You are what you eat?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tis the season! Green chile harvest!

Alrighty then. I've been slacking on the blog because I'm still not sure what I ......  want it to be when it grows up. But, I was thinking about writing out recipes and taking pictures etc etc and frankly, it sounded like a damn lot of work. So instead of sitting down and writing out another recipe and because it is chile harvest time, I thought I would post my green chile recipe and then add the pics later after we head out to Brighton and pick up our yearly supply of chiles. We usually buy them from Pete Palombo's Roadside Market and you can find the info on my yelp review for them here

Here's my basic recipe which changes as the mood strikes me but this should get the novice chile cooker a pretty decent bowl and you can go from here.

Doug’s Chile Verde Colorado

Pork shoulder 4-5 lbs bone in
2-27oz cans of Hatch whole green chiles (or strips, not diced)
20-30  fresh roasted green chiles (medium hot)
1 – 4oz can Ortega whole or diced jalapenos or 3-7 diced fresh roasted (fresh roasted are better. we buy a 1/2 bushel when we buy our chiles)
5-15 medium cloves fresh garlic  (or 5-9 cloves fresh and a whole bulb roasted or about 15 pre-roasted cloves. Start with less, you can always adjust.) A lot of leeway here depending on how much you like garlic
1 – box of good chicken stock or fresh stock
1 – 14.5oz can of fire roasted whole tomatoes (I had to edit this, I had the large 28oz can of tomatoes originally which still works but is a little too much. 8-10 roasted and peeled plum tomatoes is better yet.)
1 – 8oz can tomato sauce (optional, depends on your taste. Mom wouldn't, dad probably would I go by my mood)
6-8 tablespoons flour
1-2 teaspoons of fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste
sugar to taste ( a pinch or two to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes)

Pork Shoulder (butt) or any other cheaper cut that can handle braising cut into your preferred size. It usually works out to be about a pound per quart of chile (depending on how meaty you like it). For a 6 quart batch I'll usually use about 4-5 lbs of de-boned meat (but the bones do get browned and added for flavor). Finely mince a whole small bulb of garlic. (or combine ½ a bulb of fresh with a whole bulb of roasted. Sunflower sells tubs of roasted garlic. I’ll easily use a ¼ of a tub for a batch of chile)  I'll usually cube the pork to my mood (sometimes I go as large as 1 inch chunks for a stew style or as small as ¼ “ if I’m making the chile as an ingredient for another dish ie green chile mashed potatoes or breakfast burritos)  and then toss it in batches with enough seasoned (S&P) flour in a large ziploc so that it all gets a light dusting (usually about 2-3 Tbsp per bag). Brown the meat in batches (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) in a oiled hot cast iron pan with a healthy tablespoon of garlic added toward the end per batch, again seasoning it with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt.

Transfer the nicely browned cubes into a large stock pot that also has oil in it to prevent the meat from sticking. Put the stock pot on a medium low heat. When all the meat is done, add half a box of free range chicken broth that has been warmed in the microwave (or a can of good chicken broth or homemade if you have it on hand), two 27oz cans of whole Hatch chiles rough chopped (and all the liquid in the can) to the stock pot and raise the temp to medium to bring it up to just below boiling, stirring constantly. Lower the temp to med. low again when heated and allow this mixture to braise for about 20 minutes (the canned chiles will hold up to the heat better at this point and the added citric acid in the can chiles speeds up the break down of the meat) again, stirring constantly to prevent sticking or burning. Next add about 20-30 peeled and large diced roasted fresh chiles (your preference heat wise here. I usually use medium hot and also add 3 or 4 whole roasted jalapenos) for more chile flavor and let this simmer until heated through (about 15 minutes or so) again stir constantly.

Next add a medium can of whole tomatoes segmented and hard stem removed and/or a small can of tomato sauce (your preference depending on how much you like tomato but probably a good starting place fresh roasted and peeled tomatoes will give you the best flavor) with a small pinch of sugar to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes. Simmer this mixture until the meat is tender and adjust your seasonings to taste.

Add more chicken broth to your preferred consistency and start making tortillas! The amounts are all ballpark and have to be adjusted to your personal taste. If it's not hot enough (roasted chile batches vary a lot in heat) add more fresh roasted or canned jalapenos to raise the ante (never pickled jalapenos). I always add jalapenos for flavor.

Flour Tortillas recipe from Blanca Diaz' video
Flour Tortillas from Blanca Diaz’ video on youtube
(makes about 15 8-10 inch tortillas)

3 ½ cups all purpose flour  
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
3 ½ oz shortening  (7 tablespoons)
1 cup very hot water

knead for 3 minutes
let stand covered for 15 minutes
form into 1.5 oz approx balls (pinch like mochi)
cover with a clean cloth
roll out into an oval, turn 45 degrees, roll and turn 45 again, then roll into a circle
cook on a very hot comal until bubbles form then flip
wait until it fills with air then lightly press down with spatula and flip once more
place in tortilla warmer or cover with a cloth and continue until done