Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Chili Verde

on July 10, 2014

 

 

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When I make a chili verde, these are the ingredients, along with…

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my poblano peppers and tomatillos. Let me go back a bit. The tomatillo, which are not related to the tomato but the gooseberry family, and come in their own wrapping. I peel the wrapping off 6-8 tomatillos, depending on their size, and along with 1 onion, 1 head of garlic that I halved, wrapped in foil, and 4 poblano peppers. On two separate sheet pans I roast the peppers with the onions and 1 garlic, and the other, the tomatillos. All the veggies with the exception of the poblanos get a drizzle of olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper. even the garlic.  I roast them all off at 425 for around 25 minutes. This is one of the steps I do in preparing the ingredients for my chili verde. I find it gives a depth of flavor to the chili. the first picture is my Mexican chocolate. It’s not sweet. I use it as a spice in the dish, that you’ll see later in the recipe. So now I prepare the meat. Usually I would use a pork butt or pork shoulder but in this case, I had a boneless pork loin on hand so I used it. Now the pork loin is a lot leaner than the butt so it will have to cool longer, but that’s fine because it’s one I planned to make on my day off. Now the loin comes tied up so I need to sear it off on all sides. To do this I’m going to make a little dry rub to go on the outside of the pork. It’s a really simple one. The loin is 3 pounds so I’m using equal parts 1 tablespoon each of cumin, ground coriander, dried Chipotle powder, brown sugar, Kosher salt, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. I mix all these spices together in a bowl, then I take it and rub it all of the pork loin on all sides. I have a large saute pan that really hot on the stove and I sear all sides of the pork off to give another depth of flavor to the chili. Once this is done, I have a large heavy bottom pot, like a dutch oven ready for the pork to go into. I time this so that when my veggies come out of the oven, I turn the temperature down from 425 to 350 degrees for the pork.

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In this pot I’m going to braise the pork for at least 4-5 hours. I’ve added 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth, 3 cups of orange juice, a small bunch of tied up cilantro leaves, 2 bay leaves,1 onion that’s been halved, and 1 whole jalapeno. The jalapeno will add some flavor but not a lot of heat to the braising liquid. You want the liquid to come almost all the way up the sides, but not to cover the meat, It should look like this. If you need to add a little water that’s just fine, I want to braise the pork not boil it. I bring this up to a boil first. Once this happens then I will turn it down to a simmer, and then put the lid on. I place this pot into a 350 degree oven for the next 4-5 hours. Around half way through the cooking process I turn the meat over and let it braise the rest of the way until it’s tender and almost falling apart. So now I’m going to pull all the roasted veggies out and reduce the temp on the oven for the pork and switch them out. You need to let the veggies cool for a bit before handling them, but the poblanos need to go into a bowl covered with plastic wrap so the skin will come off easy.

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After around 15 minutes I uncover the pobanos and peel the skin off and seed them. In a food processor I throw in all the seeded and peeled poblanos, half the roasted garlic,1 cup of cilantro leaves, the juice of one lime,  and the onion. I add a pinch of Kosher salt and pepper and a splash of chicken broth and pulse of the ingredients together. This is what you’ll have. At this point, you can take your time in doing the prep for all the veggies, because remember your pork will be cooking for a while. So I would say that after you have prepared all the ingredients for the chili just set them aside. You’ll want to have your pork shredded so that everything will be ready for you.

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This is a beautifully smokey,and garlic flavored puree that is going to bring this chili up to a level of perfection. The roasted tomatillos I have just quartered them and they are on stand-by waiting for their turn to be added. Another thing that I like doing is add another set of veggies that are not roasted but sauteed into the dish.This will give different textures to the dish. So I have 1 green bell pepper, the other half of the roasted garlic,1 white onion, and 2 seeded jalapenos, (of course you could use serrano peppers if you wanted to bump up the heat more), Later I’m going to add 2 cans of drained and rinsed Cannellini beans and the corn from 4 cobs.

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I have a great tip for getting corn off the cob and that’s to use a bundt pan. This way the corn won’t fly off the surface you’re using.

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Now In another large heavy bottom pot I like to toast of some ground spiced in some olive oil before adding these veggies. In a preheated pot I add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. To that I add 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon of  ground cumin,2 tablespoons of coriander, I let them toast in the oil for just a minute. You’ll be able to smell them right away.

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To the pot now I’m going to add all my diced veggies. I’ll saute them for a couple of minutes on med heat, until they get nice and coated with the spices before adding the poblano puree.

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To the diced veggies I’m going to add 1/4 cup of my Mexican chocolate, I do this now because I don’t want it to burn. I also add the juice of half of a lime and 2 tablespoons of Agave nectar and stir this all together. This will help to balance all the flavors.

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Now to this I’m going to add all the tomatillos.

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I also add a sprinkling  of Kosher salt and pepper and stir this all together. Now it’s time for the liquid. Remember the braising liquid the pork cooked in, well that’s good stuff. Use a slotted spoon and scoop out the onion, bay leaves, and jalapeno. They have done their work. Reserve 1 cup back, I’ll explain in a minute. The rest of the liquid is going into the chili.To the pot add the shredded pork in and stir everything together.

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I now add all of the braising liquid.

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You want the liquid to cover all the ingredients as if it was a soup like above. Now if you need to add more chicken broth or even water that’s fine, so long as it looks soupy. You see, we still have to add the corn and Cannellini beans to the chili and they will absorb some of the liquid while everything finishes cooking. At this point add the corn and beans to the pot and cook on med for another 45 minutes or so. The liquid will reduce and the chili will thicken some but not enough. Here’s what I do. After the 45 minutes this is what the chili will look like.

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At this point I taste the chili for seasoning, making sure I have enough salt and pepper in this dish. Depending on how thick you like your chili. Remember the 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid we had set aside, well in a bowl add 2 heaping tablespoon of corn starch and mix it with that liquid. Whisk those together until the corn starch is well combined and then pour it into the chili and stir it all around.

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Now after you’ve added the corn starch slurry to the chili let that come back up to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes and the dish is complete. The best part now are the toppings. I chose to make some crunchy tortilla strips, a sprinkling of cheddar and Queso Fresco cheese, avocado slices, and lime wedges to sever with mine.

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I ask you, can you taste the love that went into this dish, but wait I’m not done yet. How can you change this chili into something a little different the next day for leftovers. Dishes like this are always better the next day because the flavors just marry together and magical things happen. Since I spent a lot of time and love on making this dish. The next night I used a store bought short cut. Ready made pie crust. There are some great ones out there so don’t be afraid to take advantage of them. I took two of my pie dishes and laid out the bottom crust in each pie plate. Then I brushed the bottom with egg whites, so that it wouldn’t have that mushy pie crust on the bottom.I used a slotted spoon to fill the pies with the chili. This way if there were any extra liquid in the chili I would be able to strain it off and only get the thickest part of the chili into the pie.  Then I filled each with half of the chili that I had left over. Next I sprinkled some of the shredded cheddar and the Queso Fresco cheese on top. Then I placed the pie crusts tops on. Brushed them with an egg wash, and cooked them according to the directions on the pie crust box. There you have it, a taste of love in a pie.

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A few avocados on the top with some cilantro and there you have it.  Taste the love in my chili verde pie.

 

 


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