New Mexican Chile Verde

Happy Valentines Day Friends!

Sorry, no pink food from me today. I tried to get that in earlier in the week, so you’d have time to bake-ahead. Today I want to discuss one of my favorite regional cuisines.

Regional cuisine is a beautiful concept. It means cook what’s growing in your backyard, and I’ll make the most of what’s growing in mine.

World wide, regional dishes are celebrated for their diversity and ingenuity. I believe that’s why America has become a melting pot, of not only cultures, but flavors. We want to taste what’s growing in EVERYONE’S backyard. This hasn’t occurred without consequence. American food culture has greatly benefited by this sort of exploration, yet many would argue it is taking a toll on our environment. Surely there is a happy-medium to be found.

More than any other state I can think of, New Mexico has fully embraced the concept of celebrating regional cuisine. New Mexicans are proud of their agriculture and the history behind their dishes. Their kitchen creations scream adaptability and survival. In blazing arid climates, what can you grow? Chiles. So for generations, locals have chosen to honor them with great exuberance! The state question afterall is, RED or GREEN? As in, “Do you prefer to eat red or green chiles?” Chiles are not just produce, they are a way of life.

New Mexican Green Chili, also know as Chile Verde and Green Chile Stew, is a dish I discovered years ago on a cross-country trip. A friend served it to me and I was baffled by the concept of chili that wasn’t red…and didn’t contain tomatoes, beans and beef. What was this strange and wonderful concoction!?!

Chile Verde is known for NOT having an official recipe. It consists of slow cooked green chiles and pork; all other ingredients are optional.

Locals would avidly tell you the chile peppers you use matter a LOT! The long green “New Mexican” style chiles are a state treasure. What I buy at the market in North Carolina would only be considered a shadow of “real” chiles. They say their dry barren soil produces the hottest and most flavorful chiles. Known commonly as Hatch Chiles (grown in Hatch) or Big Jims, these chiles are a source of great pride.

I asked my friend what kind of chiles I should use to make Chile Verde. She answered, “Green.” Looking over the selection in the market I asked, “What kind of green chiles?” With a tinge of exasperation she replied, “GREEEEEN!” Like I said, in New Mexico, it’s green or red.

So trying to BE the happy-medium, I’ve prepared my version of Chile Verde with locally grown chiles; that is, NO Hatch chiles. Sniff, sniff. I substituted a mixture of Anaheims (a milder NM style chile), Poblanos for depth of flavor, and a couple Jalapenos for heat. The addition of stewed tomatillos, cilantro, and a splash of lime juice at the end make for an exciting bowl! It’s spicy, zesty, and GREEN in more ways than one!

To Prepare:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork and 2 tsp of salt. Brown the pork on all sides, stirring regularly.

Remove the pork from the pot and pour out all rendered fat, saving about 1 Tb. Add the onions, remaining salt, cumin, coriander and oregano. Saute for 3-5 minutes. Then add the garlic and peppers. Saute another 3-5 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatillos, bay leaves and cilantro. Toss the pork with the masa and add back to the pot. Stir well.

Finally add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 3 hours, or until the pork is falling apart.
Take 2 forks the break the pork up even more. Salt and Pepper to taste.

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Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 1/2 hours

New Mexican Chile Verde

Ingredients:

¼ cup oil
4-4 ½ lbs. pork butt, trimmed and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
1 Tb. salt, divided
1 Tb. ground cumin
1 Tb. ground coriander
1 Tb. oregano
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
4 coves garlic, minced
2 Anaheim peppers, chopped
2 Poblano peppers, chopped
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1 lb. cleaned and chopped tomatillos
2 Bay leaves
1 large bunch of cilatnro, chopped
3 Tb. masa (corn flour)
4 cups of water or chicken stock
Lime Wedges for garnish

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork and 2 tsp of salt. Brown the pork on all sides, stirring regularly.

Remove the pork from the pot and pour out all rendered fat, saving about 1 Tb. Add the onions, remaining salt, cumin, coriander and oregano. Saute for 3-5 minutes.

Then add the garlic and peppers. Saute another 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatillos, bay leaves and cilantro. Toss the pork with the masa and add back to the pot. Stir well.

