Pork Chile Verde and Smothered Enchiladas

  adding pork One of the best things about learning to cook is having the freedom and the ability to make what you want to eat taste the way you most enjoy it, and also to be able to make it with the ingredients you decide to use. I believe that your food should be about making what you enjoy- without rules imposed by others. Skills that get you there?, well yes, those are things that you should learn and eventually master so that you can get the result you want from your cooking. Recipes should be a launching point to give you a structure to improve and make each dish your own. This is my Pork Chile Verde recipe. It may not be how others make it and it may not even be traditional but it’s what I like, the way I like it- that’s all that matters to me- not making it “perfect”. You can eat it in a bowl with cornbread or tortillas or you can use it in and or on top of enchiladas, burritos, tostadas and chimichangas. Really- it’s good in any form. You choose. cheese enchiladas smothered with pork chile verdeHere’s the recipe:

Pork Chile Verde – my way

  • 4 pounds of boneless pork shoulder (Boston Butt) trimmed of most of the fat and all of the connective tissue you can see
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-4 Tablespoons cooking oil, I use sunflower seed oil
  • 4 links breakfast sausage
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 4-5 smallish garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1-3/4 cups fresh roasted Hatch green chile paste (recipe below)
  • 1 large can whole tomatillos (or about 3 cups fresh tomatillos)
  • 2 cups chicken stock, organic if possible
  • 1 large can green enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon good chile powder ( I use Rick’s homemade)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

ROASTED HATCH CHILES

chile paste Hatch Green Chile Paste

  • 2 cups fire roasted, skinned and seeded green Hatch chiles
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Roast the chiles, skin and seed them, then measure 2 cups in the bowl of a blender. Add the vinegar and salt and blend until smooth. Store in the fridge until use.

To make the Pork Chile Verde:

Trim the pork and cut into bite sized pieces. Pat dry as you can on a bed of paper towels. Mix the AP flour, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add the pork pieces and toss with your hands to coat. Shake off excess flour. The pork should be lightly coated. Heat the cooking oil in a heavy bottomed large Dutch oven or stock pot. Add the pork in small batches, taking care to not overcrowd the pan. If you do the meat will steam instead of brown. Remove to a plate and keep warm in the oven while you cook all of the pork. Then cook the links of sausage in the same pan, breaking them into crumbles as you go, and remove the sausage to a paper towel lined plate to drain off the grease. They will be adding a toothsome richness of little bites of meat to the sauce. There will be lots of brown bits “fond” in bottom of the pan when you are finished. Add the onion and cook until it turns translucent, scraping up the fond as you go. This adds a depth of flavor to the dish. When the onions are soft, add the minced garlic and cook it together for a few minutes. Add the Hatch chile paste and stir it all up. Cook for about 5 minutes more. Drain the can of tomatillos. Place them in the blender with 2 cups of chicken stock and whiz up. For fresh: remove them from their papery husks and give them a rinse. They have a soapy, greasy feel and you want that removed. Cook them in the chicken stock until they are softened. Blend them and proceed with the recipe. Add the blended tomatillos and chicken stock to the pot. Add the green enchilada sauce too, and the cumin, chile powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir it all up and cook until hot. Add the sausage and stir in. Finally add the pork pieces with any accumulated juices on the plate to the pot. Heat it all through. At this point you can let it simmer away for another couple of hours on the stove on low, stirring fairly often, or you can put it in a crockpot and leave it covered and mostly unattended for the same amount of time. I always start my crockpot on high to get everything bubbling away and then turn to low until ready.

pork shoulder mise dredge mixfloured porkbrowning pork chile pastegarliconions garlic fondwith chile pastetomatillostomatillos whizzed upadding sausagepork chile verde cheese enchiladas smothered with pork chile verde

Cheese Enchiladas Smothered with Pork Chile Verde

  • Flour tortillas (I use whole wheat)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • oil
  • Shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese or whatever you want
  • Pork Chile Verde

Sauté the onion and garlic in oil until softened. Mix the cheeses. Roll the onion mixture and the cheese into a tortilla, line in a baking dish, cover with chile verde and top with more cheese. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes until heated through and bubbling. Enjoy!

making cv enchiladas in the dishsmothered

Posted in faves, Main Dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Egg and Bacon Pie, and I

plated egg and bacon pir Do you know about Egg and Bacon Pie? I didn’t until one of my favorite authors included it in some of her work and I became curious about it.

Kerry Greenwood is a terrific writer! I first discovered her book “Cocaine Blues” on a library shelf  several years ago; it introduced me to her strong, smart, smart and stylish detective, the fabulous Miss Phryne Fisher. (Phryne rhymes with briny.) Since that time I have read all twenty published Phryne novels, which are set in Australia in the end of the 1920s, plus a collection of short stories (and a few bonus cocktail recipes) involving Miss Fisher called:

resized_9781741753639_224_297_FitSquare “A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury” and enjoyed them all exceedingly. I await the next with great anticipation.  Phryne is the heroine I always dreamed of- smart, clever, kind, generous, but self preserving. She is tough when needs be and soft when she wants. She is Queen. She decides, period. It also doesn’t hurt that she is beautiful, wealthy, stylish and brave.

