Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin in chili? Be ready for possibly your best chili recipe ever.

Tailgate time! Although I already have my menu planned for our upcoming tailgate lunch at our alma mater’s Homecoming game, I couldn’t resist the attractive Kroger grocery flyer sent out to promote tailgating recipes.

Pictures showed Pumpkin Turkey Chili filling a slow cooker and ready for the gameday crowd. I had to look twice at the title: Pumpkin Turkey Chili. Whoever thought to use pumpkin as a chili ingredient? Pumpkin I had plenty of on hand, thanks to our garden. But what would this ingredient do to a chili mixture?

I’m pleased to report that this turned out to be possibly my all-time fave chili mix. The addition of the 2 cups pumpkin puree added a smooth texture and slightly sweet flavor. Note that this is a beanless chili. The combination of the diced tomatoes, ground turkey, chopped onion, chopped yellow and green peppers, pumpkin puree, chili powder, salt, and pepper was all anyone could ever want in a pot full of chili.

Please remember to allow four to five hours for this to cook on low in the slow cooker. My big mistake, at first not having paid close attention to the cooking instructions, was in thinking initially that this was stovetop chili and could be stirred up in time for dinner, so I dashed to the kitchen in late afternoon to get it together. Wrong! Slow-cooker cooking time was what was required. Glad I quickly subbed something quick for dinner and took my time in getting the Pumpkin Turkey Chili ready. The slow, low cooking works wonderfully on getting this mixture to blend in a taste-tempting way.

Yes, pumpkin does belong in chili! You’ll see what I mean.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup green Bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup yellow Bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 can (14.5-ounce) diced tomatoes, no salt added
2 cups pumpin puree
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 dash salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion, green Bell pepper, yellow Bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir in the turkey and cook until evenly browned. Pour meat mixture into slow cooker. Mix in tomatoes and pumpkin. Season with chili powder, pepper, and salt. Cover and set on low. Cook for 4-5 hours. Serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream (I had no sour cream on hand but know it would have been a plus). Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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