Tag Archives: Poblano

Latin Pork & Tomatillo Stew

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Latin Pork & Tomatillo Stew

One of our very good friends just turned 30 so we attended a shin-dig hosted by his girlfriend over the weekend. The theme was “Fiesta” so I decided to bring Elderflower Sangria and a big pot of Latin Pork & Tomatillo Stew with homemade corn tortillas. Bringing a hearty stew to a party in the middle of July may seem strange, but I was happy to have something filling to soak up the booze.

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At less than 350 calories per serving, this stew is the perfect choice for a filling meal without the guilt. I’d highly recommend taking the 30 minutes to make the homemade tortillas, as they just bring something special to the table compared to the store-bought variety.

The pork takes a little while to roast in the oven, but it is totally worth it to achieve that fork-tender fall-apart texture. Next to the heat from the Serranos and the bright flavor of the tomatillos, the pork tastes wonderfully savory.

Start by roasting some poblano chilies under your broiler, then set them in a bowl to steam under a cloth for fifteen minutes.

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Next, get your pork, cilantro, garlic, salt, cumin, Serranos, green pepper, and onions into a Dutch Oven and into the oven to roast for one hour.

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Meanwhile, take two pounds of tomatillos…

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…husk them…

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…and chop them into quarters.

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Grab those poblanos out from under the dish cloth and peel them under running water. Remove the seeds, and chop.

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Add the tomatillos and poblanos to the pot and return it to the oven for another hour and a half. This would be a great time to work on some homemade tortillas!

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Add in the corn, stir, and taste. Add salt and black pepper as needed.

Garnish with cilantro and cotija cheese. Serve with warm corn tortillas for dipping!

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Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 poblano chilies
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped, divided
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 serrano chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 lbs. tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and each cut into quarters
  • 1 can (16 oz). corn, drained

Directions:

  1. Preheat your broiler to High and line a broiling pan with foil. Place the poblanos on the pan and broil close to the source of the heat, turning occasionally, until charred all over, about 10 minutes. Wrap foil around poblanos and allow to steam until cook enough to handle.
  2. Turn oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a heavy 5-quart Dutch oven, combine garlic, salt, half of the chopped cilantro leaves, pork, green pepper, onions, serranos, cumin, and cayenne. Toss to combine. Cover and bake for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, remove and discard skin and seeds from the poblanos. Cut chilies into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Stir  tomatillos and roasted poblanos into the Dutch oven. Cover and bake 1 1/2- 2 hours longer, or until the meat is very tender. Stir in corn and heat through. Sprinkle with reserved cilantro and cotija cheese.  Serve with tortillas.

Nutrition (per serving):

349 calories, 22 g. fat, 22 g. protein, 17 g. carbs, 4 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 9

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Poblano Chicken Tacos with Pipicha

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Poblano Chicken Tacos with Pipicha

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Our neighborhood Farmer’s Market opened up this past weekend so we dropped by to pick up some goodies. I brought home fava beans, Mexican mint, and Pipicha (pictured, above right). While I’d never  heard of Pipicha before, the farm owner selling the herb explained to me that Pipicha is an herb commonly used in Mexican cooking. It tastes like a cross between cilantro and mint, with hints of lemon and anise. I brought home a bundle of it and had to try it out right away.

I also had to use up some of my mint by making drink’s I’ve dubbed “Brazilian Mojitos.” Recipe to come in a few days!

I recently bought a tortilla press and have been dying to try it out by making homemade tortillas. I was shocked at how fast it was to make my own corn tortillas at home. If you don’t have a press, you can still easily make your own tortillas using the bottom of a glass pie plate or simply with a rolling pin. No matter what you use, make sure you flatten the tortilla dough between two pieces of parchment paper for easy handling.

To make the tortillas, just buy a bag of Masa Harina (on the Hispanic foods aisle) and mix it with water. The bag will typically say what ratio to use; I mixed 1 & 3/4 cup masa harina to 1 & 1/8 cup water, which made about 12 small corn tortillas. Mix the dough, let it rest for 3o minutes while you prep the rest of your meal, divide the dough into 12 portions and form it into balls, then press using your method of choice into round tortillas. Simply cook them in a skillet over medium-high heat for thirty seconds per side and keep them warm in the oven until you are ready to eat them.

