Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring Has NOT Sprung

I walked outside today and a strange thing happened—I didn’t feel like the wind was going to rip right through me and freeze my insides.

This, I believe, is a good thing. Perhaps some people like frozen insides; I prefer mine slathered in sunblock with a hint of a tan. But it’s also a little sad, because in a few days February will be over. March will march on in and take over, leading us out of our winter caves towards spring. More importantly, chili—winter’s official food—will take a backseat to more summer-friendly fare. Everyone will start shedding their chili cravings like they shed their cable-knit sweaters.

So, I suggest that we all take advantage of these last few February days (and maybe some of the March days too?), and get our chili on.
The following recipe I found on a fellow food blogger’s site, after having some serious cravings for a green chili, or Chili Verde, I tried while visiting my dad in Colorado. The pork and tomatillo base is a great change from the traditional beef and tomato, but you still get that familiar chili torso warming.
Also: The grocery store near my apartment in New York has a great selection of produce and ethnic foods, so I was able to find the chiles and tomatillos pretty easily. But every store is different, so you may have to go to a Mexican/Spanish foods store to find some things. However, when I was in Arkansas, I checked at the Kroger in Hot Springs, and they had a better selection of tomatillos and chiles than my store ever has. I was quite surprised…So, like I said, it really just depends.
Chili Verde
Adapted from Meathenge

When to cook: on a weekend or a leisurely day, when you’re not rushing to get dinner on the table.

1½-2 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 poblano chiles, charred, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2-3 lbs fresh tomatillos, husks removed
1-2 cans of chicken broth
1 large white onion, chopped
6 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sea salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
Monterey Jack Cheese or Goat Cheese (both taste fabulous with this)
The original recipe suggests that you char the skins of the poblano peppers for maximum flavor potential. I suggest you do this, even though I couldn’t. The only open flame I could find was by lighting a candle, and that wasn’t very efficient. After you char the peppers, set in a paper or cloth sack for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, de-husk the tomatillos and wash. Pat dry and put in a roaster pan. Broil in oven until a bit blackened. Check every few minutes so you don’t burn them completely. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Cube up pork shoulder into approximately 1-inch cubes, and brown in pan. Add the minced garlic towards the end of the meat’s cooking cycle, and set aside when finished. Then sauté the chopped onions and put meat back in skillet. Turn heat to low setting. When the tomatillos are blackened and collapsed (they should be fairly squishy and juices should be running out of them), put them in a food processor or blender and chop up a little; then add to meat. At this point the pork, onions, tomatillos and juice from roasting pan should all be in the skillet, simmering on a very low heat. If you charred the poblanos, remove from bag and use a butter knife to scrape off the charred skin. Then chop up the chiles and jalapeno (be sure to remove the seeds), and throw them in the skillet. Add in the cumin, salt and pepper. Then add broth. Depending on how long you’re going to simmer the chili, you may or may not need to use both cans of broth. If you only want to simmer for about an hour, then don’t use two cans, but if you plan on letting it sit for a while, add both. Cover with a lid and let simmer for one or two hours. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and cheese on top and with a warm tortilla on the side.

1 comment:

Little Miss Tiara said...

wow.... that looks delicious, I should try it later, can I just change the chili with the one I have around here? lol x) it'll be hard for me to find 'you' chili here... ooo...