Friday, August 12, 2011

Clean on Friday...and Green Chili

That's how the 'days of the week' towels go, isn't it?

I am slowly making a dent in the mountain of paperwork, clean-but-not-put-away clothes, projects, etc. that have accumulated around this place. It is such a pleasure to see a space, shining clean and polished. Must keep going!
   The "twelve items" rule is helping. In short, here it is:
   Pick up and put away (or throw away) at least a dozen items a day. No matter what.

It doesn't look like much at first -- but then the countertops start to empty. And that inspires you to do more. I'm also thinking of clearing out the refrigerator by stuffing a batch of meals in the freezer, while it's still reasonably cool out. (Our temps dropped to the 70s and low 80s in the past few days...oh my.) Chicken broth is cooking now, but soon it will become green chili, thanks to Hatch chilis (the best, bar none - from Hatch, New Mexico) and pork ($1.20 a pound!) on sale.
    Green chili takes a few minutes of chopping, then time for the ingredients to meld. And once it's done, it's the ultimate Western convenience food: it can be spooned over any kind of potatoes, rice, tortillas. With a little cheese, you've got supper!
    Green chili enchiladas tonight during our customary Friday night are the recipes.

   a kettle of homemade chicken broth*
          (or two large cans chicken broth -- or 4 chicken bouillon cubes)
   4-6 fresh green chilies (or two small cans chopped green chilies)
   1 large finely chopped onion
   2 tablespoons chopped garlic
   1 small or medium can chopped tomatoes (or 3 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped)
   1 pound cubed fresh pork (2 pounds, if you like it really meaty)
   1 tablespoon cumin

Clean out and roughly chop the chilies, scraping out the seeds first. (Unless you like it really hot!) Brown the pork, if you like, then rinse that pan into the broth. Add everything else, let simmer at least 4-6 hours. (I use a slow cooker, and let it go all day. The odors at suppertime are intoxicating.) Serve with tortillas and cheese.  Makes enough for at least 3-6 meals for 2-4 people, depending on how you use it.


3-4 corn tortillas per person
1 pound mozzarella, Monterey Jack or other mild cheese
2 cups chopped chicken
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 cups refried beans (optional) -- or a can's worth
green chili from recipe above (about 3 cups)
handful chopped fresh cilantro

Take a minute to grate a cup of cheese, set aside for later. Roughly chop the rest.
Microwave the tortillas for a minute, so they're soft and flexible. Lay three out in a 9x 13 pan, top with a tablespoon or two  of chopped cheese, chicken and onion (plus a spoonful of beans, if you're so inclined). Roll up quickly, then lay three more tortillas flat. Continue until done.
     Ladle the green chili over the enchiladas, then sprinkle on the cilantro. Finish with a handful of grated cheese.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min., until bubbling. Yum.
(P.S. This freezes beautifully. Bake frozen casserole at approx. 1 hour at 350 degrees.)

*Homemade chicken broth -- Got chicken bones leftover from something else, and a slow cooker? You can have broth. Dump the bones in, along with skins and bits from any vegetable 'dried-ups' or leftovers. (I used the carcass from a roasted chicken, picking the meat off first. Or use a few pieces of uncooked chicken, picking the meat off before you discard the bones.) Add any leftover gravy or mild sauce. (A good way to clean out your refrigerator of those dribs and drabs.) Fill the slow cooker with water and set to low -- that's it. Let cook overnight; in the morning, drain off the broth and discard the solids. Store in refrigerator up to one week.

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