Last week was my annual ChiliFest at work. I send out emails asking everyone to bring in chili and…they all do? Or, at least, so many people join in that we feed the whole first floor of our office, with plenty of leftovers.
I’ve mentioned it before, but Chili is a great way to bring people together. I’ve tried to do potlucks at work before, and they did OK…but never great. But when I do a ChiliFest - that is, a potluck where I suggest people bring their favorite Chili - I get one of two responses:
- I make a pretty good chili. I’m in!
- I don’t make chili, but can I bring XYZ instead?
(And my answer to “can I bring…” is always “Yes”, before they get to what it is they actually want to bring.)
This is all the lead-in to today’s story. My friend Paul and his wife Chantal have known us for years. Chantal follows the blog (Hi, Chantal! Sorry to put you on the spot here!). Paul is a big-time vegan, and years ago challenged me to come up with some good food that he could eat. One of my responses was Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Chili - which I found out is a big hit at his house. Chantal made a big pot for Paul to bring to ChiliFest, with one instruction:
Don’t let Mike try it. He’ll judge me.
I made sure Paul took a picture of me in front of the pot of chili, spoon in hand and with a big smile. Chantal! You did great! (I mean, I’m not cruel. I was going to say that anyhow. Especially when you sent it in a massive Fagor Lux pressure cooker - you and I had the only pressure cookers there, surrounded by slow cookers.)
But, really now - you did such a good job that I had to go back and check out that recipe myself. It’s been a while since I made it, and I have to try it out again, especially since it’s the perfect recipe theme to serve on Halloween. (Now if I could only get my kids to try it. “Pumpkin? Chili? Eeeew! Nope, nope nope....”)
And, a tip for readers like me who get impatient with peeling and seeding squash - you can substitute bagged, pre-cut butternut squash for the pumpkin. The two taste remarkably similar, and especially with all the chili spices, no one will know the difference. Actually, now that I think about it, you could also sub in peeled and diced sweet potatoes, which might even be easier. I think I have a new recipe idea to try…
So, here it is: Chantal’s Pumpkin Chili:
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Chili | DadCooksDinner.com
Happy Halloween, everyone!
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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