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Friday, March 20, 2009

Roasted Pork & Poblano Chili

A few months or so ago, there was a challenge set forth by Gloria Chadwick from The Food & Flavors of San Antonio to come up with an original chili recipe. I only recently came across Gloria's wonderful blog, and let me say, it makes me hungry each and every time I visit it! I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again...I am so in love with Mexican food and Tex-Mex's a long-standing favorite of mine (the first "favorite" food-type I remember having, actually). Well, I thought on it and thought on it...and of course waited until the last possible minute to actually finalize my recipe and get it made in time to make the deadline for this month. By the way, this is an on-going challenge (monthly) and your chili even gets a chance to make it into a new cookbook (credited to you of course), head on over to Gloria's blog to check out all the details! Anyhoo...I'd been thinking white chili for this month...but, after roasting a lot of pork for "pulling" yesterday and having some very tasty leftover seasoned, roasted pork, I decided I wanted to use it in my chili recipe. So, along the lines of a white chili, I used green ingredients...but I used so many, that mine is actually more of a "green" chili. I also added some hominy, so it's actually sort of Posole inspired. Roasting the chile's and the tomatillos & the roasted pork...makes this chili sooooo earthy and satisfying! Normally I like to top my chili with some fried tortilla strips, but the hominy brings that satisfying corn flavor all by itself...seriously, I didn't miss the tortilla garnish here. The garnishes I do recommend adding bring a bright, fresh contrast to this earthy, comforting add them if you can. So, please check out my entry into this month's Chili Cook-off Challenge...and if you decide to make some, let me know what you think! Oh yeah, it may seem a little labor-intensive, what with all the roasting, shredding & peeling, but honestly it's not so bad and it is more than worth it for the wonderful layers of flavor it brings to this chili. Roasted Pork & Poblano Chili
Yield: ~9 c. (just over 2 quarts)

3 Poblano chiles 
1 Jalapeño chile 
5 garlic cloves, whole 
5 tomatillos, husked & rinsed 
1 Tbs bacon grease (or olive oil) 
2 small onions, chopped 
1 tsp whole cumin, crushed 
½ tsp whole coriander, crushed 
1 tsp dried marjoram 
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 
1 Tbs (from small can) diced, green chiles 
1 can (15.5 oz) white hominy- drained, not rinsed 
1 can (15.5 oz) cannellini beans (white kidney beans)- drained, not rinsed 
1 ½ qt. chicken stock or broth 
2 c. shredded, roasted pork (*see recipe below if needed) 
~1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
Cilantro, ripped or chopped 
Queso fresco &/or Queso Quesadilla 
Sour Cream 

Preheat your broiler or a grill. Once hot, place all chiles, garlic cloves and tomatillos on to roast. Roast until soft and blackened. Carefully remove from broiler, with the accumulated juices. Place all into a blender jar EXCEPT one of the poblanos. Blend until smooth. 

Peel & seed the remaining poblano. Chop it up and reserve. Set a strainer over medium-sized bowl and pour in mixture from blender. Using a spoon or spatula, push through leaving skins & seeds behind. Reserve strained mixture (discard skins & seeds). Heat bacon grease (or olive oil) in a Dutch oven. Once hot, add onions and sauté until soft, just a couple of minutes. Add cumin, coriander, marjoram & black pepper. Stir for a minute or so, this will allow the spices to “bloom” or start to release their oils. Add the reserved poblano, the diced green chiles and the reserved strained mixture. Cook, stirring over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or so, allowing mixture to cook down a bit. 

Add hominy & beans (drain, but don’t rinse…will help the texture later) and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes. Add pork and about a teaspoon of salt (taste to check). Bring back to the boil for a minute or so, then it is finished. 

Ladle hot chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro, crumbled or shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream and a squeeze of lime. Roast poblanos, jalepeno, tomatillo & garlic until blackened in spots and very soft. Blended mixture passed through sieve. Ready to add to hot pan. Layering on those different layers of flavor for a well-rounded taste. Pouring in the reserved blended, strained poblano mixture.Adding the hominy, beans and chiles. Stir in that chicken broth/ stock. Finished and ready to ladle into the bowls!

Serve with all those bright, fresh flavors to add contrast to the earthy, homey flavor of the chili. Soul-satisfying!
* Use your favorite, seasoned roasted pork OR Use this:
~3 lb. pork butt/shoulder
2 Tbs. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. Brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 Tbs. ground cumin
2 Tbs. sea salt
Mix together the six spices to make a dry rub. Rub all over the pork. Let marinate an hour or up to overnite. Slowly roast in a 300 degree F oven, approximately 3-4 hours or until easily shredded. You will have more than 2 cups, but you can use extra for something else yummy.

I'm also going to submit this as my recipe for this week's Souper Sunday over at Kahakai Kitchen. My fridge is full and we need to start eating up some of the goodies made this week, so really, I'm not being lazy... okay, I kind of am. I hate wasting food, though!