Pork and Poblano Chili with Tomatillos and Chorizo

I tried this recipe from finecooking.com and thought it was really good.  It’s also quite easy to cook.  With the prep involved and cook time, it does take a bit of time but the taste is well worth the effort.  Just remember to have the ingredients ready (mise in place) before starting so you can concentrate on cooking, not prepping, when its on the stove.

 

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INGREDIENTS

    • 4 to 1/2 Tbs. vegetable oil
    • 2 lb. boneless country pork ribs, trimmed of excess fat, and cut into 3/4-inch dice
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
    • 2 to 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 fresh poblano chile, chopped
    • 1 4-oz. can green chiles, drained
    • 1 fresh serrano or jalapeño chile, chopped
    • 2 Tbs. chili powder
    • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
    • 2 dried bay leaves
    • 3/4 cup hard cider
    • 2 to 3 cups chicken broth (homemade or lower-salt store-bought)
    • 7 cups cooked pinto beans (home-cooked or canned from four 15-oz. cans, rinsed and drained)
    • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped tomatillos (remove husks and rinse before chopping)
    • 3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
    • 1 Tbs. cider vinegar
    • Garnishes: Crumbled queso fresco, chopped browned chorizo, chopped fresh cilantro
  1. 20160313 164006 resizedHeat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a heavy-duty 6-quart pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Pat the pork dry, and season with 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Cook half of the pork, undisturbed, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Add another 1 Tbs. oil to the pot, and brown the remaining pork; transfer to the plate along with any liquid from the pot. 20160313 164835 resized
  2. Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. of oil, the onion, and garlic to the pot. 20160313 170142 resizedSprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the poblano, canned green chiles, serrano, chil powder, cumin, and bay leaves, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. 20160313 170350 resized
  3. Pour in the cider, turn the heat up to high, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.20160313 170816 resized
  5. Turn the heat down to medium low. Purée 1-1/2 cups of the beans in a blender or food processor, adding a little stewing liquid as needed, and then stir the puréed beans into the stewing liquid in the pot. Return the pork, along with any accumulated juice, to the pot. Add the remaining whole beans. 20160313 172126 resizedCover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. If the chili gets too thick, thin it with a little water.
  6. Add the tomatillos and corn to the chili and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with the garnishes. 20160313 194014 resized
  9. nutrition information (per serving): Calories (kcal): 730; Fat (g): fat g 35; Fat Calories (kcal): 310; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 12; Protein (g): protein g 48; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 14; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 58; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 740; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 110; Fiber (g): fiber g 17;

Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2012

Rodney Strong, Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2012

We tried this wine recently and the tannins were a bit weak with a ever so slight salty aftertaste.

Winemaker’s Notes

rodneystrong

A deep, saturated color leads to lifted aromas of blackberry, cocoa and herby black-currant, which is followed by a rich, layered mouthfeel, loaded with juicy black cherry, cedar, and crème de cassis. This wine is also elegantly structured with fresh acidity and ripe, mature tannins. Enjoy this vibrant Cabernet Sauvignon now and over the next several years.

Critical Acclaim

  • TP90
    Tasting Panel“Juicy and fresh with tangy acidity, plum, blackberry and toasty oak; smooth and balanced, long and bright. “

Pair this wine with a grilled steak or nice lasagna.

Courtesy of Wine.com

 

Salad Dinner

Any weeknight is a good time to make this delicious salad as your main course.

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Make a large simple salad and add some grilled bar-be-que chicken…

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Just slice the prepared chicken across the grain.  Serve up the greens tossed with your favorite dressing on dinner plates and top it off with the chicken and voila…dinner.  Enjoy.

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Preparing Eggplant to Cook

Eggplant

Eggplant

When working with eggplant, there are a few things that you need to know.  For example, eggplant can be bitter when eaten if not prepared correctly.  The most bitter part is just below the skin so cut the ends off and use your paring knife to cut the skin off.  Make sure that you cut away the darker flesh just below the skin as this is the part that is bitter.

Once that is done, you will want to slice the eggplant about 3/4 inch thick (if the recipe calls for slices) and lay them out on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and rub the salt in with your hands gently.

Sliced Eggplant

Sliced Eggplant

Let the slices sit out for an hour or so to let the salt draw out the bitterness and moisture of the eggplant.  Once the time has passed, rinse them off with water and pat dry with paper towels.

Now they are ready to use in your favorite recipe.

Quick Cucumber, Cabbage, and Scallion Kimchi

This a really easy and quick kimchi without using whey.  The natural lactobacillusNapa Cabbage on the surface of the vegetables can be harvested by using salt to get the fermentation started.

Just core a head of Napa cabbage by slicing it in half at the base of the head.  Cut out the core then cut cabbage into 2 inch pieces.

Put the cut cabbage into a colander that is sitting atop a room temperature skillet.

 

cucumberNext peel and cut into 2 inch pieces one cucumber and add to the same colander.

Coat the vegetables in 1/4 cup of kosher salt and mix together so all pieces are covered in salt.  Cover with a towel and let sit for 2 hours.

Don’t forget to save your scraps in a ziploc in the freezer so when the bag is full, you can make homemade vegetable stock.

While the vegetables are in the brine, make the sauce that it will be stored in.  This is where all the flavor is.

Kimchi sauce

Place vinegar, sweet chili paste, garlic, honey, and freshly grated ginger in a medium sized bowl and whisk together.

Mix kimchi

Once the vegetables are done marinating in the brine, rinse the salt off them with water and pat dry.  Place the vegetables in a bowl, add the sauce and scallions and mix well.

Kimchi

Place the mixture in a quart size mason jar and press down on vegetables to submerge in juice.  If the vegetables don’t stay submerged add just enough water until they do.

Refrigerate for 3 hours and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head Napa cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), outer leaves removed, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 2’ inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave
  • 3 tablespoons hot chili paste
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, freshly grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. Combine the cabbage and cucumbers in a colander. Add the salt and mix well. Place the colander over a bowl and let drain, covered, and until wilted, about 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the rice vinegar, sweetener, chili paste, grated ginger, and garlic into a large bowl and stir. Rinse off the salt from the cabbage. Pat dry and add to the vinegar mixture; stir well to combine. Add the sliced scallions and mix to incorporate. Put the kimchi into a sterilized glass jar and pack the cabbage and cucumbers down; add enough water to cover. Close the jar and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. May add or subtract chili paste to taste.

Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine

 

 

Mincing and peeling garlic

Garlic cloves

To quickly peel and mince garlic, start with the cloves you need and cut off either end of the cloves.

garlic ends

Place one clove under the wide part of your knife and use the butt of your hand on the knife to crush the garlic beneath.

garlic crush

When you lift the knife, the garlic underneath will be crushed and easy to peel.

peeled garlic

And chop into tiny pieces.

chopped

Mise en Place

Before you start cooking, you should have of your ingredients set out and prepped. Get everything you need ready on your counter before you start to cook.  This way, you are not looking for or prepping something you need while you are cooking.This is what’s called mise en place. It will save you time in the kitchen.