Locally pastured pork butt and chopped yellow onions are browned in a bit of pure leaf lard, then slowly simmered for hours in a base of homemade chicken stock with roasted tomatillos, jalapeños, poblanos and garlic. Seasoned with toasted cumin & coriander, Mexican oregano, sea salt and cracked black pepper..
Chili Verde may be served with any number of toppings or accompaniments; grated cheese, diced onions, and sour cream are common toppings, as are broken saltine crackers, corn chips, cornbread or rolled-up corn or flour tortillas, though I often just serve it as-is alongside of pot of Frijoles charros.
Hefty chunks of heritage pork and white onion are seared in a spoonful of seriously hot lard (gasp!) then slowly simmered in their own juices with stock, roasted tomatillos, Poblano and jalapeño peppers, garlic, cilantro and lime. Served with fresh white corn tortillas on the side..
Classic Chile Verde (adapted by recipes by Diana Kennedy and Simply Recipes)
1 pound fatty pork loin or shoulder, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 white onion, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 fresh red or orange Anaheim, Poblano or other mild fresh chile (for color, optional)
2 fresh green Anaheim, Poblano or other mild fresh chile
1 fresh jalapeño pepper
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon clean white leaf lard
2 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 pound fresh tomatillos
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 scant teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
freshly ground black pepper
Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse under cold water to remove sticky residue. Split tomatillos in half across the equator and arrange cut side up in a foil-lined skillet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt then roast along with the green chiles in a 450 degree oven until softened and partially charred. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, melt the lard in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the pork, onions and red or orange pepper and fry without moving until deep golden brown on one side. Use a tong or slotted spoon to turn the pork and onions over and continue to cook until well browned on the other side. Reduce heat to medium low, add the garlic and cook one minute. Add the stock and oregano cover and slowly simmer 60 minutes.
Peel the chiles, discard the stems and seeds and add to a blender or food processor along with the tomatillos and cilantro. Pulse until mostly smooth, leaving a few small chunks. Pour blended mixture into the pork and stock and stir to combine. Simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally until pork is fork tender, about 30 minutes. Add lime juice and season to taste to salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve hot with freshly made corn tortillas.
Local, pastured chicken is seasoned with cracked cumin, sea salt and black pepper, then quickly roasted before being lacquered with a densely-flavored, traditional red mole. Topped with toasted sesame seeds and minced onions & cilantro, and served with stock-simmered bomba rice with onions, green chiles and fried plantains..
Mole Rojo Clasico (recipe by Rick Bayless)
5 ounces (2-3 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cup (about 6 1/2 ounces) sesame seeds
1/2 cup rich-tasting pork lard or vegetable oil, plus a little more if necessary
3 ounces (about 6 medium) dried mulato chiles, stemmed, seeded & torn into large pieces
2 ounces (about 4 medium) dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded & torn into large pieces
2 ounces (about 5 medium) dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded & torn into large pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) unskinned raw almonds
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon anise, preferably freshly ground
1/8 teaspoon cloves, preferably freshly ground
1 slice firm white bread, darkly toasted and broken into several pieces
1 ounce (about 1/3 of a 3.3-ounce tablet) Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
unrefined sugar to taste
On a rimmed baking sheet, roast the tomatillos 4 inches below a very hot broiler until splotchy black and thoroughly soft, about 5 minutes per side. Scrape into a large bowl. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirringly nearly constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes. Scrape half of them in with the tomatillos. Reserve the remainder for sprinkling on the chicken.
Brown other mole ingredients. Turn on an exhaust fan or open a kitchen door or window. In a very large soup pot (I typically use a 12-quart stainless steel stock pot or a medium-large Mexican earthenware cazuela), heat the lard or oil over medium. When quite hot, fry the chiles, three or four pieces at a time, flipping them nearly constantly with tongs until their interior side has changed to a lighter color, about 20 or 30 seconds total frying time. Don’t toast them so darkly that they begin to smoke—that would make the mole bitter. As they’re done, remove them to a large bowl, being careful to drain as much fat as possible back into the pot. Cover the toasted chiles with hot tap water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to insure even soaking.
