I can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I feel like I have been living in denial that the Holidays are fast approaching. This year I am feeling a little bittersweet for the Thanksgiving Holiday. I will be in Mexico City this year, away from my family and friends. It is hard to get into the Thanksgiving mood here for a few different reasons. First, the weather has been gorgeous. I am used to the cooler Fall temperatures in the MidWest. Secondly, all the Holiday decor went from Dia de los Muertos/ Halloween straight to Christmas!
I know that Thanksgiving isn't celebrated here in Mexico; however, I think it's important to honor both my culture and Hector's Mexican culture. Additionally since Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, I still plan on have a little Thanksgiving celebration next Thursday. I'm not 100% sure what I will be on the menu, but this recipe for Mexican Braised Pumpkin & Seitan would be a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving menu.
Mexican Braised Pumpkin & Seitan is one of my new favorite recipes that would make for a great main entree or even a side dish to your Thanksgiving table. This recipe for Mexican Braised Pumpkin & Seitan is relatively easy to make. It is also a healthier option for Thanksgiving. Seitan gives the casserole some extra protein, while the pumpkin is filled with tons of vitamins. The recipe is adapted from Rick Bayless's Smoky Braised Mexican Pumpkin Recipe .
Seitan and onion are sautéed until browned, then a chipotle & tomatillo salsa is added along with roasted tomatoes. I used fresh tomatoes since they are in season here; if tomatoes aren't in season where you live I recommend using canned Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes. Using the canned tomatoes makes this recipe even easier. For extra nutrition, chopped swiss chard is added to the mix.
The chopped pumpkin is placed on the bottom of a glass baking dish. Then the cooked seitan and salsa mixture is placed right on top. My mixture was pretty liquidly from the tomatoes and tomatillos, so I didn't need to add any extra liquid. If your mixture doesn't have much liquid, add a few tablespoons of water to the seitan mixture before adding it to the pumpkin. There needs to be some liquid in the baking dish in order for the pumpkin to be braised.
The casserole goes into the oven and cooks until the pumpkin is tender and the sauce has reduced. It's so easy & very delicious!
This Mexican Braised Pumpkin & Seitan is best served with freshly warmed corn tortillas.
- 2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, or to taste
- 3 Cloves Garlic, left in skin
- 6 Tomatillos, husked, rinsed and halved
- 4 Ripe Roma Tomatoes, or 1 15 ounce can Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 8 Ounces Homemade or Store Bought Seitan, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 Medium White Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Small Mexican Tan Pumpkin or Pie Pumpkin, roughly 2 pounds, about 4 cups cut into ¾- 1 inch pieces
- Warm Corn Tortillas for serving
- First make the salsa: Heat a comal or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the garlic, tomatillos, and fresh tomatoes if using. Roast the garlic for 5 minutes, or until blackened in a few spots. Turn the tomatillos often and cook until blackened in spots, about 4-7 minutes. Roast the tomatoes about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until blackened. Let cool
- Peel the garlic when cool enough to handle. Transfer to blender along with the tomatillos and chipotle peppers in adobo. Blend the salsa until everything is blended together.
- Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and roughly chopped. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy skillet heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chopped seitan and onion. Cook until the seitan has started to lightly brown, about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the reserved chipotle salsa and tomatoes and sea salt to the seitan and onion mixture. If your mixture doesn't have much liquid add in a little bit of water. It'll just depended on how juicy the tomatoes are and the salsa.
- Stir in the swiss chard.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a 9 X 9 glass baking dish, places the pumpkin in an even layer. Pour the seitan mixture over the top. Do not stir together.
- Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 40-45 minute, or until the pumpkin is tender. Remove the tin foil and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced.
- Serve immediately will freshly warmed tortillas.
The recipe is adapted from Rick Bayless's Smoky Braised Mexican Pumpkin Recipe