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These tacos really hit the spot. I roasted some Poblano Chiles under the broiler and mixed them with some chicken I grilled up in a skillet. I added some of the pipicha to the pan and then de-glazed it with tequila. I added the pipicha to the chicken and poblano mixture and kept it warm in the oven while I fried up the tortillas.

Poblano Chicken Tacos with Pipicha

I assembled my little tacos and topped them off with fresh cilantro, more pipicha, and crumbled cotija cheese. This was meant to be enough for four servings (12 tacos, so 3 tacos per person seems reasonable, right?) but the husband and I ate all 12 of them in one sitting. Whoops.

honeypoblanotacos3Here’s the recipe:

Makes: 12 tacos (2-4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Poblano Chiles
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast (two small breasts; or, use leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 Tbsp. pipicha, roughly chopped (substitute cilantro and/or mint if you can’t get your hands on any pipicha)
  • 1 3/4 c. masa harina (or, use store-bought tortillas if you’re into that sort of thing)
  • 1 1/8 c. water
  • Cumin, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Splash of tequila
  • Cilantro and cotija cheese for garnish

Directions:

  1. Make the tortilla dough by combining the masa harina and water in a medium bowl. Mix with your hands and form it into a large ball. If it is crumbly, add a little more water. If it is sticking to your hands, add a little more masa harina. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place a heavy pan (preferably cast iron) on the stove and heat to medium-high. Season your chicken breast with salt, pepper, and cumin. Once your pan is hot, add a bit of oil to the pan (olive oil works great) and add your chicken breasts. Let them sear for one minute, then turn them over, turn the heat down to low/simmer, and cover the pan. Set a timer for ten minutes and leave the chicken alone – don’t open the lid!
  3. While your chicken is cooking, preheat your oven’s broiler on its highest setting. Place your poblano chiles on a baking sheet and place on the highest rack in your oven. Check on your poblanos every minute or so, turning occasionally so the peppers become charred and roasted on all sides. You want the skin to blister but not to burn and turn black. Once they have finished (about ten minutes or so), remove from the oven and turn your oven down to 200 degrees. Place the peppers in a bowl and tent them with tin foil. About this time your kitchen timer for your chicken will go off. Turn the burner off and re-set your timer for another ten minutes. Once this second timer goes off, your chicken is done and ready to be shredded. Remove it to a cutting board and shred with two forks.
  4. Now, remove the tin foil from your poblanos and bring them over to your sink. With the cold water running (just a mild stream), peel off the broiled outer skin. It should rub off easily as it has been steaming under the foil. The cold water will also help it peel off. Once you have the skin off, pull the stem out, open up your pepper, and rinse all of the seeds out. Once both peppers are skinless and seedless, move them over to your cutting board and chop them up. Place in a oven-safe bowl with the shredded chicken.
  5. Turn your pan back onto medium-high heat and add your chopped pipicha. Stir it around with a wooden spoon to get it mixed in with all the yummy leftover chicken goodness. Keep it moving so it does not burn. Once the pan is nice and hot, pour in some tequila and let it bubble in the pan. Keep working the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon until the liquid is reduced. If you don’t have any tequila, you could just use a little chicken broth or water. Empty the pan’s contents into the bowl with the chicken and poblanos. Place the bowl in your oven to keep it warm.
  6. Divide your tortilla dough into 12 equally-sized balls, rolling with your hands to ensure the dough doesn’t have cracks. Get that dirty pan back on your stove and put the heat back on medium-high. One by one, place a ball into your tortilla press (or under a pie plate) between two pieces of parchment paper. Press into tortillas. As each tortilla is pressed, drop it directly into your hot pan and cook for 30 seconds per side, or until golden brown with spots. Place cooked tortillas on a plate in the oven to keep warm.
  7. Once all of your tortillas are cooked, pull all of your goodies out of the oven and assemble into tacos. Start with the tortilla on the bottom, top with some of the chicken-poblano mixture, and garnish with cilantro, pipicha, and cotija cheese.

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Nutrition (per 3-taco serving):

411 calories, 9 g. fat, 42 g. protein, 38 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 10

What are you looking forward to picking up at the Farmer’s Markets this summer?