9 June, 2015
Green Chile Stew
When I relocated to New Mexico 25 years ago I was introduced to a lot of wonderful foods I had not encountered in other states. Some of them I already knew about and greatly enjoyed, some were new to me. One of the new ones was green chile stew. The first time I ate it I was in love. What a delightful concoction. Sometimes it is made with very hot chiles, sometimes, more mild ones. 25 years ago I ate the hottest of the hot. Now, not so much! I spent 11 years on the Ski Patrol. After being in the snow/cold all morning, when lunch time came I couldn’t get to the ski resort cafeteria fast enough for my big, hot bowl of green chile stew and a warm tortilla. What a perfect way to divide the cold morning on duty from the cold afternoon. Anyway, when diabetes came into my life I again faced the dilemma—how to enjoy a wonderful dish that, when made the traditional way, was carb heavy. Substitution/innovation. Traditional New Mexico green chile stew is made with potatoes. Pretty much a no-no for a Diabetic. There really does need to be a little bit of carbs in this dish for flavor and consistency. It just tastes as though something is missing if all carbs are left out, so I put in a can of white hominy. When I make this dish (as with many others) I make an enormous pot of it, have it for dinner, and freeze the rest in one-meal-sized containers for evenings when I get home from work just too tired or hurried to feel like cooking dinner. Here is the recipe I cooked this past week when we were expecting relatives from California. They absolutely loved it and asked for my recipe so they could fix it at home.
Green Chile Stew
( When I made this recently I simply used what was already in my freezer and/or pantry)
- 2 jars New Mexico fire roasted green chiles: Depending on where you live, these may be difficult to find. Any fire roasted green chiles may be used, just be careful and don’t use pickled chiles or jalapinos).
- 1 large can New Mexico green chiles, chopped, or whole and you chop them in a food processor
- 1 large sweet onion, diced.
- 1 (2lb or so) pork roast
- 1 1/4 cups carrots, diced
- 1 can white hominy (rinsed to remove the excess salt)
You can then spice the mixture to your liking – I used:
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed or ground garlic
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoon dry cilantro
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
I made this over two days just so I would not have to spend so much time cooking while my guests were here. I also took the time to throw in a few extra steps just to remove excess (unnecessary) fats and calories. You can take these extra steps or not, depending on how serious you are about “eating clean” as I call it.
Place the pork roast in large crock pot and pour all of the green chiles, diced onion, diced carrots over it. Cook on low over night. (extra step to remove fat: remove roast to a plate to cool. Pour the contents of crock pot through a colander which is over a large kettle. With the back of a spoon, press the contents of colander so all the liquid drains into the kettle. Let this liquid cool, then place in refrigerator for a couple or three hours. The fat will rise to the top and solidify. Remove and discard this fat, so that your liquid is now basically fat free.) When the roast is cool enough to handle, scrape off the layer of fat that is on one side of it. With a sharp knife and your fingers, shred the pork roast.
Open the hominy, pour it into a colander, rinse with cold water. (this just removes the excess salt that manufacturers always put in canned food). In large soup pot, combine shredded pork, the de-fatted liquid, all the green chiles/onion/carrots, and all the spices. Simmer on very low for 30 or so minutes so the spices well permeate the stew. Enjoy!
When served, some people will sprinkle some grated cheese on top, some will put a dollop of sour cream on top, some will squeeze a half lime over it—-whatever you like. Eat it with a warm flour tortilla.