Finally add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 3 hours, or until the pork is falling apart.

Take 2 forks the break the pork up even more. Salt and Pepper to taste.

*This recipe can easily be adapted to a "Slow Carb" dish, if you omit the masa.

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65 Responses to “New Mexican Chile Verde”

  1. #
    1
    The Food Hound — February 14, 2011 @ 6:46 am

    Ooooo, this looks so good!! Really bright flavors!!

    Reply

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    Belinda @zomppa — February 14, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    It’s true…no one does green chilis like this! Fantastic!

    Reply

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    Steve @ HPD — February 14, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    Your melting pot comment got me thinking …

    They say the apple does fall far from the tree. Then again, whenever someone isn’t like Mom or Dad, they always say that the factor in question tends to skip a generation. So I guess there’s a saying for everything.

    The other day my dad told me that he thought it was interesting that he had made it some sixty-odd years on this planet without ever seeing a chipotle pepper, and now he can’t turn around without bumping into one. You can get chipotle in sauces at McDonalds, in Kraft mayonnaise, and in every brand of salsa on the grocery store shelf. And you don’t have to live in the southwest to find it any more. It’s everywhere.

    To my dad, this is an unwelcomed change. It’s a sign that the world is changing too quickly. If someone wants to seek out a foreign new flavor, he should have to seek it out. Stumbling onto it is fine, but having it thrust is our faces is something else. Call it progress, but at some level it’s a sign that the old ways are just that, the old ways, on their way out, being replaced at a rate that some of us are not quite ready for.

    And it’s not like my dad is a white bread, steak and potatoes type. Granted, you can count the great Irish culinary contributions to society on one hand, but my dad did live in New Orleans for the better part of two decades. And those folks will mix just about anything together and call it something I can’t pronounce. So it’s not that the chipotle itself is too weird for him; he’s just not crazy about the intrusion of a regional flavor into places where it shouldn’t be, like the center aisles of the grocery store and generic fast food restaurants.

    When he told me that he was about sick of having chipotle sauces shoved in his face, he might as well have been speaking Martian and trying to explain string theory to me. For starters, it seems to be the free market at work. There must be a demand for it, or it wouldn’t be there. And while there may be a marginal at best societal benefit to increased Scoville-awareness, I have trouble understanding a down side to people from other here sharing a bite to eat with people over there. And if they can’t share an actual sit-down meal, then sharing the techniques are the next best thing.

    Where my dad sees the old, familiar ways being crowded out, I only see the continual process of refining and refining and refining that which we have. I can whip up a tray of blackberry cobbler, but that doesn’t mean I’m replacing my great-grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies, which will always be the gold standard for desserts. I’m not so sure culture is a zero net game. The addition of X doesn’t mean that Y must decrease by the same amount.

    But it is interesting that father and son are wired so differently. My dad wants to be able to walk into the grocery store and see everything he expects in the place where it should be. I want to walk in there and get surprised by something I’ve never heard of before, which I will then look up to see where it came from and what one does with it.

    Reply

    • Sommer — February 14th, 2011 @ 10:06 am

      Yeah, it’s tricky for sure. People respond quite differently to changes and preferences in food. I personally like the “progress” as long as the effects aren’t detrimental!

      Reply

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    Steve @ HPD — February 14, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    Hatch, New Mexico is on my bucket list. I think it would be a chile and pepper extravaganza! Cheers!

    Reply

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    Lea Ann — February 14, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    My freezer has been stocked with Hatch chiles for over 30 years. Every September we used to drive down to NM and bring back a gunny sack full, and I’d spend two days roasting them. But now, each fall, they can be found roasting all over the city of Denver. I have tried the Big Jim’s, they can be a little too hot, depending on the season. Green Chile with pork is such a wonderful dish. Poblano’s are one of my favorite peppers and even though I’ve never used them for this soup, I think they’d make a wonderful addition. I’ve never put tomatillas in mine, sounds like an interesting idea.

    Reply

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    briarrose — February 14, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    Delicious! My husband loves chile verde.

    Reply

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    Angie's Recipes — February 14, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    I am more than happy to eat some greens at this pinky day! :-)) Looks very delicious.

