Monday, October 24, 2011

Mexican Fall Chili

First off, I want to thank all of my loyal fans who stuck with me through my drought!  It's amazing how time flies when you get busy (and a bit burnt out too).  Was I burnt out on cooking?  Definitely not.  I was stretching myself to post once a week and it just became too much.  So instead of scaling back, which would have been the smart thing to do, I took a hiatus.

What better day to beginning posting again then on FOOD DAY!  Today, October 24th, is FOOD DAY as created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.  It's all about healthy, real food being readily available to every American. I encourage you to do your part and ask congress to support FOOD DAY's goals by signing a letter to congress on their home page.  If you want to check out events in your area, click here to enter your zip code. 

Now onto a new favorite of ours - Mexican Winter Chili.  I'm cheating a bit since it isn't even close to winter, but I would call this a fall chili more so than winter.   Everything about it screams (BOO!) fall, from the color all the way to the ingredients.  Another misleading fact is the name...there are actually no beans in this chili at all.  The chili-like consistency is created through the use of pureed pumpkin.  I look at this dish as jazzed up comfort food to enjoy on a brisk fall day.  The addition of a poblano chili pepper (sold in most stores under the incorrect name of a pasilla pepper) gives it a warm spiciness that isn't overbearing but complimentary.  You can find the recipe at the link above, but after tasting as I cooked, I upped the amount of all spices (except for the garlic powder and cocoa powder) and made a few adjustments below.  The picture does not do this dish justice but it really does look like this (unfortunately).  One taste, however, and you'll be hooked.
Mexican "Fall" Chili
adapted slightly from Better Homes & Gardens

1 - 1 1/4 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into bit size pieces, or buy pork stew meat if available
2 TBL olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large fresh poblano pepper, finely chopped
1 large red pepper, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
18 ounces chicken broth
1 15 ounce can pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup whipping cream
Fresh cilantro
(Note: The amounts for the spices is approximate since I didn't exactly measure - taste as you go remembering you can always add more but not less!)

In a Dutch oven cook and stir pork in hot oil over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in onion, poblano, and sweet pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in cocoa powder, cumin, garlic powder, cinnamon, and cayenne. Add broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until pork is tender.

Stir in pumpkin, cream, and salt and black pepper to taste. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes. Top with fresh cilantro. Makes 4 (1-1/4 cup) servings.


  1. Mixing cinnamon and whipping cream with this recipe is interesting. I really like spicy foods.This one is very interesting.

  2. Hi Jen!
    I found your great website and we would love to feature it!! I work with which helps people all over the world find the best restaurants & food. Simply email me back the names and cities of 5-10 restaurants locally or anywhere in the world - that you think are the BEST, and we'll feature your picks & link to your website, so our users can find you! We work with websites & blogs in over 50 countries, it would be great to work with yours as well!
    A few of our celebrity users include: Anthony Bourdain, Guy Fieri, and Rachael Ray!
    Featured Blogs:
    Also, we would love to feature an article about your site, so if you would like to do a write-up about how your website got started, with any fun tidbits about yourself, send that my way and I’ll have our content team post it for you, FB it & tweet it! - any length works! :) Try to send your 5-10 favorite restaurant picks in the next few days, and then you can take up to 2 weeks to send the article if you would like us to post it!
    I look forward to hearing from you, and hopefully we can feature your site under our featured blogs!

    Website & Blog Partners

  3. Hello!

    I saw Your blog and I thought it had great recipes and awesome pictures! I therefore would like to invite You to our new culinary website which has just started.

    This is how it works in short. is a website for food bloggers and their fans allowing them to automatically collect recipes from Your food blog. It's a large database of links to recipes on food blogs. Everyone can join us for free.

    For more please visit: is an English version of our main website called "Mikser Kulinarny", founded in Poland. "Mikser Kulinarny" has a large audience (over 2 mln unique visitors monthly) and with we want to repeat that success and drive thousands of new visitors to your food blog.

    In case of any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

    Best regards!

  4. Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful post, it is a very nice site i really enjoyed to visit this site. Balanced Diet || Diet Plan || Balanced Diet Plan

  5. I like the valuable information you provide in your blog. stuff right here! Good luck for the next! Diet Chart || Balanced Diet Chart || Food Supplements

  6. A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Weight Management || Causes of High Blood Pressure || Healthy Diet

  7. A very awesome blog indeed. I really like it. It has all the things that a best post has. Legit Information. Best Use of Words etc. Keep working good like this. Cholesterol Lowering Foods || Diet for Glowing Skin || Diabetic Diet