My first experience with Green Chile (caps intentional and used out of reverence) was about 20 years ago. I had moved to Denver from Massachusetts; the only chili I knew was the red kind with lots of overworked finely ground beef and kidney beans. It was my first autumn in the southwest, and I was captivated by this new scent of roasting chilies wafting from the roadside stands with giant signs proclaiming: “Hatch Green Chile War!” Instantly, I was like a dog on point. I could smell chilies being roasted from a mile away. All of a sudden I was pursuing Green Chiles and Green Chile stews of all kinds, and they were everywhere. It was like hearing a new word for the first time. Among my friends there was much discussion and debate; I quickly joined the fray…thick or thin, tomatoes or tomatillos, potatoes, or flour, oregano or cumin, loin or shoulder. How could I have lived twenty-some years without even a hint of such an exquisite and complex thing? Such was the plight of a turtle-necked New Englander. I quickly developed a self-proclaimed sophisticated Green Chile palate, and, being a hands-on guy, I set out to make the perfect Green Chile. What I really learned over the last fifteen or so years is that Green Chile is as individual as driving, sex, or grilling…everyone has an opinion, and if you ask them they’ll tell you that theirs is the best. Here’s my opinion (with variations on the theme).
This so-called master recipe is the basic core of a traditional (my opinion again) southwestern Green Chile Stew sometimes referred to as New Mexico Green Chile Stew, or Pueblo Green Chile Stew. The recipe has as many variations as there are stars in the Taos night sky. I always serve mine with plenty of freshly browned warm tortillas. This is comfort food at its very best.
This recipe serves 6 with great leftovers
The Pork: I use pork shoulder (another name for this is butt) cut into 1 inch cubes. I use shoulder because 1) the price is right, and 2) it has far superior taste to loin cuts when cooked in this method. I use Niman Ranch pork from Marczyk Fine Foods which comes from heirloom breeds of pigs which are raised outdoors: not in confinement conditions. This yields a superior tasting pork (yes it even matters in a stew) and more highly developed connective tissue which lends an unmistakable pleasing texture.
The Green Chilies: I always opt for a milder Chile like Anaheims or Big Jims for this recipe, because the longer you cook the stew the hotter it gets. Plus, you can always add heat with crushed red pepper or cayenne, but you can’t take it away. I have had many Green Chile stews that were simply too hot to enjoy because someone tried to perfect the heat with their choice of Chilies. My opinion is that you should enjoy a slow steady gentle burn in your mouth–which makes you want to eat more.
The Recipe: (remember, this is peasant food, so don’t stress)
- 2 pounds pork shoulder cut into one inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium yellow onions: coarse dice
- 3 cloves finely minced garlic
- 1 pound peeled and diced tomatillos OR the juice of one lime
- 2 pounds flame roasted Green Chilies peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 pound very ripe tomatoes of any color: coarse dice (canned is fine)
- 4 cups pork, chicken, or vegetable stock, or water
- Kosher salt, pepper, and heating agents such as CRP, or cayenne to taste (add toward end)
Classic additional ingredients/variations:
2 pounds cubed potato or 2 tablespoons corn starch blended in ½ cup water or 3 tablespoons AP flour blended in ½ cup water.
Season pork thoroughly with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy shallow skillet until it just begins to glisten; add pork in small batches and brown deeply on all sides. The pork must not be crowded-we use a shallow skillet for the same reason-a deep one will steam and not brown the pork. Take your time and complete this step correctly-it makes all the difference. Reserve browned pork and save a bit of the rendered fat for the rest of the recipe. In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven gently sweat onions, garlic, and tomatillos in a some of the rendered pork fat (mo’ fat mo’ flavor). Cook until all vegetables are soft. Add the rest of the ingredients including the pork and cook until the pork is fork-tender…usually about 1-2 hours. About 45 minutes before you want to serve the Green Chile Stew add potato or other thickeners if desired also, and season to taste. Serve with warm flour tortillas.Tags: all natural meats, denver, Green chiles, Marczyk Fine Foods, niman ranch | Post Your Comments »
Root Vegetables and MM Local Pear Sauce
Latkes are a traditional part of celebrating Hanukkah, but I often see them make their way into Passover Seders. If you are planning on including them in your Seder this year and want to impress your guests with something a little out-of-the-ordinary, look no further!
