A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reports that New Mexico expats (and those in the know) can now find good quality green chile in the freezer section of grocery stores in southern California. I’ve checked up here in northern Cali, and we’re not so lucky. So, as a good NM native living elsewhere, I have my green chile shipped in.
Years ago I’d show up at the greyhound bus station to pick up a pungent burlap sack of fresh green chile. I’d rush it home and we’d grill them on the outside barbecue, let them cool, then stuff them in quart-sized ziploc bags and pop them in the freezer. If we were discriminating in our usage, this could last us 2 years.
When that process got to be too time-consuming (can you say kids?), we instructed any and all guests from New Mexico to bring a small ice chest with them when they came to visit. This ice chest needed to be crammed full of hot, roasted, frozen green chile.
TSA regulations messed up that plan, plus our friends and family grew tired of schlepping us heavy frozen items, so we’ve now taken to ordering them online. This works pretty well, although one person’s “hot” might be my “mild,” and some years the most popular varieties might sell out before I realize my stash is low.
My darling husband recently found 2 packages of roasted green chile in the bottom of our freezer, and there was much rejoicing! We’ll use one package to add some spice to the leftover turkey in the guise of Green Chile Stew. Served with warmed flour tortillas and a Caesar salad, this is one of our family’s favorites. Enjoy!
Green Chile Stew
This very forgiving recipe can be made using chicken, pork, beef, hamburger, ground turkey, leftover turkey, or even TVP (texturized vegetable protein). It can be cooked on the stove or in a slow cooker.
Note: This ingredients shot is missing dried oregano.
2 large chicken breasts or 1 lb. lean pork or beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
1 to 2 15oz. pinto beans (I like a little more, but some might like less; modify according to your own taste)
2 medium Russet potatoes, cut into large, bite-sized pieces (Or approx. 8 small red potatoes, which I like because they don’t get mushy if overcooked — see below)
1 C roasted chopped green chile If you are lucky enough to live where you can get fresh roasted and peeled chile, that is by far the best; but in that case you may need to adjust the amount according to how hot the chile is — 1/2 C might be plenty.
1-1/2 to 2 tsp. salt Taste after it cooks for awhile and adjust accordingly.
1 tsp. dried oregano
2+ C water You’ll probably need to add more as it cooks, or use a little less if using a slow cooker (follow manufacturer’s recommendations for soup or stew)
Optional added decadence: Just before serving, add in a little roux (butter and flour) for thickening and added flavor, then cook the stew for a few more minutes until thickened. Yum!
- Saute onions and garlic in a small amount of oil or butter in medium large pot. Remove onions and garlic from pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, brown the meat until lightly brown on all sides, and then return onions and garlic to pot. If you’re using TVP, you’ll soak the TVP first and then add it to the pot in the next step. If you’re using leftover turkey, add it in the next step as well.
- Add other ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until potatoes are done. I sometimes just let it simmer longer because I like the smell and ambiance of a simmering pot of stew on the stove (be aware that regular potatoes can become really soft and mushy if cooked too long).
- If you’re using a slow cooker, just set it on automatic and cook all day.
Serve hot with warm flour tortillas and be prepared to want seconds. That’s why, even though it will make approximately 6 servings, it won’t likely serve more than 3 or 4 people, who will all want second servings!