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New Mexico Chile Verde

Sep 10, 2012, 6 a.m.

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Jan D’Atri

I’m always looking for “the one.” You know, the one recipe in any ethnic food category that you can count on time and time again to be a crowd pleaser. For Italian food, it’s usually my Momma’s Scaloppini a la Marsala. For Spanish cuisine, I have an all-time favorite and authentic Paella recipe I found in Barcelona. I have featured Hungarian Goulash, Swedish Oven Pancakes, Oriental Cole Slaw, New England Scrapple, Philly Cheesesteak, English Trifle — the list of regional recipes goes on and on.

Sometimes you’ll send me recipes with in-depth stories about the memories behind the meals, which I love. Sometimes I’ll simply get a recipe saying it’s a family favorite. I’ve come to know that if you believe the dish is good enough to pass along, more than likely it’s a winner, and I’m grateful that it has landed in my lucky hands.

Now you have another one in the New Mexican cuisine category — a fabulously simple, incredibly tasty recipe for New Mexico Chile Verde from the Griego Family in Northern Arizona. (I made it with a combination of fresh Hatch and Poblano chiles, and it was sensational.) There’s a fun surprise in the recipe, a method I had never seen before, and it really adds to the flavor of the chile verde. It’s flour that you cook in a dry skillet until it turns light brown and imparts an amazing toasted nut aroma. Simply wonderful!

Get those flour tortillas warmed up and pour yourself a big bowl of Griego Family New Mexico Chile Verde. It’s the perfect dish to celebrate Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16!

NOTES from the Griego Family: Great when served with warm flour tortillas, fresh beans and rice. You can also use it for burritos. Makes about 10 cups. This is especially good when made the day before — it allows the flavors to blend.

Griego Family New Mexico Chile Verde

2 lb. lean pork meat, cubed (boneless chops or loin)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons salt (or salt to taste)

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 sweet yellow onion, diced

1 (8 oz.) can Contadina tomato sauce

1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes

3-4 cups green chiles - roasted, peeled and chopped (frozen or fresh)

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon oregano (fresh preferred)

Directions:

Step 1 - In a heavy frying pan, brown flour until a light toast color. Stir constantly to keep from burning. Set aside to cool.

Step 2 - Quickly brown meat in half of the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy skillet. When almost brown, add salt, garlic, chopped onion and remaining oil. Saute until onion is transparent.

Step 3 - Remove from heat and stir in flour, mixing thoroughly. Add chicken broth, stirring constantly.

Step 4 - Put back on heat and stir until thickened.

Step 5 - Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, green chile and oregano.

Step 6 - Cover and simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Suggested Toppings: Chopped green onion and grated mild longhorn cheese.

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