Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.
One of the best things I ever ate was the green-chile stew I had at a restaurant in Taos, New Mexico the name of which I don't remember. Still the stew of local, fresh roasted green chiles, squash, corn and pork stays in my mind to this day.
Anyone who has ever spent time in New Mexico can likely attest to the New Mexicans' love affair with the green chile. Anyone who's tried the fresh, green chile stew has likely thought about having more one day. They make green chile stew all over New Mexico, and they make it many different ways, but it always comes out delicious.
If you can't get fresh roasted green chiles, then try to find frozen diced chiles at your local market. This recipe makes enough to serve eight people.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds cubed pork stew meat
1½ large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chopped, roasted green chiles
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (14.5 ounces)
2 yellow squash, cut in one-inch cubes
1 cup fresh steamed, or frozen corn kernels
1 can pinto beans, drained (16 ounces)
1½ cups tomatillo salsa
6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground clove
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt, pepper, paprika and chile powder, and add to pot. Cook until well-browned on all sides.
Remove browned pork and set aside. Lower heat to medium, and stir in the onion, garlic and squash. Cook and stir until the onion is soft and clear.
Return the pork to the pot, and stir in the green chiles, corn, diced tomatoes with juice, tomatillo salsa, and chicken broth. Add oregano and ground clove.
Raise heat to medium-high, and quickly bring a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, spoon off 2 cups of the soup, making certain it contains NO pork pieces, and pour into a blender.
Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree until smooth, then pour back into the cooking pot.
This is a good way to thicken the stew and eliminate some of the chunkier pieces.
Continue to simmer at least 30 minutes to one hour more, stirring occasionally, until the pork is very tender.
Serve with rice, beans and corn tortillas.