    Reply

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    Roxan — February 14, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    Sommer, this chile verde looks amazing! Great job with it…t he meat looks so tender and flavorful. And amazingly, there are so many greens in it. I love that there isn’t any official recipe for this dish, that means I can make it and not worry about making it wrong ;)

    Reply

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    OurEyes EatFirst — February 14, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    This reminds me of some of the Indian cooking that I do! I dont eat pork but will be substituting chicken or turkey!

    yum!

    Jas from http://www.facebook.com/oureyeseatfirst and http://www.oureyeseatfirst.com

    Reply

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    Kate @ Diethood.com — February 14, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    Wow, mouth.watering. That bowl of yumminess looks fantastic! Thank you for changing it up for me, Sommer… I have seen a whole lot of pink and red today..my eyes needed a rest. :)

    Reply

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    sonia — February 14, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    simply great bowl of mexican chile…the fresh greens are looking so vibrant, wud luv to give it a shot !

    Reply

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    carolinaheartstrings — February 14, 2011 @ 11:22 am

    That looks amazing and just right up my alley. Those fritos are perfect for scooping it right out of the bowl.

    Reply

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    Heather — February 14, 2011 @ 11:33 am

    Wow. This looks SO good. It looks even better because you have beer and fritos served with it. *drooool*

    Reply

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    Lora @cakeduchess — February 14, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    This looks soooo delicious Sommer! I could eat a plate now with a cold beer. ;)Happy Valentine’s to you too! xxoo

    Reply

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    Claudia — February 14, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    I had my first chili verde in New Mexico and yours enchants just as much. Talk about your green chilies! Love the heat for the day!

    Reply

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    Gourmet Gadget Gal — February 14, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

    I love Hatch chilies too but as a substitute that mix sounds good. Have you noticed lately that jalapenos don’t seem as hot as they used too? I am wondering if the variety you can get in the stores is different now and has less heat? I don’t know but I think something is up. I also have the exact same fiesta ware that you do and I always use mine for chili – the bowls are the best size. Good luck Wednesday- I am going to try to watch.

    Reply

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    Christine (Cook the Story) — February 14, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

    I adore tomatillos in chile. Are they a common ingredient in New Mexico-style chile? Actually, I’m scratching my head and wondering how I didn’t know that New Mexico has it’s own kind of chile. I’ve never been there but this gives me another reason to go (on top of the freshly-smoked chilies I’ve heard a ton about).

    Reply

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    torviewtoronto — February 14, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    lovely picture and presentation

    Reply

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    Liz — February 14, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    Gorgeous bowl of yumminess! I have eaten but not made chile verde. It looks so delicious and inviting…I will have to check out the pepper section next time I’m in the produce section. Thanks for the inspiration, Sommer!

    Reply

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    Monet — February 14, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    This makes me miss New Mexico! I’ve visited a few times, and I always eat the most amazing bowls of green chile. I want some right now! Thank you for sharing. I hope you are having a day of sweet treats and love. Happy Valentine’s!

    Reply

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    Dmarie — February 14, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    ooh, Spicy, this does look amazing! I must be missing the gene that likes cilantro, but everything else about this recipe speaks to me. thanks…definitely gonna skip over here the next time I make soup & use your spice combinations for a veggie soup. yum, can’t wait!

    and I must NOT forget the cooking class in 2 days. thx for reminder!

    Reply

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    Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking — February 14, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    This just looks oh so good. Thanks for the recipe. You have a wonderful blog. Really like it!

    Reply

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    vtkitchen — February 14, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    Looks great, but the pic of all the different green chiles scares me! Is it really spicy/hot, or not so much if you cut out the seeds?

    Reply

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    Lisa @ Tarte du Jour — February 14, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    This chili looks fabulous! I bet that Guinness tastes good with it!

    Reply

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    Lisa (Dishes of Mrs. Fish) — February 14, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    I honestly can’t wait to make this.
    I have a slight obsession with “verde” anything.
    P.S. Love your Fiestaware.

