Monday, November 3, 2008

Green Chile Shopping on a Sunday Afternoon

I have to admit, there is nothing more heart warming or mouth burning than taking a trip down Sheridan or Federal on a fall afternoon for a bushel of Hatch, New Mexico roasted green chiles.  These delicious New Mexico treats, harvested late in the summer, make their way north to Denver only to find themselves in a pot with pork, onions and tomatoes for the perfect Sunday dinner or snack during the Broncos game.  

This particular stand on 64th and Sheridan in Northwest Denver offered a variety of flavors ranging from mild to dynamite (code for "OMG Hot")!  Should you want to sample the goods before picking your bushel, they just break open the chile and give you a bite!  This is not to be taken lightly, though, because whatever you bite into, you're going to have to swallow and suffer through so just make sure you're up for it!  Once you've picked your bushel, half bushel or whatever quantity seems appropriate, they throw it in a roaster where flames blister the skin of the chile and infuse it with that roasted flavor that will make your green chile stew the stuff dreams are made of!  Once our bushel was ready, they tied it up in a garbage bag and we headed home to start the stew.  

The smell of roasted green chiles will linger in your car and kitchen for the next few days so make sure you get enough of them to cover your cravings until the smell is gone!  The weather's getting cold so before the winter sets in, head on down to a roadside stand, grab a bushel and put it in your freezer, you'll be glad you did!  They freeze wonderfully but require a little work on the front end to peel the skin and de-vein and de-seed them.  Be careful, wear gloves and DON'T TOUCH YOUR EYES!

The recipe we use comes from a restaurant in Santa Fe called the Pink Adobe.  Enjoy!

Yield 6 Servings
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. boneless pork, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes
2 cups roasted, peeled and chopped fresh greeen chiles (USE RUBBER GLOVES!)
1 fresh jalapeno chopped (use gloves, take out membrane and seeds)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup chicken or beef broth

Heat olive oil in 4 qt. dutch oven with cover (a regular pot with cover will do). Add pork and cook until lightly browned.  Add onion and garlic and stir with meat. Add flour and stir 1-2 mins. Add tomatoes, chiles, jalapeno, salt, pepper and sugar.  Mix to incorporate.  Add broth.  Lower heat.  Cover pot and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours until meat is tender.

Serve with tortillas, shredded cheese and sour cream.

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