Remove any stray chile seeds left in the fat. With the pot still over medium heat, fry the garlic and almonds, stirring regularly, until browned (the garlic should be soft), about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove to the tomatillo bowl, draining as much fat as possible back into the pot.
Add the raisins to the hot pot. Stir for 20 or 30 seconds, until they’ve puffed and browned slightly. Scoop them out, draining as much fat as possible back into the pot, and add to the tomatillos. Set the pan aside off the heat.
To the tomatillo mixture, add the cinnamon, black pepper, anise, cloves, bread and chocolate. Add 2 cups water and stir to combine.
Blend, strain, cook. Into a large measuring cup, tip off the chiles’ soaking liquid. Taste the liquid: if it’s not bitter, discard all abut 6 cups of the liquid. (if you’re short, add water to make up the shortfall). If bitter, pour it out and measure 6 cups water. Scoop half of the chiles into a blender jar, pour in half of the soaking liquid (or water) and blend to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a large bowl; discard the bits of skin and seeds that don’t pass through the strainer. Repeat with the remaining chiles.
Return the soup pot or cazuela to medium heat. When quite hot, pour in the chile puree—it should sizzle sharply and, if the pan is sufficiently hot, the mixture should never stop boiling. Stir every couple of minutes until the chile puree has darkened and reduced to the consistency of tomato paste, about a half hour. (I find it useful to cover the pot with an inexpensive spatter screen to catch any spattering chile.)
In two batches, blend the tomatillo mixture as smoothly as possible (you may need an extra 1/2 cup water to keep everything moving through the blades), then strain it in to the large bowl that contained the chiles. When the chile paste has reduced, add the tomatillo mixture to the pot and cook, stirring every few minutes until considerably darker and thicker, 15 to 20 minutes. (Again, a spatter screen saves a lot of cleanup.)
Simmer. Add the broth to the pot and briskly simmer the mixture over medium to medium-low heat for about 2 hours for all the flavors to come together and mellow. If the mole has thickened beyond the consistency of a cream soup, stir in a little water. Taste and season with salt (usually about 4 teaspoons) and the sugar and keep warm.
For the Green Chili Bomba (adapted from a recipe by Rick Bayless)
1 cup bomba rice (a special type of Spanish paella rice)
3 cups rich chicken stock
1 cup yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons rendered chicken fat
1/4 thinly-sliced green chiles
butter or peanut oil
Place the rice in a strainer and rinse under cold, filtered water until the water runs clear. Allow to drain 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock until steaming.
Heat the chicken fat in heavy, high-walled skillet until shimmering. Add the rice and stir constantly until it floats freely in the hot fat. Add onions and chiles and cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add chicken stock and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and cook without stirring 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 15 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork just before serving.
Season chicken joints with salt, pepper and cracked cumin and roast in a heavy skillet in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven, dunk chicken in mole and return to pan to the oven for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove pan from oven, baste chicken with more mole and allow to stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fry slices of ripe plantain in hot peanut oil or butter until deep golden brown on both sides. Set aside to drain.
Arrange chicken on one side of plate and spoon a little mole over the top. Garnish with toasted white sesame seeds, minced onion and cilantro. Arrange rice next to the chicken and garnish with fried plantains. Serve hot.
Fideo con Pollo (Sopa de Fideo con Pollo) is a traditional, Spanish soup made with roasted chicken, fresh tomatoes, stock, garlic, onions and cumin with fat-fried vermicelli..
half of a small roasted chicken
3-4 cups homemade chicken stock
2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat
3-4 fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 Spanish onion, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cup straight fideo (vermicelli) or 2-3 vermicelli nests
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 fresh jalapeño, diced (optional)
1 tablespoon safflower flowers (optional)
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
sea salt queso Oaxaca or other soft, melting cheese
Roast a chicken in the usual fashion and allow to cool enough to handle. Pull the meat and skin from 1/2 of the bird and tear or chop into largish pieces. Set aside.
