Green Chile was a novel concept to me until I moved from the midwest to Arizona and then to Colorado. My Iowa roots only knew Chile as red, in Chile Con Carne. I’ve grown to love green chile but I prefer mine mild. This Green Chile was a favorite of mine made at a local office building cafeteria many moons ago. It’s been years since I have made the turkey (vs. pork) green chile and I was happy to experience it once again. The original recipe made a much heavier roux but I prefer it on the lighter side.
Warm flour tortillas to serve with the chile to warm you on these cold winter nights!
TURKEY GREEN CHILE
3 quarts (96 oz.) chicken stock (remove 1 cup for roux)
1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup diced onion
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
12 ounces diced green chiles
2 pounds ground turkey
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon jalapenos
4 tablespoons flour (or more if you want the chile to be thicker)
16 ounces chopped tomatoes
2 to 3 chopped green onions
salt, cayenne or tabasco to taste
Prepare chicken stock. Simmer while preparing other ingredients.
Heat olive oil; add onion, cilantro, 8 ounces green chiles, turkey, garlic, oregano and jalapenos until turkey is cooked. Lower heat.
Combine flour with the 1 cup of reserved stock to make roux. Mix thoroughly. Add to stock and stir. Add sautéed mixture.
Add 4 ounces green chiles, chopped tomatoes and additional green onions. Season to taste.
As we hiked back up the hill to the dining lodge, I was anxious for fresh fruit juice and a delightful lunch. Today, we enjoyed fresh juice and salad, and chicken/vegetable curry over rice. Notice the gorgeous fresh flowers that graced our tables.
Fresh salad for lunch
Our afternoon activity was right up my alley. We were making corn tortillas with the staff over a wood stove as well as roasting and grinding coffee beans from the farm (coffee grinding to be covered in a future post of my full coffee experience). I will never take corn tortilla making for granted!
Step one for authentic corn tortillas involves Masa, Spanish for dough. Masa is made from field corn which is dried and treated with a lime water solution.
Next, we ground the corn by hand with a grinder. If we Americans did this every day, there would no more flabby upper arms…this is hard work!
After the corn was ground it was time to make the tortillas. Our teacher was a pro but this virgin tortilla maker failed miserably. I’ll spare you a photo of my alien-shaped wonder.
The final step was the taste test. The packaged corn tortillas from the grocery store don’t stand a chance compared to the real thing.
The women of Nicaragua are amazing. Many do not enjoy the modern conveniences that we take for granted, yet are full of joy working hard to serve their families and guests wonderful food and hospitality. I feel so blessed to experience this with our wonderful teacher. I yearn for more!
My dear sweet friend and neighbor, Maribeth, made this dish for our family the summer of 1997. We had several family members in town and they were crazy for this dish. My step-daughter Karen, even had the leftovers for breakfast the next day.
It has since become a family favorite, any time of year. After Thanksgiving, I freeze any leftover turkey to use specifically for this casserole. Leftover chicken would work equally as well. I often make the casserole the day before and let the dish rest and enhance the flavors.
This would be a great dish for Super Bowl parties!
TURKEY ALA MUMBA
1 pound cooked turkey or chicken (3 cups)
2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained
2 medium onions, chopped
7 ounce can diced mild green chiles
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped or 1 T. dried
1 pound low fat Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese, grated
12 6″ corn tortillas, cut in half
Preheat oven to 350F. Set aside 1/2 cup black beans. Combine turkey, remainder of black beans, onions, chiles, soup, stock, garlic and spices.
Layer 12 tortilla halves in 9×13″ pan. Cover with half of mixture, sprinkle on half of cheese. Repeat layers of tortillas, mixture and cheese. Sprinkle reserved black beans across top.
Bake 45 minutes until cheese is brown. Serve with sour cream and salsa. Freezes well if you are lucky enough to have leftovers!
My mother made a very mild, traditional Midwestern tomato chile. As a child, I was not fond of the chili because of the perceived HUGE tomatoes chunks my mother would add from her stash of home-canned tomatoes. How I long for her homemade red chile now.
In my late 20s, I moved to Arizona and then settled in Colorado and was introduced to green chile. Trust me, in Iowa, the spiciest thing you would come across was a pickled pepper! Green chile sounded like red chile gone bad until I tasted it. Oh my gosh, it was a spoonful of heaven upon any burrito, relleno, or enchilada that came my way.
I love the smell of fresh roasted chiles at the Farmer’s Markets in the fall. I can peel and eat them fresh and warm and if any are remaining, I use them in green chile or freeze them (after peeling and seeding) for future use.
One of my favorite green chili recipes is:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds lean pork, cubed
1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
8-10 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup water
flour tortillas, warmed
Heat oil in large stockpot. Add pork, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute until pork is browned.
Drain juice from tomatoes into stockpot. Chop tomatoes and add to pork with chiles and 2 cups water. Stir well and simmer covered for 45 minutes.
Whisk together flour and 1/3 cup water until smooth. Add to chile mixture and stir constantly until well blended and slightly thickened.
Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with warm tortillas or freeze.
Enjoy a nice bowl of chile with a warm tortilla or use it as a sauce for enchiladas, burritos or chile rellenos.