Sunday, September 26, 2010

Green Chile Stew and Homemade Tortillas

Growing up, I had the opportunity to live in Albuquerque, NM for a few years.  It was there that I was introduced to green chiles.  They are amazing.  Being rather young (upper elementary school) when we lived there, I don't know if I got to fully appreciate how amazing and unique New Mexico and its cuisine truly is, but one thing that remains distinct in my memory is that in the fall, the air would be perfumed with the scent of roasting chiles. 

Now living in Colorado, we are fortunate to be able to have access to fresh roasted chiles again.  Just recently, a stand (trekking up from the green chile-famed town of Hatch, NM) sprouted up near our house and I knew I had to get some.  Two bushels later, I have ten quart-sized freezer bags of green gold that I will be happily adding to quesadillas, chile relleno casserole, breakfast burritos, soups and more throughout the winter! Here's one of the first green chile recipes I made with my bounty!  We served it with homemade tortillas (well worth the little extra time over packaged!).  Scroll (way down) if you came just for the tortillas...

My box of freshly roasted chiles.  If it says "Hatch," you know it's the real deal!
Green Chile Stew and Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 medium onion, finely diced
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small tomato, diced
4 cups green chiles, roasted, peeled and seeds removed (see note)
2 cubes chicken bouillon
6 cups water
2 cups pinto beans (canned--drained and rinsed, or homemade--see earlier post on beans and rice)
2 small potatoes, large dice

Season cubed pork with salt and pepper and toss with flour.  In a large pot over medium high heat, brown pork, stirring occasionally to brown on all sides.  Add onion and garlic and allow to cook 2-3 minutes, or until onions are beginning to turn translucent.  Dump in carrot, tomato, green chiles, water and bouillon cubes.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours or until pork is tender and falling apart.  Raise heat to medium and add beans and potatoes.  Simmer about 20 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.  Feel free to garnish with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, etc. (but I like it just plain!) and serve with tortillas.

Notes on Green Chile:  If there aren't chile roasting stands near you, you can also buy fresh chiles in the grocery store (look for Anaheim peppers near where the jalapenos are kept--they can range in heat, but are generally pretty mild).  To roast them at home, you can put them on the grill or under the broiler, turning occasionally until most all of the skin is blistered and blackened.  Put into a paper grocery sack and allow to steam for at least 30 minutes.  Then, the skins will slip right off.  Make sure to wear gloves when peeling and seeding the chiles (better safe than sorry!).

If you are not as lucky to have access to freshly roasted green chile, don't despair, you can find canned ones in the Latino foods section of the grocery store.  Sometimes, you can also find green chile in the freezer section as well!  Also, the chiles can really range in heat depending on the variety.  We like mild ones (because we like to taste our food and so I don't burn my four year old's socks off), but you can get hotter ones, if you like. 

Finally, if you omit the potato and beans, you roughly have "pork green chile."  You can serve this also as a soup with tortillas or serve over (or in!) burritos.  Delicious!

Homemade Tortillas
(Adapted from Homesick Texan Blog--
2 cups flour (substitute 1 cup whole wheat for all purpose to make whole wheat tortillas)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
more flour as needed, for rolling

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder.  Add oil to warm milk and stir milk mixture into flour mixture until it forms a sticky dough.  Knead a few times in the bowl until dough becomes smooth.  Shape into a big ball, cover with a damp towel and allow to sit covered for 20 minutes.  Remove towel, form dough into small balls (you'll end up 10-12 for approx. 6" tortillas) and lay out on a flat surface.  Recover with towel and allow to rest for about 10 more minutes.  To roll out, scatter some flour on a smooth surface.  Using a rolling pin, roll out one dough ball at a time until as flat as you can make it.  Continue to roll out tortillas, covering them up as you go so that they don't dry out.  To cook, heat a dry skillet over medium high heat.  Once it's hot, lay tortillas, one at a time, on skillet.  Let cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until bubbles start to form on top.  Flip over (there should be brown spots on the bottom of the tortilla) and allow to cook about 30 seconds longer or until starting to blister and brown on the bottom side again.  Watch them closely, they can start to burn quickly! Serve immediately.  We like to spread them with a little bit of butter!

1 comment:

  1. Perfect timing!!! I was literally sitting down to locate a green chili recipe, because we're going to get some roasted chilis this week. Thanks Lauren!

    - Angela