Happy St. Patricks Day! With all of our pre-occupation with the Corona Virus, I would like to offer some fun and healthful tips and ideas. Having more time on our hands--we can now cook some of those recipes that take more time to prepare and are so yummy. As far as Southwestern or New Mexican cookery goes--dishes with super health are Carne Adobado--pork steak marinated and then slow baked and shredded into large pieces. Or most any chili recipe with one of my most favorite being Bowl O Red, the original chili.
Or maybe you would like to make something green in honor of St. Patrick's Day--even though it might be a day or so later. Mole Verde is a yummy green mole made with all manner of greens with a chicken base. By the way, you can use our Hot Green Chile Powder for this. Or maybe a batch of Green Chile Stew which is always yummy.
Eating all kinds of chiles makes our immune system stronger and they keep meals more fun and exciting. So with this in mind, I am placing all of my green and red chiles on 25% off for the week, ending Saturday night. Also, perhaps with extra time, you might like to grow some of our wonderful chiles, so I am extending the half price sale until Saturday night. As soon as you get the chile seeds--you can start them indoors.
We hope this virus can pass very soon and we can get back to our regular schedules. Our next cooking class is Cooking with Chiles and Chocolate, set for 5 PM on April 23. We have only 2 spaces left. Let's hope we can cook together then. Also, we have a May 1-3 weekend cooking class and a May 14 Party Appetizers class and a June 4 Barbecue class planned. We are taking reservations and will reschedule if necessary (let's hope we don't have to.)
Following are my very favorite Carne Adobado and Mole Verde recipes--
(Pork with Red Chile Sauce)
This is one of the best, if not the very best-tasting, pork creations from northern New Mexico. Traceable back to Conquistador days, this dish has somehow never gained favor outside of New Mexico. I think it is because crushed caribe chiles are hard to find outside the area. I always make a full five and one half pound recipe because I like to have lots available for burritos, tacos, and enchiladas, or to serve over or under rice, beans or eggs.
Yield: 10-12 servings
1/2 cup crushed caribe chile
1/4 cup ground mild chile
1/4 cup ground hot chile
3 garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups water
5-1/2 pounds bone-in pork shoulder, cut into ½ inch thick chops (trimmed so as to keep a narrow layer of fat around the edges)
- Process all the ingredients except pork in a blender or food processor. Pour into a flat-bottomed glass baking dish. Dip each pork chop into the marinade and lay to one side of the baking dish as you coat the rest. Let marinate 30 minutes at room temperature, periodically spooning chile mixture over the top and turning chops over. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (The pork can be frozen for up to 3 months at this point.)
- In the morning, stir and coat each pork chop with chile sauce. Stir and coat again. Preheat oven to 325F (165C). Cover pan with lid or foil; bake chops, covered for the first 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake 1 to 1-1/2 hours longer, spooning the sauce over chops every 30 minutes. Let cool.
- Using a sharp knife, remove bones and pull meat apart with your fingers to shred the pork into about 25 cent size pieces—do not finely shred the pork.. Place shredded meat back in the baking dish. Bake 30 minutes to allow the sauce to cook into pork. When done, the meat should be a bright rosy red color and very tender.
Subtle and complex in flavor, this chicken is elegant enough to serve company. Don’t be
daunted by the long list of ingredients; the dish can be made in only about an hour. It’s absolutely
wonderful in warmed fresh corn tortillas with at topping of guacamole and sour cream; you
might also serve it over rice or with a side dish of stewed beans.
Yield: 6 servings
1 (3 lb) broiler-fryer chicken, cut for frying or chicken breast or thighs
About 3 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons juice from pickled jalapeno chiles
1 cup ground almonds
1 large onion, quartered
6 to 8 leaves dark green lettuce (romaine, leaf lettuce or outer leaves of iceberg lettuce)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley springs
1 large clove garlic
6 fresh or pickled jalapeno chiles, stemmed or green chile powder to taste,starting with 1 teaspoon
1/3 cup virgin olive oil
Salt to taste, if desired
12 corn tortillas, warmed, or 3 to 4 cups hot cooked rice
Guacamole, if desired
2 cups sour cream, if desired
- Place chicken in a single layer in a large pot. Pour in broth and jalapeno juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 35 to 45 minutes or until tender. Cool in cooking broth. Lift chicken from broth (reserve broth); discard skin and bones and tear meat in chunks.
- If you need to grind the almonds, grind them in a blender, using a pulsing action. Then preheat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. When oil is hot, add the ground almonds and sauté until lightly tanned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Then, to prepare the sauce, in a food processor or blender, add a cup of the reserved broth, then process onion, lettuce, cilantro, parsley, garlic, and jalapenos until quite smooth. Add additional chicken broth, a few tablespoons at a time, until mixture has the consistency of whipping cream. Set aside.
- Add pureed sauce to the toasted almonds and heat and cook until the sauce is somewhat thickened. Taste and adjust flavors. Then add the chicken and simmer together 10 to 15 minutes or until flavors are blended and sauce is hot.
- Serve in warmed tortillas or over rice, topped with guacamole and sour cream, if desired.
Note: For a slightly lower fat and calorie version, reduce the olive oil to 2 Tablespoon and thealmonds to 2/3 cup – any less really affects the flavor and texture.