Green Chile Stew

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You guys!  My house smells like a bona fide restaurant tonight (and much of the day no less)!  I know I go back and forth with my subjects on this blog, but it all started out to share recipes.  Normally, I decide on a few main ingredients, research recipes and then merry a few into a creation of my liking.  But today was different.  I live in the Southwest.  I mean I live in the green chile capitol of the world.  Green chile is often an ingredient in New Mexican dishes, an undeniable tasty treat for most palates. 

A popular dish for natives and tourists alike is Green Chile Stew.  Normally consisting of a clear broth, garlic, onion, beef, seasoning and the glorious *green chile*…. Since it’s been a nasty windy weekend and today was going to be considerably cooler, I felt like this was my last weekend to make a scrumptious heart and tummy warming soup.  Since I generally don’t buy beef any longer, unless it’s a rare steak night or steak bits & crudités easy night, I searched the freezer for a good protein sub.  Enter pork chops.  Thick center cut boneless pork chops.

So here’s the scoop (if you want the short version – scroll to the bottom, otherwise read on)… this recipe is worth the day of intermittent cooking.  If you’re into de-gassing pinto beans, then soak your beans (1/2 pound or a pound if you want to save some for another dish) 24 hours, rinse and cook on high with a couple cups of water in your slow cooker for 6+ hours, add your favorite spices at about 4 hours in.  At about 6 hours into your beans cooking, grab some foil and light your grill (optimal temp 300-400 degrees).  Cut 4-6 tomatoes into quarters (I prefer Campari, but any other will do), quarter a yellow onion, slice a jalapeno (deseed – devein), slice up a few red or yellow baby bell peppers, wash and trim a handful or more of cilantro, throw in some carrot chunks, drizzle with olive oil, S & P, and whatever other seasonings you prefer.  Wrap veggies in foil and grill until super soft and the liquid that sweats is golden (usually about 25 minutes).  Whilst grilling the veggies, put 4-6 hatch green chiles on the top rack of the grill and turn every 5 minutes until the skin is brown and bubbly.  Once you’re chile is done, pull them off and place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap for about 30-45 minutes.  I let me veggies in foil sit on the grill while my chiles rest.  Also while the chiles rest, dredge your pork chops in a mixture of salt, pepper, flour, cumin and cayenne powder mixture (use the amounts you desire).  Heat a dutch oven with olive oil, and drop in two of your chops.  Cook 5-7 minutes and flip, then cover for about 5 more minutes and remove.  During the time that the chops are cooking, peel and deseed – devein your chiles (save seeds if you wish to grow your own)!  Roughly chop chiles and set aside.  Remove chops and cut into bit size pieces.  After removing your chops, grab a good bottle of beer and deglaze your pot, then add grilled veggie mixture and use hand blender to pulse into yummy veggie bites of fantastic!  Add pork, chile and 1/2 pounds of beans that have been simmering, season to taste, add a cup or so of water and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.  Serve any way you like.  For the men in my house, I added a few thin tortilla chips and topped with sharp cheddar and avocado.  If you want to keep it super healthy, omit the chips and cheese and top with the avocado. 

This is different from a traditional green chile stew.  But having had many versions, I’m telling you beans replace the potatoes well and the pork, well the pork (in my opinion) surpasses the chile with beef.  Hubby loved this version, the boy who does not particular care for my random recipes, ate his whole bowl.  Even our 18 month old crawled up in my lap and had a taste or two.  There are so many ways to change this recipe up, but I was trying for a unique take on a classic, and trying to keep it healthy.

Do you have a go-to recipe with Hatch green chile?  If so, I want to know!  Please share…. If you have no access to HGC (Hatch green chile), let me know!  I’ll find a way to get it to you… worth a try!

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Hubby’s bowl of yummy tonight!

 

 

 

  • 4 – 6 green chiles roasted or grilled & chopped
  • 4 tomatoes quartered
  • 1 yellow onion quartered
  • 1 jalapeno deveined & deseeded
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 2-4 baby bells deveined & deseeded
  • 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • S & P to taste
  • 2 – 4 garlic cloves
  • Cilantro (as much as you like)
  • 4 medium size center cut boneless pork chops
  • S & P, flour for dredging
  • 1/2 lb pinto beans slow cooked

Cook beans in crock pot 4 – 6 hours, adding whatever seasoning you prefer (I keep it simple, garlic powder, s & P, cumin).  In a foil packet, grill all veggies with seasoning & olive oil over temperature of 300 – 400 for about 45 minutes.  Grill green chiles about 20 -25 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.  Place chile in a bowl and cover in saran wrap for about 30 minutes to loosen skin.  Dredge pork in flour and seasoning mixture.  Cook in dutch oven, 4-5 minutes per side.  Remove pork, slice into bit size pieces.  Deglaze pan with 12 oz of beer or white wine (don’t skimp on this).  Add grilled veggies and puree, add pork, beans, chile, additional seasoning and water as needed.  Simmer 20 – 30 minutes.  Top with whatever you desire, avocado, cheese, sour cream, salsa… Get crazy & enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

REAL Red Enchiladas

And, yes – I do mean real red enchies!  Let me explain.  Born and raised in southern NM, my tongue and tummy quickly adapted to spicy chile, red or green of course.  Chile rellenos, tostadas compuestas, huevos rancheros, tamales, and last but not least – enchiladas.  After spending two decades in NM, I moved to northern AZ for school.  After about two months, my palate was bored with the bland; so I was excited to have found out about the ‘best mexican food’ restaurant in town.  While sipping on a margarita, I scanned the menu and drooled over the options.  Finally I decided on a combination plate of red enchiladas and a chile relleno.  When the food arrived, my eyes were wide with amazement.  Amazed at how different it looked and far from what I expected.  The relleno first was a true disappointment.  It looked to be a canned whole green chile, stuffed with cheese and wrapped with a fried egg.  What the what?  I still gave it a shot, but it never made it down the hatch and found a new home in my napkin.  On to the enchies, surely this would be the flavor I was missing from home.  Ummmm, no, the red sauce tasted like a funked up salty red gravy.  EW!  Needless to say, that day I found out the mexican food is truly regional.  I did eventually find some mexican food restaurants in AZ that were better than my first try, however, nothing (in my opinion) compares to the mexican fare of southern NM.

That said, here’s a recipe for Red Enchiladas!

Sauce

  • 1 dozen dried red chile pods (mirasol pods are the spiciest I’ve found)

  • 3 c chicken or veggie broth
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 c grape or cherry tomatoes, diced
  • Season to taste – I use mexican oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and 1 packet of Goya Sazon season

 

 

 

Boil chile in broth for at least 30 minutes, or until soft.  While chiles boil, combine garlic, onion, tomatoes and seasoning in pan with a bit of olive oil.  Saute veggies and seasoning about 5 – 7 minutes, remove from heat.  When chiles are softened, remove stems from and transfer entire mixture to a blender or use a hand-held mixer.  I usually opt for the blender, as red chile stains something fierce.  Pulse until mixture is smooth and transfer back to pot, also add veggies and seasoning.  Use a thickening agent such as flour or cornstarch.  Taste your sauce and season as needed.  I normally will add either homemade refried beans, whole beans or zucchini to make this casserole more filling.

While sauce is thickening, prepare a glass baking dish with a bit of olive oil.  Ladle a bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan.  You can use corn or flour tortillas, but I always opt for the corn (hint – Arizona brand corn tortillas are gluten-free).  To soften my tortillas, I rub a bit of olive oil on each one.  Layer the bottom of the pan with 6 corn tortilla, ladle sauce (and veggies or beans if you prefer a heftier meal), then top with a thin layer of shredded cheese.  Repeat as many times as you like.  I usually only have two layers since it’s just the hubby and I eating.  Otherwise, we’d have more leftovers than we can handle.  Top the last layer with cheese, and pop the baking dish in the oven and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes, slice and serve!  Traditional toppings are lettuce, tomato, onion and sour cream.  Of course, guacamole makes a great topping as well.  I like to serve mine with a southwestern style cole slaw, spanish rice, and/or beans.  Another great side is calabacitas (recipe coming soon)!

Enjoy!