The other day my friend Kathy asked for a Chile Verde recipe. The truth is, I’d never made it before. Strange, I know, considering Mexican food is my all time number one favorite food. After several hours of watching YouTube videos of mostly non-english speaking women, I set out to make this delectable dish.
Do you know the difference is between “chili” and”chile”? In American English, “chili” is the most common spelling for the spicy peppers and the stew. In British English the preferred spelling is “chilli.” In Spanish speaking countries and regions of the US, “chile” is the most common variant. Because I spent several hours watching YouTube videos of Spanish speaking ladies making this authentic and delectable dish, we are going to call it chile!
A traditional Chile Verde is made with pork shoulder and potatoes simmered in a spicy green chili sauce. Aside from the obvious, there were several traditional elements that I found muy importante in making this recipe. The first being the use of the molcajete, or the Mexican mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one, don’t worry. You can simply cut your ingredients into thin slices, then give them a good smashing with the underside of your favorite coffee mug (the heavier the mug, the better), or add the ingredients to a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin.
I slow simmered browned soy curls and potatoes in the green verde sauce, which is made from garlic, onion, cilantro, four kinds of peppers, and roasted tomatillo’s. Ahhhmaaazing! Here ya are, Miss Kathy!
Vegan version of Chile Verdes! Even your pork loving friends will be amazed at this deliciously savory and hearty dish!
For Verde Sauce:
- 1 1/2 pounds of tomatillos (about 8 or 9), husks removed
- 4 cups organic vegetable broth
- 2 serrano peppers
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 1/2 cups cilantro, stemmed
- 1/4 onion
- 1 1/2 cloves of whole fresh garlic, peeled
- 1 additional clove of whole fresh garlic, peeled
- 1/2 onion julienned
Preheat oven to 475°.
- Add tomatillos to a lined baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until browned. Remove from oven to cool. When cooled slice in half.
- White tomatillos are in the oven; add broth, whole peppers, 1/4 onion, and 1 1/2 cloves of garlic to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer on medium for about 15 minutes.
- Remove vegetables, and immediately add them to a prepared ice bath, making sure to cover them adequately.
- Drain cooking stock into a large mixing bowl or another large vessel, BUT DO NOT DISCARD.
- Once vegetables have cooled, and ice has melted, remove vegetables from the ice bath (do not discard that water either).
- In a mortar, add boiled garlic and one additional clove of fresh garlic (not boiled) with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using the pestle, grind garlic into a fine paste.
- Seed all peppers and cut them into thin strips. Add to blender. Slice boiled onion and add to blender with cilantro. Add garlic paste and blend until smooth. (I needed to add just a bit of my stock water to thin out). If there is room, begin to add tomatillos, and blend. If not, blend tomatillos separately and then add to blended pepper mixture.
To make Curls:
- Add the ice water used to cool the pepper mixture to a sauté pan and add soy curls. Boil until curls have softened, about 5-8 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain soy curls.
- Heat a dutch oven over medium heat and add oil. When the oil is warmed, add julienned onion and soy curls (you may need to do this in batches). Cook until onions and curls have browned. About 5-7 minutes.
- When browned, remove curl/onion mix from dutch oven and toss in 2 tablespoons of flour. (I wanted a gluten-free version, so I used brown rice flour). Set aside.
- In the same pan, reduce heat to medium and add the sauce from the blender.
- Add 3 cups of reserved cooking stock, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and diced potatoes.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cook until potatoes have softened, about 20 minutes.
- Add soy curls, and cook until warmed through and chile has thickened. Taste for seasoning and serve.
- Garnish with pickled red onion, fresh cilantro, and plain vegan yogurt.
- Serve with very lightly fried corn tortillas. Enjoy!