24 April 2014

Vegetarian Chili Verde

Tomatillos are part of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green fruit. Sometimes called Mexican green tomatoes, the tomatillo looks like a small green tomato with a papery covering or husk. They have a distinctive tart and fresh flavor. 
Have you ever cooked with tomatillos? This was my first time and hopefully, not my last! A couple of weeks ago, I craved a hearty meatless meal but not one that skimps on flavor.
These tomatillos were the star of this chili.
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It also included yams, Yukon Gold potatoes, and poblano chilis.

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It was also my first time using hominy. Yum!

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Enter the diced green chili and poblano blend.

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Served with sweet, moist corn bread muffins.
Our family pretty much enjoys chili all year round. This was such a pleasant surprise from the normal turkey chili we usually have. It was hearty enough to satisfy yet packed with freshness and depth.
If you like salsa verde as much as I do, you’re going to really enjoy this chili!
*adapted from Giada’s recipe
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • One 8-ounce Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • One 8-ounce yam (red-skinned sweet potato), peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • 4 large cloves garlic, flattened, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large tomatillos (8 to 9 ounces), husked, rinsed, cored and chopped
  • 2 large poblano chiles (8 to 9 ounces), stemmed, seeded; 1 diced, 1 cut into 4 strips
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 28-ounce can hominy with juices
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • One 7-ounce can diced mild green chilies
  • Garnishes, such as crumbled feta cheese, chopped green onions, sliced avocados, and lime wedges.
Heat the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes, yams, garlic, tomatillos and poblanos. Cover and sweat until the onions are tender, stirring often to prevent browning, about 8 minutes. Mix in the oregano, flour, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the hominy with the juices and the broth and bring the chili to a simmer.
Place the green chiles in a processor. Using tongs, transfer strips of the poblano chile from the pot to the processor; blend just until smooth. Scrape the chile sauce into the pot.
Cover and simmer the chili 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer until the potatoes and yams are tender and the chili is reduced to desired consistency, stirring often, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Ladle the chili into bowls. Serve with garnishes and cornbread.

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