These Rainbow Latkes look like a major departure from the traditional russet potato version. They take on a beautiful ruby hue thanks to the beets, but are also studded with carrots and purple potatoes to give you almost all the colors of the rainbow (once you add the chives, all we’re missing is blue!). The flavor is more complex and layered than the all-potato latkes while still maintaining that homey, comfort-food taste. The parsnips add a hint of herbal sweetness and the beets lend a pleasant, earthy fragrance to the dish.
I love to pair these latkes with one of my favorite new products - MM Local Pear Sauce. The rich, brown-sugar sweetness of the pears adds a wonderful contrast and feels unexpected and yet familiar at the same time. Once you try this version of the traditional side dish, you might just want to adopt a brand new tradition!
makes 12-14 latkes
1 medium russet potato
- 2 medium purple potatoes
- 1 large carrot
- 1 small parsnip
- 1 medium red beet
- ½ yellow onion
- ¼ cup matzo meal
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- ¼ cup chives, finely sliced
- MM Local Pear Sauce
Scrub root vegetables well and peel, if desired. Shred the potatoes, carrot, parsnip and onion on a box grater (alternatively, a food processor on the grater setting makes fast work of this step). Place grated vegetables in a large bowl and set aside.
Lay out some old newspaper to protect your work surface and grate the beet. Set the grated beet aside in a separate bowl and toss with the matzo meal. Add egg, salt and pepper to root vegetable mixture and toss well to combine. Add matzo-coated beets and toss quickly with a fork to minimize “bleeding.”
Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan well. Once oil is hot, reduce the heat, slightly, to prevent smoking. Wet your hands with cold water and form vegetable mixture into flat cakes, using about 1/3 a cup of the mixture per latke (you can use more if you like larger latkes). Gently place each latke in the hot oil and fry until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Allow to drain on newspaper or paper towels and serve hot, with pear sauce (or applesauce) on the side and plenty of chives sprinkled on the top.Post Your Comments »
Whitney is the merchandising guru at Marczyk’s. She touches practically all the Marczyk products, so has lots of time to consider how to use them. Here is her November pick, with recipe! Enjoy.
Picks of the Month: Kabocha Squash and Niman Ranch Chipotle and Cheddar Sausages
Here in Colorado, the cold weather has arrived! Our Denver trees are dusted with snow, and the market is abundant with local squash of seemingly endless varieties. While I tend to like pretty much any kind of squash, I have to admit that Kabocha is my all-time favorite. If you’ve never tried Kabocha squash, you are really in for a treat. Also known as the Japanese Pumpkin, the Kabocha is more intense, sweet, and vibrant-colored than regular pumpkins. The skin of this squash is edible when cooked, but since this soup is pureed it is best to remove it and use for making pumpkin stock. I used “Sunshine Kabocha” for this recipe (the bright orange-skinned variety) but green Kabocha would work just as well.
What you’ll love about this soup is the wonderful flavor contrasts of spicy and sweet. If you remove the seeds from the chipotles before adding to the soup, you will get a milder, smoky heat. If you want some sinus-clearing spice, there’s no need to remove the seeds. It might just be the tastiest cold medicine you’ve ever sipped! The addition of Yukon gold potatoes gives the soup a more creamy texture and thick body.
This soup also has my new favorite sausage from Niman Ranch, the uncured chipotle cheddar flavor. There are so many reasons why Niman Ranch is one of our favorite suppliers here at Marczyk’s - from their humanely raised “never-ever” meats (as in, never ever treated with hormones or antibiotics) to their environmentally sustainable farming practices - but the best thing about their meats is really the taste. These juicy and flavorful chipotle cheddar sausages have little pockets of melted cheese and the wonderful, smoky, spicy taste of chipotle.
Spicy Chipotle-Kabocha Soup
1 large Kabocha Squash (about 5 pounds whole, any color)
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
3 T butter
1/4 cup white wine
4 cloves garlic, minced
about 3 (1/4 of a can) Chipotles in adobo sauce, seeds removed and chopped
2 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cups of vegetable stock
Salt, to taste
4 Niman Ranch Chipotle Cheddar Sausages, sliced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prep the squash: halve the Kabocha and scrape out the pulp and seeds. Fill a large, shallow pan with about 2 inches of water. Place squash halves cut-side down in the pan and place in the oven. Roast until squash is very soft, about 30 minutes.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook until golden-brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Deglaze pan with wine and add chipotles and potatoes. Add stock and bring mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to allow the soup to simmer.
