I would be willing to bet you’ve been here before. It’s Wednesday. 4pm. You have no clue what’s for dinner. The one thing you know for absolute certain is no way on Earth are you loading two kids back into the car for a trip to the grocery store. You contemplate 1-800-DOMINOS. But you dig through the freezer and rifle the pantry in hope you can cobble together a decent meal. And if you happen to be me, last Wednesday at 4pm- you come up with a pound of ground pork, some leftover enchilada sauce and a can of cannellini (white) beans, and it turns into the most fabulous, smoky, just-spicy-enough green chili. As in so good, I’ve made it a second time, and it’s on the menu for this weekend.
Green Chili Secrets
The sauce that is the base for the chili is made out of roast poblano peppers. The sauce would freeze well, so if spicy green chili sounds like your thing, make a double batch of the sauce and you’re one step closer to dinner the next time you find yourself in the aforementioned dinner dilemma. When the peppers are done they should look something like this.
Take three extra minutes to toast and grind your cumin seeds. You can sub ground cumin of you don’t have cumin seeds – but cumin seeds are an excellent addition to your spice cabinet. Get ya some. I used a morter and pestle to grind mine as the baby was napping, and I wouldn’t dare risk the spice grinder. It took all of 30 seconds.
Spicy Chili Tips
- When your poblanos come out of the oven- place them in a paper bag and close it up. The steam from the peppers will loosen the skins and make them easier to peel. Wear gloves to peel the peppers. Or if you don’t – avoid rubbing your eyes for at least an hour afterwards.
- Pop the poblanos in the oven first. By the time you chop your veggies, toast and grind the cumin seeds and brown the pork, the poblanos will be ready to peel. You can make the chili up to the point when it’s time to add the sauce and take it off the heat. It can hang while you peel peppers and whiz them through the blender.
- Don’t skip the toppings!! Red onion, cilantro, avocado and minced serrano peppers were the perfect finishing touch. You can customize your bowl. Personally, I want ALL THE TOPPINGS!
This Green Chili recipe is a perfect addition to our new Gather section of this site- recipes meant to be shared and that aren’t so complicated you can’t enjoy your dinner guests. Good food should be shared. So go whip up some chili and invite someone you’ve haven’t been able to connect with in a while to dinner. My other favorites would be our Easy Coq Au Vin (chicken cooked in lots of wine) You know how happy booze in my food makes me. Or if you’re in the mood for traditional Texas chili- we’ve got ya covered there too. Or the Beef Stew with Porcini. Geez, choosing a favorite is like choosing a favorite child. I’ll leave the decision up to you. But the point is to connect with someone who is important to you over a good meal.
Happy Cooking, friends!
Green Chili with Pork and Poblano
Savory, smokey and just spicy enough.
- For the green sauce
- 3 poblano peppers
- 1 Cup Chicken stock
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- For the Chili
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, skins removed, smashed and roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds- toasted in a dry pan until fragrant and ground with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder
- 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup green sauce (recipe below)
- Optional toppings for serving
- Minced red onion
- Minced serrano peppers
- Avocado slices
- Lime Wedge
- Make the green sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
- Place 3 poblanos on the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
- Let peppers cool in a closed paper bag 20 minutes or until cool enough to touch
- Remove the skins, ribs and seeds. (wear gloves to peel peppers)
- Place cleaned peppers in a blender with 1 cup chicken stock, the cilantro and 1 Teaspoon kosher salt.
- Blend on high to puree. Set aside.
- Make the Chili
- In a dry pan, toast cumin seeds until fragrant. Remove from heat and grind to a powder. Set aside
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or a large, wide bottom pot over medium high heat
- Add the pork, salt, ground cumin and smoked paprika and cook 5 minutes
- Add diced onion and poblano and cook another 5 minutes until onion starts to turn translucent.
- Add garlic and cook one more minute.
- Add 1 cup of the green sauce, 1 1/4 cups chicken stock and the beans. Stir to combine
- Simmer 20 minutes.