What do you do with the piles of pumpkins and squash after Halloween? Eat them, of course.
In this recipe, they are combined with late harvest peppers and corn to make a fresh stew. Adjust the seasoning to make it as hot as desired, especially if you are still feeling a bit devilish.
Sugar pumpkins are small, with firmer, drier flesh than the field pumpkins typically used for jack-o-lanterns. Any number of firm-fleshed squashes can be used: butternut, hubbard, delicate or acorn.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped (1 cup)
- 1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped (1 cup)
- 2 small jalapeño peppers, chopped (optional)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups sugar pumpkin, cut into 1/2- inch cubes (1 small pumpkin; see headnote)
- 1/4 cup beer or water
- 15 ounces canned whole hominy, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Leaves from 6 to 8 stems cilantro, chopped (1/3 cup)
Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add the oil and swirl to coat, then add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the red and green peppers, the jalapeño peppers, if desired, the garlic, pumpkin and beer or water, stirring to combine. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the squash is almost tender. Stir in the hominy, corn, chili powder and cumin. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the cilantro; serve warm.
Adapted from an October 1997 Bon Appetite recipe by Smithsonian Garden education specialist Cynthia A. Brown.
Tested by Cynthia A. Brown.
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