The Australian broadcasting company ABC  has produced two seasons of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries based on Kerry’s books. I am thrilled to say that they announced in June that they have optioned a third season after a fan campaign was raised asking for more of Miss Fisher. These fabulously produced shows are available in the USA on DVD and on Acorn Television at present. Watch them, you won’t be sorry. Essie Davis as Phryne and Nathan Page as Detective Jack Robinson smolder together, SMOLDER, I tell you! Even though the episodes are an adaptation, and a few things have been changed from the books, they are as delightfully close as you will ever be to 1929 Melbourne and its surroundings. Led by executive producers Deborah Cox and Fiona Eagger, with acting by such a talented and stellar cast and guest actors (wish I could name them all), and sublime art direction with the divine production design by Robbie Perkins- each episode is a treasure. If you like vintage fashion at all you must not miss the wardrobe/costume design created by Marion Boyce- it is exquisite. We in the USA may not be familiar with these actors and the crew, but we are very fortunate to be able to import their work. OK, enough hyperbole!, but well- it’s true! :)

Kerry has also written so many other great books. Her other detective series which is set in modern day Melbourne and concerns the baker Corinna Chapman is a naturally a favorite as well. I have just started her book Medea and will be interested to see yet another side of her writing. baked egg and bacon   SO, well back to the Egg and Bacon Pie. The dish is described as being something comforting and homely, something to be tucked into a picnic basket or maybe a lunch pail. I wanted to make one and I didn’t find anything in the recipes Kerry had posted online on the publishers Allen and Unwin’s website.

And have I mentioned that Kerry is very generous with her time and attention and she invites her readers to correspond with her? I didn’t?,- well she is and she does. So I wrote to her and asked her about it and she very kindly replied and this pie is the result. Well, I first made one for a breakfast dinner party last year and that is when she helped me.  :)
I’m just getting around to making another to share. egg and bacon inside It is somewhat like an enclosed quiche except that the eggs are left on their own to mingle with the bacon and firm up in the crust. It does firm up quite a bit and it will make your crust slump- just be prepared is all I am saying here. I found a recipe for a Bacon and Egg pie on Saveur here,  but it’s not what Kerry told me. Here is what she wrote:

Hello Gabi,

Simplicity itself. It is indeed an enclosed quiche, sort of. Line a pie dish with puff or shortcrust pastry, I use shortcrust for the lining and puff for the lid, but as you like. Cut up five rashers of bacon and sprinkle them around the pastry. Break over this four to five eggs, add pepper and parsley, pour over about a tablespoon of milk. You can stir it around if you would like a more blended filling or leave the yolks intact. Cap the pie dish with pastry and cook in a hot oven until the pastry is risen and golden. Grandma made egg and bacon pie like this, and so do I. It’s excellent hot and really tasty cold. Bon appétit! Kerry

I made it as directed, used my best pie crust recipe this time as I didn’t have puff on hand, but the first time I did use the puff pastry as suggested. I scrambled the eggs with a fork because Rick is not fond of yolks, but had I just pleased myself, I would have left them unscrambled. I cooked it at 375F for about 40 minutes and it is indeed excellent hot and really tasty cold!

Kerry is generosity herself, and I feel myself really lucky to have found her work.  Her writing has greatly increased my enjoyment of life- and I think that is really the purpose of fiction. Thanks Kerry!enjoyed egg and bacon pie Cheers! xox

Posted in Appetizers, Book Reviews, Breakfast, Cookbooks I like, faves, Faves, Rants and Raves, Fun Stuff, Main Dishes, Pie, raves, Recipes, Reviews, tea treats, What I'm Reading Now | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peachy Almond Zucchini Cake

time for tea It’s been a bit of a rainy August around here but that hasn’t stopped our zucchini plant from offering up a new zucchini (or several) every day. I’ve made raw zucchini salads and we’ve had lots of it sautéed with onions and feta, but today I felt like making something to have with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Did I mention that it was raining?

Zucchini2

There are more zucchini lurking in there… I swear I heard it say “feed me”! ;)
Rather than make the same old zucchini bread, I thought I’d add a seasonal touch with some peach jam and complement that flavor with some almond flour. Peaches and almond go together like rainy days and tea.

long shot tea time

prebake
I made a glaze for the top out of some peach juice that I collected while preparing some of glazedour own tree’s donut peaches for a pie. It was a lovely pale pink color and very cheering.

baby's peaches

moist slice

 

Peachy Almond Zucchini Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup mild flavored olive oil
  • 1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract ( I used the bourbon that I keep my plumped vanilla beans soaking in for several months at a time)
  • 1/2 cup chunky peach preserves ( I used my mom’s homemade jam made with peaches and Amaretto)
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine grind salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cassia cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 -1/4 cups finely grated zucchini squeezed to eliminate most of the liquid (about 1 medium to largish zucchini)
  • 1 cup blanched almond meal (I used Honeyville Farms brand)

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered, confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or Amaretto liqueur
  • enough fresh peach juice to make a glaze consistency – use orange juice if you don’t have fresh peaches

Butter and flour a Bundt or tube pan, tap out the excess flour and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Wash and dry the zucchini, trim one end and grate in the fine holes of a grater or use the fine disk of a food processor. Place the grated zucchini into a sieve and let it drain, squeezing it well with your hands until you can’t get any immediate liquid out of it. Set aside.

Cream the butter and add the olive oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and jam. Beat well at medium speed of a stand mixer or vigorously by hand until all is light and fluffy.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl. Use a whisk or a fork to mix them together well. Add to the creamed ingredients and mix lightly but well so that there are no dry bits left.

Add the zucchini and the almond flour and mix well. Place into the Bundt pan evenly and smooth the top with a spatula. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes then rotate the pan front to back and bake for 25-30 minutes more until a toothpick comes out dry and it is firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool. You may glaze it while hot or wait until it cools further. If you glaze it hot the glaze soaks into the cake. If you glaze it cool it tends to stay on top. Or you can not glaze it at all and sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar or leave plain. Your choice. :)

Enjoy!

xxoo

 

 

Posted in Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts, Recipes, tea treats, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment