I thought I would share a recipe that I taught to cooking class here last night. Green chili peppers are popular here in Colorado and especially irresistible when you walk by the chili roaster at the farmers market.
Here is my own take on Green chili stew. I don't know if this recipe is authentic or not but most green chili recipes seem to have pork in them. I added in potatoes for the vegetarian version and liked it so well I added them to the meat version too.
Just a note on nutrition. Green chili peppers are high in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A. Capsaicin has anticoagulant properties which may help lessen chance of heart attacks. Lots of good antioxidants in green chilies.
Okay, here is my version of a Colorado classic. By the way, at cooking class, i thought I would tone it down by skipping the jalapeno and it was bland. I ended up adding jalapeno back in half way through. It may be easiest to use a portion of canned jalapeno if you are worried about cutting it up.
All amounts are approximate, it is fine to vary this recipe.
7-9 large mild green chilies, more is better *
Oil, vegetable or canola,( or you could cook a few slices of bacon to throw in and cook in some of the rendered bacon fat)
2 lb. pork for chili, more or less ( trimmed and cut up loin or shoulder would be fine) [ You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or skip meat for vegetarians but pork tastes great!)
1-1 ½ onions, diced
1-2 jalapeno, de-seeded and finely minced in food processor or by hand OR use a couple TBSPN canned
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3-4 cups of broth or 1 can chicken broth plus 1-2 cups water
5-6 medium red potatoes or 3 or 4 large russets, peeled and chopped
Cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon pepper, kosher salt, black pepper – some to sprinkle meat before cooking and then starting with about ½ tsp.each – add to taste.Maybe a pinch of red pepper.
Optional-1 can diced tomato or a couple fresh, seeded (visually nice to keep this white and green but tomato tastes good-your call)
A TBSPN or two of lime juice
1 bell pepper diced
1 can white kidney beans or Pinto beans ( may use one can of each)
* This can be made partially with canned green chilies if fresh chilies are not cheap. I usually use a couple small cans along with 5 or so chilies except during summer months when there is an abundance of fresh Anaheim, poblano/ Pasilla or New Mexico chilies. These are in order of hotness. I like to mix Anaheim and poblano.
Anaheim are mildest, great for dicing, pureeing and perfect addition to most Mexican dishes. Skin can be tough and so it is best to roast and then peel skin.
Poblano or Pasilla is my favorite, especially for chili rellenos . Thinner skin and both hotter and sweeter than Anaheim but they often cost more. Dried it is called Ancho. While it is great to roast and peel these, it can be difficult sometimes, I am not sure why. If you have difficulty or if you want, puree these without peeling and see what you think. I think skin is even thinner in summer.
New Mexican chilies are a lot like Anaheim with a deeper, hotter flavor. These are not as hot as jalapeños but can be a bit intense for some palettes. They are best roasted and peeled. They have an awesome flavor.
Jalapeños are not mild but not too hot if you remove the seeds and white ribs inside. I use gloves to do this and am careful not to touch my eyes or breathe too deeply. Once cooked it is much less caustic. I really like the idea of canned jalpenos! Just use a Tablespoon or two and freeze the rest for next time.
First roast the mild chilies. To roast, Clean chilies, but don’t dry. You could remove top at this time or later. Place on foil on a pan and spray or brush with oil. A note on spraying with oil- never use commercial spray for this! I bought a Misto oil sprayer and I love it. You can just put olive oil in it and pump it up and spray. Brushing with oil is fine too but a Misto may be good if you use things like Pam now for stuff.
Broil on high, watching carefully till skin is blistered and black. With tongs, turn chili during broiling.
Remove and roll chilies up in foil for at least 15 minutes. Unroll and let cool. Remove top, seeds and skin. Mince chilies or better yet, place in food processor and purée. ( I throw in the garlic, too) I don’t roast jalapeños. This can be done ahead of time and even be stored in freezer for whenever you need some.
If I have my food processor out, before I purée the chilies, I use it chop the jalapeno as finely as I can. Add a little lime juice to help with the process. Then I add the chilies and continue to purée both together.
Heat a bit of oil or 4-5 slices of bacon in large pan, heavy dutch oven is best. Pan should have generous width. You can do this while chilies cook. If using bacon, cook till crispy and remove from pan (re add when you add cooked meat back to pan later) but leave the rendered bacon fat and just add some olive oil if needed.
Sprinkle spices and plenty of salt over pork( or chicken) and brown pork pieces over med heat , being careful not to crowd pan or turn them too soon. You can do this in batches. Let them sit and brown and check one after a couple minutes. If it releases and is brown turn them over. Remove to plate as they are brown on all sides.
Once all meat is browned and removed from the pan, add onion and sauté over low heat for 5 minutes. Add pureed chilies and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Add potatoes and about a ½ tsp of all the spices and maybe 1 tsp salt. After a minute, add broth, water, lime juice, tomato if using and bring to low simmer over low heat and add pork back in but hold off for 15 minutes if you are using chicken.
After 15minutes check spice level. If it is not spiced to your liking, add more a little bit at a time, but be go slow, it can sneak up on you. This dish can be pretty spicy depending on the heat of the chilies so make sure before adding more. Then add minced bell peppers and chicken if using. Add more water or broth if desired. I like a soupier consistency so I add another ½ -1 cup.
For richer texture, dice a few corn tortillas and throw them in with the bell peppers. This will help thicken consistency and give a nice flavor.
Continue low-med simmer for about 20-30 more minutes. Check meat, potatoes and overall consistency.
Quick fry some corn tortillas in veggie oil to serve. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot. Or may serve with corn bread. Can top with cilantro and sour cream.
To make this vegetarian, skip the meat :-) (really?) and use the tomato and two cans of beans, one pinto and one white kidney. I would also add the 2nd Jalapeno for extra punch. Use veggie broth instead of chicken.
Recipe byDenise Birdsall All rights reserved. October 2010