Add a little spice

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October 26, 2009

11:59 PM

Nicole’s Eightfold Path to Enlightenment

Step One: Be one with your spice rack

I don’t often advocate spices — they can be expensive, overpowering, and often recipes call for just a miniscule bit and you’ll never use it again. But in the case of the recipe I’m sharing today, a few cheap spices can be your best friend.

You’ll notice I’m still very much so in “autumn mode” with this exotic pumpkin chili. If you’re not into pumpkin, you can omit it, but you won’t know how fantastic this is if you don’t give it a shot.

And if the cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar seem strange, you’ll be surprised how well they work to give the chili and quasi Middle Eastern flare.

• 1 chopped onion
• 2 lbs ground meat (I used turkey because it was on sale. You can also use ground beef; just make sure to drain the fat out.)
• 2 cans red kidney beans
• 1 can black beans
• One half to 1 can of pumpkin (You can add half and then add more if you like it.)
• 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
• 1 46 oz. bottle of tomato juice
• One quarter cup sugar
• One half tsp. nutmeg
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
• Generous dashes of cumin, paprika, and chili powder

Over medium heat, heat a tablespoon or two of oil (if using ground turkey — it’s not necessary for the fattier ground meats) and brown the meat. Drain.

Add another tablespoon of oil and sauté chopped onions until soft and transparent, about five minutes.

Add all other ingredients, including the meat, and let simmer over low to medium heat for about an hour — at least until the chili’s aroma has filled the room, which is a pretty good indicator for me that it is time to eat.

Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese and you’re ready to enjoy.

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