How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Chili Verde

Southwestern Cooking 1992, no author
Assembled by committee
This cover reminds me that I
sure miss saguaros!
On a very cold afternoon last week, I decided it would be a good day for an "original intent" recipe for this blog. That is, I would take take an actual cookbook from one of our shelves (we have a few shelf-fulls by now) and find something we had not prepared before.

Many of the recipes in this book are for dishes we have already prepared, either from similar recipes or from our own experiments born of seven years living in the Southwest.

I selected Chili Verde because it uses pork -- an ingredient we do not use very often -- and because it seemed perfect for fending off the cold winds of late January.

I began by cutting two pounds of lean pork shoulder into 1-inch cubes, and browning them in oil. I did this in two rounds to take advantage of our indispensable cast-iron skillet, transferring the browned pork to a deeper pot for the rest of the cooking.

I then added mild and hot peppers (seeded and chopped -- I use a variety of colors), cooking a few minutes to soften, and then scallions, and minced garlic. 

I then added cumin, coriander, and oregano -- if you are measuring these, you're not doing it right -- a can of chickpeas, and 3 cups of low-sodium chicken stock. (Beer or water are offered as alternatives). I cooked this for an hour (60-90 minutes recommended, but I had not started the recipe early enough to keep it lingering) and then added 2t corn starch dissolved in a small bowl of water, cooking for a few minutes further as a thickener.

The result was a thinner soup than any chili I have had, but it was delicious -- I credit the herbs. I chopped an avocado in 1/2-inch dice, tossed it with lime juice, and we used this to top each bowl. Avocado is notoriously quick to discolor, but the lime juice and a tight glass jar allowed us to keep half the avocado for leftovers the next day. Pam made delicious skillet cornbread for the second round.

This is a delicious, nutritious, easy, and cheap meal we will try again. 

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