    Reply

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    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen — February 14, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    This looks great! I have never made my own chili verde before. Thanks for the recipe! :)

    Reply

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    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — February 14, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    Wow does this look sooo good and flavorful! I’ve never had chili verde before but now I just have to. Once again, absolutely gorgeous photos! :)

    Reply

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    Aldy — February 14, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

    Oh…Sommer, this looks TERRIFIC!!!! beautiful presentation :)

    Happy V-Day

    Cheers,

    Aldy.

    Reply

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    Shirley — February 14, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

    I can’t imagine a chili that’s not red and made with beef and beans either, but this looks really good and you can’t go wrong with pork butt. Love your green pot too!

    Reply

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    elle marie — February 15, 2011 @ 12:40 am

    ooohh….. I would do anything to get my hands on tomitios (sp)? Isn’t there something spicy sweet about them?

    Reply

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    Katerina — February 15, 2011 @ 4:31 am

    I have never tried making chili verde, but as i wathced yours I feel that this is a big neglect on my behalf. Beautiful dish!

    Reply

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    A Canadian Foodie — February 15, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    I just love opening up this cheery and colourful site: it has spiced up my day without even reading it! Thoughtfully written post and really nice reflective comment from Steve. I love that about blogging. I will most definitely be making this – thought it certainly is not regional. I love Mexican food. I am a BIG local and regional enthusiast, so I will definitely have to wait until the summer here where I could source most ingredients. It looks so delicious. I love it when you use “my” favourite green pot!
    :)
    Valerie

    Reply

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    Juliana — February 15, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    Wow, you chile verde looks so so tasty…love the step-by-step pictures :-)

    Reply

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    Suchitra — February 15, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

    Chile verde looks super good- and I simply love your new website! awesome :)

    Reply

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    Victoria @ Mission: Food — February 15, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    I can see why this dish inspired you!! I have never had a green chili, but I love salsa verde, so I can see how these flavors coming together and cooking pork into a succulent mass of deliciousness can be addictive!! It’s funny how the chiles are simply green or red to the people in NM. There are SO many varieties out there. I like the combo you’ve used :)

    Reply

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    Jessica — February 15, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    This looks great!!! A change from the pink/red dishes that I’ve been seeing! It’s so funny but I actually was in Mexico for Valentine’s Day so seeing this is perfect!

    Reply

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    Evan @swEEts — February 15, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

    I’m sending this to Mountain Man in hopes that he gets the hint and goes to get the ingredients so we can have it sometime very soon :) love it!

    Reply

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    Magic of Spice — February 15, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    This is one of my sons favorite dishes and he has not prepared it in awhile, I’ll have to show this to him :)
    Hope you had a wonderful valentines day :)

    Reply

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    5 Star Foodie — February 15, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    Outstanding Chile Verde! I’m looking forward to trying it in New Mexico on our upcoming spring break trip!

    Reply

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    Reeni — February 15, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    What an incredibly delicious chile verde! This is one dish I’ve never made but need to being a lover of all things chile. I hear so much about those famed hatch chiles, would love to try them.

    Reply

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    denise @ quickies on the dinner table — February 16, 2011 @ 3:29 am

    I’ve had regular chile and green chile and I gotta say, green chile is for me! Beautiful rendition!

    Reply

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    Debi (Table Talk) — February 16, 2011 @ 5:33 am

    When we first moved from CA fresh chiles were very hard to find in the regular grocery stores. I would mail order them in so I could get my fix of things like chile verde and enchilada suizas.
    Thankfully they are now plentiful in the stores here now, so when the craving strikes, I know I can get them!
    Love to make tortillas and dip them into this flavorful stew.

    Reply

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    Stella — February 16, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    Hey Sommer! Whoa, this is a seriously authentic looking chili verde. I love the way it looks so rich and healthful at the same time. In fact, I wish I was at your house today for the leftovers;-) I bet it’s even better the next day (smile)…
    p.s. Southwestern food is one of my favorite North American genres of cuisine too!

    Reply

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    Biren @ Roti n Rice — February 16, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    I had this pork chile in New Mexico some years back when I was still living in CO. Since then, I would buy half a bushel of big Jims ( medium heat) each August and get the farm stand to roast it for me so that I can make chili verde. I miss those roasted peppers!

