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Halloween Main Dish of the Day 10/10

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October 9th, 2004, 10:32 PM
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This savory dish, a variation of Sloppy Joes with a Halloween twist is very flavorful and unique. Sloppy Joes don't have to go far to look slightly disgusting and messy, and this version is sure to please all those sloppy eaters. This is also a very low fat dish that is perfect to serve to mixed company. Kids will love the sloppiness and adults will appreciate the slightly more "grown up" flavor. This is great on rolls or thick slices of French bread, my preference.

1 pound ground turkey
2 medium chopped onions
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree*** (Canned or Homemade recipe below)
1 cup crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt to taste

In a large heavy saucepan brown the ground turkey over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook until the onions are almost soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for additional minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

***Pumpkin Puree***

This is the essential base for making pumpkin bread, pumpkin pies, pumpkin soup, and many other dishes. Why would you do this rather than just open a can? This produces a much better quality pumpkin puree, which makes your whole recipe sing with flavor and is very simpleto make. In a pinch you can use canned solid pack pumpkin. This is so easy to do and tastes so great you will always wonder why you ever used that canned stuff.

1 three pound pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds and threads. Reserve the seeds for toasting and snacking. Place the halved cut side down on a greased jelly roll pan. Bake the pumpkin until it is very tender and can easily be pierced with a fork. A 3 pound pumpkin takes 1 hour, so vary your time estimates based on that. Set the pumpkin aside to cool. When it is cool enough to handle, cut the skin off with a sharp knife. Chop the flesh into pieces small enough to fit in a food processor and process until pureed. Leftover puree can be refrigerated for up to five days or frozen.
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