Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 26: Chile Verde

I am...not sure how I should feel about being unemployed. For one thing, it's not as though we need the money; we don't exactly live high on the hog, our car's paid off and Dan's student loans are not unreasonable. My job has not exactly been my favorite place in the world lately, and the daily dread of what fresh hell awaited me every morning isn't something I'll miss. On the other hand, I was looking forward to getting pregnant again (hell, I've been looking forward to it for a year now) and I liked all the not worrying about money. But to all my real-life friends who've been so sweet and supportive and wonderful, my work people who were shocked and sympathetic on my behalf, and of course my husband and my son, thanks so very much for being everything that you are.

As usual, when I'm feeling a little bruised, I'm craving spicy. This is a widespread, modernized version of a rustic classic Southwestern stew. The easy thing to do here is to use canned chilles, available in the ethnic food aisle of almost any grocery store in the country, but for a real treat, find fresh Anaheim peppers and roast and peel them yourself. This goes great with a sprinkle of cilantro, a few diced tomatoes, and maybe a drizzle of sour cream over the top.

Chili Verde

3 pounds boneless pork, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced small
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 jalapenos, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon oregano (fresh) or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cans peeled whole green chiles, drained
2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chile peppers, oregano, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is softening, about 5 minutes. Remove the mixture to a large stew pot.

In the same frying pan, add as much pork as will fit in one layer. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat until browned. Remove to the stew pot and repeat with pork until all of it is cooked.

While the pork is browning, cut the canned chiles into 1/4 inch dice. Add the chiles to the pot, along with the stock, and 3 cups water. Bring to a biol. Reduce the heat to the barest simmer, and partially cover the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 hours, or until the pork shreds easily when pressed with a wooden spoon. Serve with garnishes and flour or corn tortillas

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