Once squash is cool enough to handle, peel away the skin, scraping any stubborn bits off with a spoon. Stir the Kabocha flesh into the soup and continue to simmer, covered, until potatoes are completely soft and the liquid thickens, about 30 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or a blender or food processor), puree soup until smooth. Season with salt. Add sliced sausages and cook another 8 minutes, or until sausage is nice and hot. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Tags: Add new tag, all natural meats, denver, Marczyk Fine Foods, niman ranch, Recipes | 11 Comments »
Wisconsin cheeses rock! Hard to believe this small state is setting the standard for artisan cheeses, but they are: they are the only state to require certification for cheese making. Europeans who moved here generations ago brought their craft, and the number of award-winning cheeses coming out of Wisconsin is amazing. Come try the ones we carry, like the Widmer’s Lagerkase brick cheese (Christopher’s fave) or even the cheese curds! Go to Marczyk’s website for a bread cheese recipe. Bread cheese does not melt when cooked, so you can grill it, heat it, and it holds its shape.Tags: artisan cheeses Denver, cheese, denver, marczyk denver, Marczyk Fine Foods Denver, recipes Denver, Widmer's cheese Denver, Wisconsin cheese Denver | 6 Comments »
Westword Newspaper has added a recipe section to their Cafe Society Blog, and we’re the recipe writers! Join Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane every week for an easy-to-follow recipe slideshow/video. Bacon candy, corn chowder, fried chicken, and what to do with all that zucchini.Tags: 4th of July, fried chicken, marczyk, niman ranch, Recipes | 2 Comments »
The word choucroute translates simply as fermented cabbage, or sauerkraut, as most of us know it. The earliest reference to sauerkraut in Alsace dates from the 15th century. For hundreds of years, until the early 1900s, Sürkrüt-schniders, or sour-cabbage cutters, toured the countryside, shredding cabbage to order. Today, choucroute has also come to mean a show-stopping dish of sauerkraut topped with copious portions of pork in myriad forms. No one at the Market loves pork more than D-Bomb, and no other dish shows off the love put into Marczyk Fine Foods’ meats, sausages, grocery items and wines like his two-pot adaptation of this definitive Alsatian classic.
“A great thing about choucroute is that you can make it your own without worry. All you need is plenty of pork, and plenty of love. The rest is in your hands. Don’t like kielbasa? Prefer Strasbourg sausages to brats? Have red potatoes in your pantry? Only need half the recipe? No problem! Be creative.”
Serves 8-10 easily (At D-Bomb’s house it serves 6)
1 28oz jar Gundelshein Barrel Sauerkraut
2 13.58oz cans Zuccato Crauti al Naturale
6-8 Frenched Pork Rib Chops
6-8 Market-Made French Sausages
2 Niman Ranch Ham Steaks or Petit Hams, sliced into chunks
1# Continental Veal Bratwurst or Stadium Brats
1# Continental Kielbasa
1# Continental Wieners or Frankfurters
1# Continental Avalanche Beer Brats
½# Applewood Smoked Bacon
2# Fingerling Potatoes, halved lengthwise
4-6 Apples, such as Braeburns, cored and sliced
1 Medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
Fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Bouquet Garni of 1 smashed head of garlic, 3 whole cloves, 6 juniper berries, and 6 coriander seeds, in cheesecloth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Bottle Riesling
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Clean and chop fruit and vegetables. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Coarsely chop bacon.
2. Render bacon in a dutch oven, or a large roaster (mine is 12”x20”x9” - huge) with a lid, over medium heat. Just before it is crisp, pull bacon and reserve on paper towels. Sear pork chops and French sausages in bacon fat til lightly browned. Remove and reserve with bacon. Add onions and apples to pan, and cook until soft, 10-15 minutes, adding a bit more bacon fat or oil if needed. Add pork chops, sauerkraut, bouquet garni, ham, bacon, sausages and half the bottle of wine. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook in oven until meats are tender, about one hour. While you’re waiting, drink the other half bottle of Riesling.
3. About 35 minutes before serving, place potatoes in a pot of salted water over medium-high heat and cook until tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
4. To serve, spoon sauerkraut onto a large platter, discarding bouquet garni. Slice kielbasa and large sausages, if desired, and arrange on platter with pork chops, potatoes, and small sausages. Garnish with fresh parsley. Smile as your guests’ minds are blown by pork love.Tags: Choucroute Garnie, pork | 4 Comments »