26 August 2011

Recipe for Green Chili

This is how they do it at the Greeley
Farmer's Market
I celebrate my eighth year in Colorado this month, and I can definitely say that I have grown as a diner since coming out West.  It’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t know old women rolling suitcases full of homemade tamales down my street, dried mangoes dusted in chili pepper, and my personal favorite, green chili.  As a Midwestern girl formerly accustomed to a spice rack consisting solely of butter and salt, I could not be more grateful for the rainbow of flavors available in Colorado and New Mexico.  And I know this is coming from a transplant, so you don’t have to trust me if you don’t want to, but as a thank you, I would like to humbly offer my own version of green chili.  I go to my local farmer’s market and buy roasted chilies from some dude I can’t understand (because I’m just that damn lucky), but you can get respectable tubs of chopped, roasted Hatch chilies in the freezer case of most supermarkets, too.

Green Chili Deluxe

Serves 8

1 pound cubed pork (optional) (or you can use leftover shredded chicken or pork from another meal)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons white flour
1 can (14.5 oz.) crushed tomatoes
12 oz. vegetable or chicken broth
2 ½ cups diced green chilies (about 20 Hatch chilies)
½ cup frozen corn (optional)

Lime wedges, sour cream, and warm flour tortillas for serving

In a large Dutch oven, sauté the pork, garlic, onion, cumin, and salt over medium heat.  (If you’re skipping the pork, use about a tablespoon of oil to sauté remaining ingredients; if using cooked, leftover meat, use the oil and keep the meat in reserve for now.)  When onion is soft and garlic is fragrant, slowly add the flour and continue to cook, stirring continuously, until flour begins to brown.  Add some of the broth and scrape up all the onion mixture, incorporating into the liquid.  Add the remaining broth, tomatoes, chilies, corn, and cooked meat if you have it, stir, and cover the pot.  Reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least half an hour to allow flavors to blend.

Serve with lime wedges, sour cream, and flour tortillas on the side.