Heat chicken fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and vermicelli and sauté until the pasta is brown and somewhat crisp. Add tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add chicken, stock, tomato paste, safflower, jalapeño and black pepper, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is done. Adjust for salt, then ladle soup into individual cazuelas or soup bowls and serve piping hot with queso Oaxaca and torn cilantro.
Hatch chilies and roasted tomatillos are simmered in chicken stock thickened with fresh corn flour and served with cumin-fried black beans and garlic-roasted chicken..
For the Beans
1 cup dried black beans
3 cups filtered water
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon leaf lard
1/4 teaspoon epazote
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Rinse beans and pick over. Put in a bowl, cover with cool water and allow to soak overnight. Drain, rinse and put into a heavy saucepot with 3 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving some of the liquid and set aside.
Toast cumin in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Add lard, onions and tomatoes and cook until onions are brown and tomatoes have lost their shape. Add beans, a little bean cooking water, oregano and epazote and simmer, uncovered until tender, about 20 minutes. Add a little water if necessary to keep beans from drying out. Mash beans with the back of a wooden spoon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the Chicken
fresh chicken pieces
1 tablespoon pastured butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Melt butter over medium heat then add garlic, paprika and chipotle and allow to steep 15 minutes. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Brush liberally with butter mixture and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 375 degree oven, turning twice until juices run clear, about 35 minutes.
For the Green Chili Stew
1 pound tomatillos
1/3 pound fresh Hatch or Anaheim chilies
1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white onion, minced and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon piloncillo or rapadura (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse corn flour
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Remove stems and husks from tomatillos and rinse. Split in half across the equator then place face down in a heavy skillet and roast until browned. Transfer roasted tomatillos to the bowl of a food processor and coarsely pulse together with chilies, cilantro, garlic and onion. Transfer mixture to a heavy saucepan, add 1/2 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add vinegar and piloncillo and simmer 20 minutes. Add corn flour, stir and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon fried beans in the center of a serving plate, Ladle green chili stew around the perimeter, then arrange pieces of roasted chicken over the top. Garnish with chopped cilantro and dress with crèma Mexicana or sour cream.
Fresh pork belly is pan-seared, then braised until tender in a rich stock with fresh herbs and vegetables..
Serves 2 (adapted from a recipe by Tom Colicchio)
2 6-7 oz pieces fresh, skin-on pork belly, at least 2 inches thick
2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons unroasted organic peanut oil
1 stalk celery plus a little extra, sliced
1 small carrot plus a little extra, sliced
1 large green bulb onion plus a little extra, chopped
1/4 cup arugula chiffonade
1 teaspoon dried red tomatoes, crumbled
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon savory
1 teaspoon raw cider vinegar
coarse sea salt
smoked black pepper
thick slices of wild yeast sourdough
homemade coarse mustard
raw cheddar cheese
Heat the oil in a large small skillet over medium heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper and put in the skillet fat side down. Cook until the skin is browned (about 15 minutes), then transfer to a plate.
Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat and add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are tender and slightly brown, about 20 minutes.
Return the pork belly to the skillet, fat side up, and add about 1 1/2 cups of stock (it should surround but not cover the meat). Bring the stock to a simmer, then transfer the skillet to a 350 degree oven. Gently simmer the pork, uncovered, for 1 hour, then add another 1/2 cup of stock. Continue cooking until tender, about 1 hour longer.
Allow the pork to cool in the braising liquid. Remove the pork from the liquid, then gently lift off and discard the skin. Score the fat, making a crosshatch pattern.
Turn up the oven to 400°F. Strain the braising liquid, discarding the solids. Return the liquid to the skillet, bring it to a simmer, and skim off the fat. Return pork, fat side up, to the skillet. Add vinegar, dried tomatoes, herbs and freshly chopped vegetables, then transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the pork is heated through and the fat nicely browned, about 20 minutes. Add arugula and serve hot with thick slices of toasted sourdough thinly-spread with coarse mustard and topped with melted asiago or raw cheddar cheese and fresh rosemary.