covered, stirring often, about 30 minutes.
3. Stir in canned pumpkin; simmer 15 minutes.
4. Stir in browned pork and hominy. Simmer until pork is barely cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove turkey wings or drumsticks. If desired, pull turkey meat (without skin) into shreds and return to chili. Season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons.
5. Serve chili in wide soup bowls with assorted garnishes.
Per serving (for 14 servings): 312 calories, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 79 mg cholesterol, 24 g carbohydrates, 30 g protein, 1,349 mg sodium, 7 g fiber.
• Diced pumpkin ranks as one of my favorite vegetables to oven- or grill-roast. The only difficult task is removing the tough rind.
• Start by cutting off the stem end just as if you were making a jack-o'-lantern. Then cut the pumpkin in half through the stem end. Remember that cutting through the tender flesh is easier than through the tough skin, so always insert the knife into the flesh rather than into the skin. A serrated grapefruit spoon makes easy work of removing the seeds and fibrous interior.
• Remove the skin carefully with a very sharp paring knife. Cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes and use within a couple of days.
• Toss the fresh pumpkin cubes with oil and season generously with salt.
Oven-roast in a single layer on a heavy-duty baking sheet, turning the cubes often, until tender. To add a golden crust, turn on the broiler for a few minutes.
To grill-roast pumpkin, place the seasoned and oiled cubes onto a grill pan and cook over medium heat. Alternatively, cut the pumpkin into large 1-inch thick slices and cook over indirect heat on the grill until tender and golden, about 30 minutes.