Tuesday, February 21, 2006

O M G Espresso Chili Verde con Pollo

I have lots of secrets; my ability to cook isn’t one of them. I knew I had talent when friends in Phoenix would cancel their plans if I called them at the last minute to have dinner at my house. Throughout this blog, I’ve mentioned cooking. One of my goals is to figure out how to add a side-bar link to recipes. For now, you’ll just have to deal with a recipe (or a couple) as an entry. Usually I try to cook something on Sunday or Monday, that will give me a few meals for lunch and dinner, or allow me to freeze them for later consumption. My biggest roadblock in achieving this goal is: me! (Okay, I’m sure it’s no surprise, as I’m the biggest roadblock to my accomplishing so many things.) This particular roadblock is my dislike of … well, something. I can’t pin it down. Is it my dislike of running errands, leaving my house, spending money? Not sure. Pretty much though, I can bet you if I don’t have an appointment (or deadline) on a weekend which forces me to leave my house, it’s not happening. I try to plan grocery shopping or errand running to coincide with other obligations. Otherwise – I’m sitting here, in my lovely house – and not going … but really, I’m not phobic. Well, since I didn’t go grocery shopping on Sunday after church, I went on my lunch hour on Monday. The benefit of shopping during the workweek? I have a T-1 to search for recipes (fast, fast, fast!), there is a good grocery store less than ½ mile from my office, we have a big refrigerator at work to store things in, and there are 3 grocery stores on my way home! Last night one of my book-clubs met to discuss, “Ellen Foster”, by Kaye Gibbons. She’s a “local” girl to this area, and I caught her at my favorite neighborhood independent bookstore a few weeks ago speaking about her latest novel, “The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster”. Because of this there was no cooking for me last night. Monday I did go to the grocery store – and buy the ingredients for a recipe entitled, “Chicken Green Chili with White Beans”. If you think I know khow to color inside the line (or follow a recipe exactly), then you can look that particular recipe up on a cooking site. I took it, twisted it, and have arrived at, “Espresso Chili Verde con Pollo”. If you know Spanish, an this doesn’t make since … then send me the correct tiltle. Anyway, my first bite, made me say, “Oh My God” … and then I was disappointed no one was here to share. I will add this to my repertoire – and soon I’ll have the satisfaction of sharing with others. I think this is best washed down with Bohemia or Negra Modelo Beer. Without further ado, Espresso Chili Verde con Pollo Ingredients: 4 – 6 Poblano Chiles (the unaltered recipe calls for 6 Anaheim’s but I like (and found Poblano’s) 2 Jalapeno Chiles 1 tbs Canola, peanut (or other “tasteless” oil) 1 ¾ lbs chicken tenders, rough dice (original called for chicken leg quarters – but I didn’t have the time to mess with this. Using this meat would give a “richer” darker flavor) 1 ½ tsp ground cumin 1 ¾ cups chopped onions 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 ½ cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (may use up to 4 cups – depending on viscosity you desire) 1 ½ cups water 1 (15.5 oz) can cannelloni beans (such as Goya) rinsed and drained 2 tsp. flour (up to 3 tbls if using 4 cups broth) ¾ cup espresso (or strong brewed coffee) 1 tsp kosher salt 3 tbs sour cream ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese 6 lime wedges Preheat broiler. Cut chiles in half; discard seeds and membranes. Place halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 5 minutes or until blackened. (of course, fire roasting is best) Place in a heavy-duty zip-lock plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chiles; discard skins. Chop chiles. While chiles are roasting, dice onion, set aside in a bowl. Mince garlic and add with onion. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan to bowl (and keep warm). Dump cumin on top of chicken. Add onion and garlic to Dutch oven, sauté 6 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. (If using the chicken leg quarters, skin, de-done, chop meat, add cumin & mix with meat.) Return chicken to Dutch oven. Add broth and water, bring to simmer. Cook until chicken is done – maybe 5 minutes after simmer (150 – 160 degrees). Stir in beans; add chopped chiles, tasting as you go until reaching desired flavor and heat index. Combine four and espresso in measuring cup, stirring with a whisk. Stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook 15 minutes (if you can wait). Stir in salt. Spoon about 1 ½ cup soup into each of 4 bowls; top with cheese, sour cream and squeezed lime wedge.

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