My third Bountiful Basket was an adventure in cooking with random co-op vegetables. This week the starring role was played by a dozen fresh green chilies.
What the heck was I going to do with green chilies?
My big tough husband has a delicate flower of a digestive tract. He is allergic to a wide range of weird foods (lettuce? seriously?) and just won't eat a lot of others. My children are both currently experimenting with the air plant diet. Anything remotely new and/or different prompts a food strike of epic proportions. Sometimes it seems like they subsist on a diet of simple carbs. I'm afraid they are going to get scurvy or rickets or whatever disease it is when you only eat from one nutritionally sparse food group.
So. Green chilies. Thank goodness for Google! After a quick perusal of about a million variations of green chile casserole and green chile stew, I finally settled on a recipe from All Recipes for Roasted Green Chile Stew. It seemed harmless enough: pork and potatoes to absorb any heat the roasted chilies brought to the table. Enough other spices that it wouldn't just taste like boiled chilies. Super!
I decided to roast them on the grill. (And besides, T likes playing with fire, so if he grilled them we could have a little quiet hanging out time.) The recipe said to give them an even char all over, so that is what my sweet grill master did. He charred them within an inch of their lives! After I sweated them in a tupper, I tried to peel off the charred outer skin. Um, the char went all the way through! Out of the dozen chilies, maybe four of them yielded a usable product. Sigh.
The rest of the recipe went without incident, but I tweaked it a bit to suit my family (recipe as I made it below). I doubled the broth and tripled the potatoes. I mashed up a few of the potatoes to give the broth a little more body. The end result? There was no heat to speak of. The pork was super tender and it had a great texture. Delicious!
Or so I thought.
Q refused it entirely. The slightly greenish tint of the soup was WAY too foreign for him. Z fished out all of the pork and potato pieces, but only because she was trying to eat just enough to get dessert afterward. T forced down a minuscule portion and loaded up on crackers. Shortly after dinner, he emerged from the bedroom pale and sweaty and pronounced my delicious stew to be 'devil soup.'
Huh. Oh, well. More for me!
Pork, Potato and Green Chile Stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cubed
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 large roasted green chiles
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
- salt to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cubed pork, garlic, onion, cumin and oregano. Cook and stir until pork is browned.
- Cook and stir for a few more minutes, then pour in half the vegetable broth. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and enough broth to cover them to the stew, and simmer for about 35 minutes. You can roast your chilies during this time, peel, seed chop and add to the stew. If the stew becomes too dry, add a little more broth. When the potatoes are soft and the pork is tender, add the tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and serve. It's delicious with a dollop of sour cream on top!