Posts Tagged ‘southwest’

Hatch Cornbread

September 21, 2009

You probably are familiar by now with my very southern obsession with corn bread.  I’ve admitted, once and for all, that I do put sugar in there.  The secret is out. Hopefully the Texas Rangers won’t throw me out of the state.  The next big secret in cornbread of course is to cook it in a cast iron skillet.  The crust that forms from that hot skillet and fat is probably the next best thing to Prozac.

My brand new cornbread trick though involves a very simple addition.  I put up about 8 quarts of roasted hatch green chiles this year.  I buy the peppers in bulk, blister them over a flame, steam them in a paper sack,  then peel off the blackened skins, and remove most of the seeds.  That all gets stuck in ziplock bags and frozen to use over the coming year.  You can have the roasting done for you in most top end groceries around the Southwest.

1½ cup yellow corn meal
½ cup unbleached flour
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp kosher salt
¾ cup hot hatch green chilès, diced
1 egg, whipped
1½ cup buttermilk
2 tbs vegetable oil, melted butter, or bacon fat
2 tbs additional fat for the skillet

Set a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet on high heat while you prepare the batter.  Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir, just to incorporate.  Turn the heat off under the skillet, and drop in the 2 tbs of extra oil.  Swirl to coat.  While the pan is still extremely hot, pour in the batter and spread it around to fill the pan.  immediately place the skillet into a 425° oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle of the cornbread comes out clean.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan, then invert over a plate.

I serve cornbread upside down.  If you flip the cornbread over so that it is served right side up, the crispy crust will steam itself soft.  Serving it just as it flips out of the pan, with the dark brown fried edge up, will keep the crust perfect while you eat.

This was fire engine hot cornbread.  If you prefer, use mild hatch chilès.  You could also use any green pepper that has been fire roasted.  Hatch are hard to come by in many locations.

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More soup: Posole

March 16, 2009

My local HEB has started carrying pork products from Applegate Farms.  Finally!!  Pork made from pigs that were practically read a bed time story and tucked in to sleep at night.  This I can eat. http://www.applegatefarms.com/products/hdbs.aspx?fid=100&id=480,938,944

In celebration, I made a large pot of Posole.  Andy had never heard of hominy, so I felt this was a perfect opportunity for expanding culinary horizons.  Traditionally, posole is seasoned with dried red chilés, but I had none, so chipotles stood in place.   The finished stew can be served with rice, avocado, lime wedges, queso fresco…. whatever you think compliments the flavor.

6 slices, bacon
4 chicken thighs, skinned, deboned, cubed
3 small white onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 chipotle peppers, chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
kosher salt
cracked pepper
adobo sauce, to taste
1 beer
1 can whole tomatoes, crushed w/ juice
32 oz can yellow hominy, drained
1 lime, juiced
1 quart free range chicken broth
1 cup green cabbage, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped

In a very large pot, fry the bacon until crisp.  Remove it to drain, and set aside.  In the remaining grease, brown the chicken, and remove as well.  Then saute then onions in the still remaining grease.  Add garlic to soften, then green peppers.  Add cumin seeds and cook until they’ve become aromatic and started to brown a little.  Deglaze the pan with beer. Add back the chicken, and crumble in the bacon.  Add remaining ingredients excepting cabbage and cilantro.  Allow to simmer on low heat until the hominy is tender, and the flavors are incorporated.  Add cabbage and allow to wilt.  Serve with chopped cilantro.

Green Chilé Beef Stew

September 27, 2008

This is probably the last chilé recipe for a while because it used the rest of my frozen store of the magical Hatch. It’s based heavily on a recipe sent to me by Allysa, the supplier of my stash of chilé. Her husband, Edward made a version of this with a brisket, corn relish, and hatch salsa.  I intentionally made mine just a bit more watery, and used fresh corn instead of relish. I served it in whole wheat tortillas with Greek yogurt to cool it off a little.  However, I used mainly the mild peppers, so it was not so hot I couldn’t have eaten a bowl full. Instead, the stew was smokey from the peppers prepared over charcoal and a little sweet from fresh corn.

1 lb tenderized round steak, cubed
1 tbs olive oil
2 sm white onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 hot hatch green chilé, chopped, roasted, skins and seeds removed
8 mild hatch green chilé, chopped, roasted, skins and seeds removed
½ cup black coffee
½-1 cup Bloody Mary Mix (I used the lesser amount to keep it thicker)
8 small tomatoes (I was using campari)
1 ear sweet corn, removed from the cob
1 can black beans, lightly drained
1 tsp cumino
1 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbs fresh basil, chopped
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Heat the oil on high in a cast iron dutch oven or other heavy vessel.  Toss in round steak, seasoned with salt and pepper and brown.  Remove the steak from pan.  Place onions in the drippings with a touch more oil if necessary and cook until browned and softened.  Add garlic and heat until softened being careful not to let it burn.  Add chilés and stir into the onions and garlic.  Deglaze the pan with the black coffee.  Add remaining ingredients, then cover and let simmer on low until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes.

If I’d had about double the amount of the mild chilés I think I would have left off the beans and let this be just a chilé stew.