    Reply

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    Kristen — February 16, 2011 @ 9:51 am

    Picking a “green” chile here in AZ would be pretty hard. I love the varieties you ended up using, though I will admit I love Hatch chiles the best. I have yet to use a tomatillo. Ever. I keep looking at them and thinking I should pick a couple up, but then the whim passes and I go on to safer produce.

    Reply

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    claire — February 16, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    when i saw your twitter link, i immediately clicked… i hadn’t even gotten the notification yet on email… this looks phenomenal! will you be my valentine and make me some of this amazing chile verde!? haha!

    Reply

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    Pachecopatty — February 16, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    I remember the red or green chili thing in New Mexico, so hard to choose!!
    I also love the tomatillos in your recipe. I love salsa with roasted tomatillos and cilantro or oregano.
    Your chili recipe looks great to me and I like the idea of playing around with my own local chilis in this yummy bowl of green;-) Beautiful photos too!

    Reply

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    sweetlife — February 16, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

    i love the flavors!!! New Mexico has it’s own unique flavors that I ADORE!! a perfect recipe Sommer, yummy..thanks for sharing!

    Congrats on your class, filled with wonderful tips and great company!!

    sweetlife

    Reply

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    A Little Yumminess — February 16, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

    This looks super YUM! I admire anyone who makes verde from scratch!

    Reply

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    The Mistress of Spices — February 17, 2011 @ 3:40 am

    Beautiful writing and beautiful photos! The chile verde looks wonderful!!!

    Reply

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    http://yemekteyizbiz.blogspot.com — February 19, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

    I can’t imagine a chili that’s not red and made with beef and beans either, but this looks really good and you can’t go wrong with pork butt. Love your green pot too

    Reply

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    That picture at the top of all the green vegetables is amazing. I agree with the eating what grows around you until one runs up against the wall of cost. Many folks can’t afford to hit the co-ops or farmers’ markets to buy local produce, especially in these days where is’t vogue and more expensive than it used to be, which is unfortunately. As much as possible though, it’s the ideal way to cook. Obviously, you’ve made the most of it and created this divine dish.

    Reply

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    mike — February 23, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

    I am definitely gonna try chili verde tonight, thank you for enlightening me.

    Reply

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    Sandy — May 28, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    Once a year Hatch Chiles are available here. I buy a case and then roast them and put them in the freezer. Only special recipes get my Hatch peppers. This recipe certainly deserves the peppers from my secret stash.

    Reply

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    cheap frames glasses — May 31, 2013 @ 11:08 am

    Pretty! This was a really superb article. Thank you for delivering this details.

    Reply

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    Cerelle Stauch — June 28, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

    While this looks very good, it is not a true New Mexico Green Chile Stew (I am a born and raised New Mexican). Substitute NM green chile for all the other peppers, omit the tomatillos, masa and cilantro, and your closer. This recipe is more what a Californian would think NM/ Mexican chile is. That being said, I occasionally like a more traditional Mexican tomatillo chile verde, and this does look good.

    Reply

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    pamela — October 31, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    What would the cooking time be using chicken? I don’t eat pork or beef
    so was thinking about doing this with chicken.

    Reply

    • Sommer — November 1st, 2013 @ 6:03 am

      Hi Pamela, the cooking time would probably be about the same, to be able to develop depth of flavor.

      Reply

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    Susan — February 2, 2014 @ 2:20 pm

    As someone who grew up on Hatch green chile, it’s wonderful to see a recipe that captures the flavor as closely as possible. There isn’t a perfect replacement, but this is the closest I’ve ever seen. I can’t get the good stuff in Florida, so this will be a great alternative. Thanks

    Reply

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    Cheryl — October 18, 2014 @ 4:54 pm

    Great chile dish…I was short of mild chiles so added half a jar of Herdez Salsa Verde to round it out along with some roasted Hatch and some home grown bells and spicy Anaheim peppers. Also added some home cooked pintos and a diced yellow squash so it wouldn’t be too spicy for hubby – I have a bad habit of doing that. Made about half the recipe using some precooked shredded port loin, and it came out great. I’ll use some of the leftovers to cover cheese enchiladas later this week and some of it for work lunches. I think everyone has their unique take on what Chile Verde should be, so make it your own. This was a great recipe to work from. Thanks!

    Reply

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