Thursday, January 5, 2012

Green Chile

Bear with me here, I have a much deeper post in the works. This one is just quicker to draft while I have a sleepy baby pawing at me from the other end of our breakfast bar stool.

My mom is visiting for a few days and one of the things I love to do most when she's around is cook.  She's phenomenal.  She seasons according to smell.  It's amazing.  James is also a natural in the kitchen, and a bit experimental.  Most of the times it turns out delish (then there was that time he added honey to corn).

Since I'm not quite yet comfortable in the kitchen when it comes to just whipping up amazing food from whatever I have stashed in the pantry, I absolutely adore Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine.  The best part (if you own an iPad): As a monthly subscriber to the print edition, you can also access the digital version through the Everyday Food app. They just recently made the digital version free to their paid print subscribers.  Heaven.

Anyhow, I had a hankering for comfort Mexican and was pleased to rediscover this great, green chile recipe in Everyday Food's October 2011 digital issue.

On making the following super-delicious dish, I have the following nuggets of wisdom to add (and to Mexicanify it a bit more.  I'm totally qualified):

1.  Season the pork with garlic salt and pepper before (or right when) you throw it into the heated oil to brown.  This was my mom's idea and she was right on.  Seasoning the pork while it's browning will add flavor to the actual meat when you bite into it, otherwise it tastes a little bland, unless you wait and have it the next day, which is what we did.

2.  Sub a can/bottle of Mexican beer for part of the recommended amount of water.  (Thank you, James.)  I'm not an expert cook, so I'm still a bit of a stickler for sticking to the printed recipe.  As such,  I measured the can of beer as I  poured (pretty sure the can of Corona came out to a 1 1/4 cup), and added a 1 1/4 of water since the recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of water total.

3.  Add a 15.5 oz (or more) can of black beans to the pot once you're ready to partially cover it to simmer.  This was also James' idea.

4.  If you happen to have Mexican rice around, throw that into your bowl before or after you've served yourself.  It adds to the chile's heartiness. 

Without the black beans and rice, the chile (in our collective opinion) lacked the heartiness chile is supposed to have. The recipe is part of a "chile throwdown" between four of the magazines cooks/editors.  James didn't think it had much substance to be chile if it was just green sauce with pork. 

So you see, this blog brings you all sorts of random nuggets of wisdom.  I'm like a box of chocolates.