Sunday, January 4, 2009

Chile Verde FTW!

Of late I have been craving Chile Verde. It's one of the few things I really was missing about living in Oklahoma. I've never made it before, but today I decided to bite the bullet and make some. Pork, Tomatillo, Peppers, Yum.

I suspect there's a few places in Milwaukee to get good Chile Verde, but hey, I was in a mood. Also, Jess generally doesn't like Mexican food. Probably because she falls in the intersection of "dairy allergic" and "thinks cilantro tastes like soap" which makes most stops at Mexican restaurants a less than pleasant experience. Since I can swap out the cilantro for Flat Leaf Parsley when I make it I figured this might be a way to have my cake, eat it too, and learn something new.

Mmmmmmm...... Cake. But I digress.

The recipe I followed was from Hot Sauce Blog and it was really good. I found a few others but almost all of them involved a pork shoulder and took a few hours which I didn't have -- this one took about an hour and a half or so including prep. In retrospect using a pork shoulder probably would have been better in terms of the texture of the meat, so maybe next time I'll find a slow cooker method. Regardless it was really good.

I did make some variations to the recipe to note:
  • Dialed down the Jalapeño from 4 to two. Next time, two Jalapeño and two Serrano peppers.
  • As mentioned, swapped the cilantro for flat leaf parsley.
  • Served with rice and tortillas. The rice helped thicken the sauce a bit without needing to pick up a big thing of Masa flour.
  • Added some oil when browning the meat.
  • Added salt and pepper at various steps of cooking (meat, onions, at simmer)
  • The pork tenderloin I got was nearly free of fat, so instead of draining the juices from the resting pork I added it back to the pot. All flavor, all good.
  • Since the meat was both lean and the sauce was thin, maybe next time I'll quickly dredge the meat though some flower before browning so it'll thicken during cooking and have a better chance of browning without overcooking the meat.
  • When the onions were done and it was time to add everything together, I added half a cup of the chicken broth to the onions first to deglaze the pot. Since I don't have a food processor and was using a blender, I used a cup of the broth to rinse out the blender to get all the peppery goodness poured into the pot.
  • Omitted the Jalapeño powder because I'm trying to save a buck and didn't want to spend money on it. Also, I'm a tad chicken when it comes to super spicy food.
  • Served with a squeeze of lime juice.
The result was fantastic. We were were planning on having the leftovers for dinner tomorrow but Jess is now thinking lunch instead because she "doesn't want to wait a whole 24 hours for more."

Cake, Ice Cream, and a Pony.

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