Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Going Green

As I mentioned in the previous post, I had grand plans for my Monday evening. They were somewhat, slightly thwarted by my over zealous excitment to pre-make dinner for Tuesday evening. CB&SK were coming over for games and dinner on Tuesday and I wanted something super easy to serve and have been keeping an eye on a recipe over at the Well Fed Network.

The most exciting thing about the Chile Verde recipe had to be using tomatillos. I've never cooked with them. I've grown them when I was a kid in the country, but I've never cooked with them or eaten them in a homemade recipe. We had them in manufactured salsa, but again, not homemade.

What fun was in store! (recipe at the end)

Get your tomatillos. Peel the papery skin off and rinse them.

You'll need some Poblano Chilis and Jalapenos. 6 Poblanos and 3 Jalapenos. Rinse those guys as well.

The inside of the tomatillo.

For this recipe, we toss the tomatillos under the broiler to get all golden, scorched and delicious. They have lots of liquid in them that releases when heated.

The peppers are also roasted. Usually I roast my peppers on the stove top. Since I was roasting the tomatillos, I just did them the same way. Turn them about half way through.

Everything's ready. And that's pretty much it. The only thing not shown is some broth. I used three pounds of boneless pork loin chops, trimmed and cubed. 2 onions, diced. Some garlic--which I roasted with the tomatillos and peppers--I used less than the recipe called for, because I'm an idiot--5 cloves intead of a full head. The recipe called for whole cumin seeds toasted and ground. I was lazy and used the ground cumin on my spice rack. The other jar of seasoning, I picked that up in Puerto Rico. Salt, Pepper, Garlic and a few other mild flavors. I like it and have used it in several dishes since I've picked it up. A nice all purpose season salt.

The Chile after cooking for awhile. The recipe makes about a full quart of chile. Which was enough for four grown men to have hearty servings and a few smaller servings left over for lunch. I made the chile on Monday night and reheated it and served on Tuesday. Let those flavors do their magic!

The final dish. I served the chile over rice and topped with a dallop of sour cream and chopped cilantro. It was delicious. I had a second, smaller helping. The peppers bring a heat, but it's pretty mild and slightly sweet. The pork was tender and absorbed many of the flavors.

Chile Verde
(recipe from Well Fed Network)

3 pounds of pork shoulder or sirloin of the same - Cube it
5 or 6 poblano chilies
2 small yellow or 1 large white or whatever - Dice it
1 head of firm & happy garlic - Smoosh and mince
1 heaping tsp of good salt (or none, you make the call)
2 tsp toasted cumin seeds, then grind to powder
2+ fresh, hot chile peppers - You decide
enough chicken stock, mebbe a quart or so
1.5 to 2 pounds fresh tomatillos
cilantro to finish, if you like

Before you do anything you need to broil the tomatillos until they’re pretty. Remove the husks and rinse before you broil, foo.

While they’re doing their thing, fire roast the peppers. Once they’re all black and happy, toss in to paper bag for 10 minutes. Scrape off the skin, do not do this with water. No washy away tasties, get it? Cut stem and remove seeds. Dice ‘em up.

Whiz the roasted tomatillos just a bit in a blender or food processor, all mooshy.

I’m going to make this REALLY easy on you. Get a huge pot and throw everything in there at once and cook it. Simmer until its done or your ready to eat, this is 2, 3+ hours.


Dancer in DC said...

This was definitely yummy - spicy but not too hot.

I think it's versatile enough that you could use any kind of meat you like - chicken, maybe andouille sausage or even beef. Or perhaps you leave out the meat, and you have an amazing chile sauce for use in enchiladas or something!

ScottE. said...

Oh Smarty Pants...good idea making this a chile sauce for something else good and delicious. It certainly wouldn't need to cook as long, which would be nice.

CB said...

It was soooooooo yummy. I had no idea I was eating something completely new. Definitely a keeper of a recipe.

ScottE. said...

Had a leftover bowl for lunch...great! It holds up really well and is totally filling. The heat appears to strenghten a bit, but not too bad.

Bryce Tugwell said...

Wow guys, that looks awesome - I am going to have to try that recipe out.

Unknown said...

Another little version!

2 lb of chicken breasts, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 TB olive oil
1 heaping tsp salt & pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
3-6 poblano chilies, sliced in half, seeds removed
4-6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced in half, seeds removed
1.5 to 2 pounds fresh tomatillos
chicken stock/broth, 2-4 cups
cilantro to finish, if you like

Peel and rinse the tomatillos, cut in half. Place cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the peppers and garlic cloves on the pan as well. Broil until soft and charred. Check after 10 minutes. Remove garlic if it is browned first. (Burnt garlic will ruin the whole thing)

Whiz the whole bang in a blender or food processor, all mooshy. Set aside.

In a large pot, sauté onions in olive oil until soft. Add chicken. Stir until no longer opaque. Add salt, cumin and fresh ground pepper. Add smooshy tomatillo blend. Top with chicken stock/broth. Simmer until bubbly and yummy.