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Get in Gear for Green Chile Season with Special Class

By Jane Butel  May 21, 2024

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First, he said,"people don't like blue or green food and that is a huge turnoff--the title won't sell, he said.  He had lived out here in the rubber tire village during the "hippie era" and loved the dishes from here.  So he said,  "I'd like to buy the book for our Publishing House, Crown Publishing, but we have got to have the right to select the title".   Well the rest is history.   

They did publish the book, with the title of "Jane Butel's Tex-Mex Cookbook".  And it became a best seller and stayed in print with them for almost 25 years.  (It is now republished by Turner Publishing).  I  always thought the title was a bit of a misnomer, as the recipes are predominantly New Mexican, not Texan.  But as he described, "People know the phrase Tex-Mex and many have never heard of the nuances of New Mexican cookery."

In honor of mentioning the book here in this blog, I am placing My Tex Mex cookbook on special for the rest of the week for only $15.00, autographed.

This Thursday, May 23, we have our first of the season Green Chile Fiesta class and I thought you would like to come and get ready for the season, which will be here in a few weeks.  

Probably two of the most favorite ways to serve green chiles are in rellenos or stuffed or in enchiladas.  In this class I will be featuring them along with several other favorite dishes.

All chiles are extremely healthful, but they have different nutrition when they are red or ripe, than when they are green.  Yet, they come from the same plant.  Green chiles are very high in vitamin C and red chiles are very high in vitamin A and are the world's best anti-oxidant.  Anti-oxidents slow oxidation or spoilage.  This important quality made them a great benefit in times of old, before refrigeration was prevalent.  And of course, are the main ingredient in Carne Adobado, a signature and favorite dish of Northern New Mexico.

We just made some over the weekend in our weekend class and everyone really relished it.  Just in case you don't have my recipe for it, I am republishing it here as well as another favorite green chile dish.

Here's the recipes--

CARNE ADOBADO

(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) 

  1. 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.) 
  1. In the morning, stir and coat each pork chop with chile sauce. Stir and coat again.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Cover pan with lid or foil; bake chops, covered for the first 30 minutes.  Remove cover and bake 2 to  2-1/2 hours longer, spooning the sauce over chops every 30 minutes.  Let cool. 
  1. 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 and stir to coat the meat pieces.  If the sauce in the bottom of the dish is like thin gravy, no need to cover.  If it is thick, stir in water to make a gravy and coat each piece of meat and cover    Bake at least 30 minutes or longer at 250F  to allow the sauce to cook into the  pork.  When done, the meat should be a bright rosy red color and very tender.

CLAM AND GREEN CHILI

Clams are definitely innovative in chili! However, I have always loved New England style clam chowder and thought, why not marry the flavors—using the milder green chile flavor with the spiciness of chorizo to pep it up. It works, and I hope you enjoy it too.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

8 ounces Mexican chorizo
1 cup chopped onion (1 large onion)
2 large unpeeled russet potatoes, diced
3 large green chiles, parched, peeled and chopped—can be 1, 4 ounce can or ½ cup frozen green chile
2 fresh jalapenos, minced
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cumin, divided
1, 15 ounce can whole kernel corn
2 cups chicken stock
2, 6 ounce cans chopped clams
6 corn tortillas, cut into very thin strips
Pequin chile, to taste, optional

1. Remove casing from chorizo and coarsely chop. Place in unheated large 5 quart pot and sauté over medium heat until the chorizo melts and cooks—about five minutes. With a spoon, remove most of fat.

2. In remaining fat, sauté the onion until clear. Add the potato, chiles, garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, corn and chicken stock. Simmer until the potato is done, about 20 minutes. Add clams and remaining cumin. Taste and adjust flavors, adding salt if desired.

3. In the meantime while the chili is simmering, preheat an oven to 425 F. Place finely cut tortilla strips on baking sheet and place in oven until crisp—about 8 to 10 minutes. When tortilla strips are first baking, squiggle with a large fork to make them curl.

4. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls, then sprinkle with pequin if desired. Or pass the pequin for those who like it spicier.

 

 

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