Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rick's "Not So Verde" Chile Verde

“I am making a huge batch of my chile verde,” my friend Rick said to me on the phone, “and I want you to come over on Wednesday night to try it out.” I know by now that when Rick calls, I go a runnin’. So far he’s made me exquisite salmon and I’ve made him birthday carbonara. We have a ping-pong supper club for two where we eat, drink, and share spiritual insights towards the “searching for meaning” journeys we are both on.

I know by now that when Rick cooks, he makes a bounty of food so I decided to walk to his house for this feast along the Venice Beach shoreline to Santa Monica at the perfect time when the sun was setting along the watery horizon. It took an hour and a half of blissful thigh burn to get there, which made me primed for his take on the classic Mexican dish.

According to Rick, his “Not So Verde” Chili Verde (like all of his other wondrous dishes) does not come from a recipe card noted with specific quantities and measurements because he doesn’t do it that way. He prefers to encourage others to experiment, which he believes is the true joy of cooking for an individual’s unique palate.

Rick’s “Not So Verde” Chili Verde

Start with a lean cut of pork, a shoulder roast or a loin, cubed into bite size pieces. Soak it in beer overnight. Any Mexican beer will do.

Chop up a large, sweet onion and sauté it. Throw in a couple cloves of diced garlic and add a couple large cans of crushed tomatoes.

Buy four to six EACH of poblano, yellow, jalapeno and any other chiles that strike your fancy. Roast and peel them and throw them into the tomato sauce.

Drain and dry the cubed pork and brown it on all sides and dump it into the pan.

Add a little cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Throw a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar in. Throw in a couple cans of El Pato brand Mexican hot sauce and a bottle of La Victoria chunky salsa verde.

Lastly, throw in two large cans of roasted and seeded Ortega Brand green chiles. Slice them lengthwise before throwing them in.

Cook it down until you like the way it tastes.

Rick also makes his famous refried beans to accompany this dish. Start by cooking finely chopped bacon and sweet onions and then throw in a can of pre-cooked pinto beans. Salt and pepper to taste and mash to a pleasing consistency.

Make a big pot of the chile verde and keep some in the freezer because it gets tangier and saucier with each heat up. Serve with warmed up tortillas, your choice of queso, avocado slices and the refried beans.

We ate ours with a little Negro Modelo followed by champagne, rice pudding and caramel flan custard. Ole!

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