Posts Tagged ‘chili’

Pumpkin Coffee Chili

pumpkin coffee chili

Stay warm during the polar vortex with this pumpkin coffee chili!

I’ll say it…I’m done with these polar vortexes. I live in Virginia for a reason—I like mild winters! The one good thing about all this cold, though, is that I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen thinking of new things to do with the food in my freezer (otherwise I’d need to go to the store in this cold). One of those experiments was my pumpkin coffee chili. Let me just say yum.

I got the idea from two events that happened. The first, I made too much coffee. We drink VERY nice coffee in our house, and I couldn’t stand the thought of dumping a couple of cups down the drain. So I saved it. The second was I had thawed some of the pumpkin puree I made this fall, and realized I need to figure out what to do with it before it went bad. Then the cold hit, I got a hankering for chili and pumpkin coffee chili was born.

You won’t really taste the pumpkin. Rather it adds a creaminess that you don’t usually get in chili. And it’s super healthy. The coffee adds some nice flavor. I used a decaf Brazilian roast, which is ever so slightly sweet. The overall result is a smooth chili for a cold night. Perfection.

: Pumpkin Coffee Chili

: pumpkin makes this chili smooth, coffee gives it a little something extra.


  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
  • 2 Serrano chilies, seeds and membrane removed and chilies chopped
  • 2 28 oz cans tomatoes (or 2 quarts if you can your own tomatoes), drained
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 12 oz brewed coffee (I use decaf)
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 5 drops Habanero oil, optional


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 6-quart stock pot. Add the venison and brown. Once browned, set the venison aside in a bowl and return the stock pot to the heat.
  2. Add the other tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until tender. Add the green peppers and chilies and continue cooking until tender.
  3. Chop the tomatoes. Add them to the to onions and peppers.
  4. Add the pumpkin, coffee, and spices. Bring to a light boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Diet tags: High protein

Number of servings (yield): 8

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Copyright © Susan Rose.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Venison, Fig and Olive Stew

venison, fig and olive stew

A perfect stew for a cold winter night—venison, fig and olive stew. Bliss.

How about that crazy cold snap we had throughout the U.S. last week? Brrr. I like the cold, but sheesh. That was a little much. However, the freezing temperatures put me in the mood to make some nice warm stew! What is better on a chilly night than the smell of stew simmering on the stove? Nothing, that’s what. I found a recipe for a lamb and fig stew on Eating Well, and thought it would adapt well to venison. This venison, fig and olive stew is really more of a chili, but how can that possibly be a bad thing? Especially since I’d wanted to make chili, but couldn’t find chili powder anywhere. Really. I’ve never heard of stores running out of it, but this was no ordinary week.

Now some of you may be a little skeptical about the figs and olives in this stew. Trust me. You’ll like it. How do I know? Because Rick, who refused to eat either, loved this stew. There is something about the sweetness of the figs and the saltiness of the olives that blends perfectly with venison. It is magical. There are very few ingredients in the stew (well, few for a stew), but each one maximizes the flavors of the others. It’s a great relationship. We ate this over the course of a few days, and it just got better every day.

I suggest serving it with a nice, crusty country bread. I made a whole wheat loaf that we slathered with butter. I’m smiling merely at the memory!

This stew is super easy to make, so give it a try. You will be happy you did.

: Venison, Fig and Olive Stew

: sweet and salty, these flavors blend beautifully


  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp herbs de Provence
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 pints venison broth (or low-sodium beef broth if you don’t have venison broth)
  • 2 Tbs Xantham gum or cornstarch
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/4 cup green olives (pimentos removed), sliced in half
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of one lemon


  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the ground venison and brown (about 5 minutes). Remove browned venison to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the garlic and Herbs de Provence to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 1/2 minute).
  3. Add the wine and cook, scraping any brown bits, until alcohol burns off and the mixture is slightly reduced (about 2 minutes).
  4. Combine the venison broth and Xantham Gum/Cornstarch. Add to the Dutch oven, and return to a simmer, stirring often. Don’t worry if the Xantham Gum doesn’t completely dissolve—it never does for me. But it will as it heats up in the pan.
  5. Add the tomatoes, figs, olives, salt, and pepper and return to a simmer. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the venison and heat through.
  7. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest.
  8. Serve immediately.


The original recipe calls for lamb, so that would be a nice substitution if you don’t have any ground venison.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Diet tags: High protein

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern

Copyright © Susan Rose.

Smoked Venison Chili and a Possible Shopping Spree at Bass Pro

smoked venison chili

Liquid smoke makes any dish taste like it came off the grill…even chili!

It’s getting chilly here in Northern Virginia, and that means it’s time to start making some chili! This recipe is a variation on one of my go-to recipes, Venison Chipotle Chili. This time I’m featuring Wright’s Liquid Smoke in it. Why? Well, for two reasons. One, I really love the stuff. And two, Wright’s contacted me and asked me to mention the sweepstakes they’re running (info a little further down).

I happen to love Wright’s Liquid Smoke, so it took me only about one second to agree. If you have never used it before, run—don’t walk—to your grocery store to pick it up. I use it in all sorts of things, although I most commonly use it when I’m braising and slow cooking roasts.

However, I thought it would be a nice substitute for the chipotle peppers in my favorite chili recipe. But there’s only one way to know for sure, and that’s to make it! So I did. And I was right.

This chili is so easy to make. And if you don’t have venison, you can use beef or turkey as well. But it’s best with venison.

Wright’s Liquid Smoke Sweepstakes

Wright's liquid smoke

Don’t wait. Enter to win at the the Wright’s Facebook page.

As for the sweepsteaks…who wouldn’t want a chance to win a gift card for Bass Pro Shop? I know I would. Maybe I will…I plan on entering. Here’s what you do:

On Monday, December 9th, Wright’s will launch the enter-to-win sweepstakes through an application on their Facebook page (

When fans enter they will unlock three great smoky venison recipes (which I’ve seen, and they look really good).

The sweepstakes ends on Friday, December 20th. The grand prize winner will receive a $500 Bass Pro Shop gift card and a year’s supply of Wright’s Liquid Smoke.

It’s that simple. So hop on over to Wright’s Facebook page and enter. Tell them the Hunting Widow sent you!

Smoked Venison Chili

: a smoky flavor for a chilly night


  • 2 lbs ground venison
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 28-oz can plum tomatoes with juice, chopped
  • 1 tsp Wright’s Liquid Smoke
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, brown the venison and set aside.
  2. In a large, heave saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and peppers. Cook until tender (5–10 minutes).
  3. Add chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring frequently, for two minutes.
  4. Add the meat, tomatoes, and liquid smoke. Heat to boiling. Add a little water if it looks thicker than you like.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Copyright © Susan Rose.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

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