Monday, January 31, 2011

Tomatillo Cilantro Chili

Its been a while since my last post. A lot has happened. Alycia and I relocated to the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. I will be starting up a mobile food truck to service the Durham area. Ideally, to be launched in September of 2011. In the meantime, ruminations on recipes and wine...

Tomatillo's are delicious. I didn't know how delicious until I found them in a grocery store for a salsa verde. I grilled pineapples, diced them, tossed in some cilantro sauteed onions and garlic. I then sauteed the Tomatillos and was instantly hooked. They are now an official obsession. Eggs in the morning with salsa verde, the above salsa on any meat (mostly pork) and now this chili. I was recently in White Salmon, WA watching my two cousins. One in particular is a classic growing boy that consumes food and milk with an insatiable appetite. He needed to be stopped. A big bowl of chili was in order; I could ladle this stuff endlessly. However, they expected more from me than just any old chili. It had to be different. Enter the tomatillo, this would be the substitute for the usual red chili they were used to. It was also Sunday and my uncle Frank had friends coming over; lots of mouths to feed. I also whipped up a homemade french onion dip that I remembered Jennifer Nelson making for a super bowl party. Perfect game day grub.

2 lbs. of Tomatillo's, diced
1 large Onion, diced
2 small Jalapenos, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Can White Navy Beans
1 Lbs. Ground Pork
1 Bunch of Cilantro, diced
1/2 Tbsp Ground Fennel
2 Tsp. of Dried Oregano
1/2 Tbsp of Ground Cumin
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth/Stock
Salt to taste

Grated Cheese for garnish (I used Parmesan since it was in the fridge, cheddar is obvious but great, monterey jack with red pepper flakes...)

Serves 6 healthy portions

1. The dicing is the bulk of the work. Use anyone close by to help. After that, drizzle some oil at the bottom of the pot and place the tomatillo's, onion, garlic, bell pepper, chx broth and jalapenos into large stock pot, creuset, sauce pan or other 3.5-5 quart pot.
2. Put the cover on and cook at medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Stir.
3. Add pork, navy beans and all the spices. Increase temperature to med-high and stir. Cook for 10 minutes.
4. When the Chili is finished, turn off the heat and add the cut cilantro. Always do this last. Cilantro cooks and wilts quickly and its best served fresh. The minute this herb hits heat the flavors start to dissipate. Top with grated cheese and go at it.