Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Earl’s Green Chili

Okay, raise your hand if you have had a loved one respond “I don’t know” or “I don’t care” when you ask them “what do you want for dinner”?  It so frustrating! All you want is a little direction, a little help in the creative process. Leaf Cutter Designs now comes to your rescue when you need a little to nudge to get the creative juices going. It is as simple as a “roll of the dice”.  
Leaf Cutter Designs markets their dice as a way “to inspire spontaneity and exploration in the kitchen.” I have to say it helped me produce a delicious dish that I dedicate to my deceased Stepfather, Earl, who loved the traditional Green Chili from his native Colorado.  
There are a total of 12 dice. On my first roll, I was able to pick out six dice that immediately made me start thinking “Tex-Mex.” The first six dice where pork, potato, rice, bell pepper, chili flakes, and tomatillo. I placed the other six dice back in the jar, rolled a second time and got a tomato, lime juice, lettuce, oregano, cabbage, and cheddar. This was very good and very bad. I was glad to see that I could eliminate some the dice because at first I had no clue as to how to incorporate lettuce, oregano or cabbage into my “Tex-Mex” dish.  
I started looking through my cooking magazines and I ran across a recipe in the All Recipe September/October 2015 for Mile High Green Chili. Not Tex-Mex, but similar in spicy flavors. My plan was to make enough Green Chili for two nights. The first night, I would serve it my husband’s favorite way over rice. The second night, I would serve it my Stepfather Earl’s favorite way, in a burrito. I also figured out a way to incorporate all the ingredients from all the dice. The lettuce would work on the burrito, the Mexican Oregano would taste great in the stew and I could use red cabbage as a garnish for a nice crunchy texture. 

Earl’s Green Chili – Served Two Ways/Two Nights/4 Servings
By:  Linda M Seasons to Seasonings
Adapted from: Mile High Green Chili, September/October 2015 All Recipe Magazine, Page 55 or online at Mile High Green Chili - Allrecipes

Ingredients for Green Chili
1 pork tenderloin, cubed (bite-size pieces)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tomatillos, husked, peeled and chopped
2 Anaheim chili peppers, stem removed, seeded and chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, stem removed and chopped
1 green pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped
1 small white onion, peeled and chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of lager-style beer
1 ½ to 2 cups beef stock
10 fingerling potatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup red cabbage, sliced (for garnish)

First Night Extra Ingredients:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups cooked rice
1 lime, cut into wedges

Second Night Extra Ingredients:
4 large flour tortillas
Bag of mixed lettuce
Cheddar Cheese, grated

Directions for Green Chili:
1.   In large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat.
2.   Add chunks of pork and brown, 3-4 minutes.
3.   Remove to plate.
4.   Add another tablespoon of olive oil to Dutch oven.
5.   Add garlic, peppers and onions to Dutch oven, saute for 4-5 minutes until tender.
6.   Add beer and 1 and 1/2 cups of the beef stock.
7.   Add oregano, cumin, chili powder and red pepper flakes.
8.   Add tomatoes, tomatillos, potatoes and browned pork.
9.   Bring to boil.
10. Reduce to low, let simmer for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring. 
11. Add additional beef stock, as needed.
12. Place in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Directions to serve Green Chili over Rice on first night:
1.  Divide Green Chili into two equal batches. Place one batch into refrigerator for second night.
2.  Place cream cheese in large bowl.  Add 1 cup hot Green Chili to bowl and mix well. 
3.  Add a 2nd cup of hot Green Chili to bowl and continue to mix well. 
4.  Slowly add Green Chili with cream cheese back to original pot.  Mix well. 
5.  Serve immediately over cooked white rice, garnished with sliced red cabbage and a lime wedge.

Directions to serve Green Chili Burritos on second night:
Heat 2 1/2 cups of green chili in microwave safe dish (cover with paper towel) for 5 minutes.   Place ½ cup of green chili in each flour tortilla.    Divide remaining sauce on four plates.  Roll the filled tortillas and place seam side down on plate.  Top with a lettuce, cheese and red cabbage.
NOTE:   I adapted the original Mile High Green Chili from a slow cooker recipe to one using the stove top/oven.    This allowed me to start around 4:30 and dinner be ready to serve by 6:30.  Using a pork tenderloin cut into pieces will give you tender meat.  The long slow cooker method is needed in the original recipe to get the pork shoulder nice and tender.  

I did not add cream cheese to the batch for the second night, just to change it up a bit  However, if you decide to, do it the night you serve it, it will be better.

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