Green Rice with Corn

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For Cinco de Mayo 2017, I made a Mexican-inspired meal, not surprisingly. Mexican and Southwestern foods are some of our favorites, and any excuse to cook a bunch of delicious food and include friends work for us!

For the main course, I served buffalo fajitas along with sautéed vegetables, plus I made refried black beans and what I called “green rice”.

The rice is green from green chiles and an abundance of cilantro. (Don’t read on if you dislike cilantro!)

Okay, so what’s the big deal? Rice with cilantro? I don’t know, but it was everybody’s favorite dish. I mean, over the queso, the guacamole, and the chipotle shrimp, the green rice was the bomb.

The next morning I heated some up and plopped a fried egg on top. It was just that delicious.

This rice is more of a pilaf, with all of the goodies I included. The green chiles, cilantro, and seasoning turn it into one that’s Mexican-inspired and delicious.

Green Rice with Corn

2 cobs of corn
Olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
1 onion, finely chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
Rice of choice, about 1 1/3 cups
Chicken broth, about 3 cups
2 – 4.5 ounce cans chopped green chiles
Lots of chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper, optional

Cook the corn cobs in boiling water until they’re done, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Add the olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and rice, and stir for about 30 seconds, then add the broth.

Bring the rice to a boil, cover, then turn down the heat. Cooking time depends on the kind of rice you use.

Once the rice is about cooked, remove the lid and stir in the remaining ingredients.

Cut the corn from the cobs. Break the corn up into neat pieces and stir into the rice gently.

I like to put the lid on and without heat, let the pot sit at the end of the cooking time. This step encourages more liquid absorption.

You can sprinkle on some cilantro leaves if you wish.

Fancy? Not at all. And just the same amount of time to make any pilaf.

And don’t forget to have the green rice with an egg the next morning!

Note: When I cook at home I always use brown rice, because it’s not processed. It takes a little more cooking time and a little more liquid, typically. White rice can certainly be substituted, and would actually look prettier. It’s just a personal call.

Pork Chile Verde

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Pork chile verde just means pork with green chile peppers, which I’m sure everyone knows. But there’s one other green component that’s typically in a chile verde, and that’s tomatillos. If you’ve never worked with them before, I really think you should at least make this recipe to experience the deliciousness that is a tomatillo.

Tomatillos have papery husks, and once they’re removed, they look like green tomatoes although they’re not related to tomatoes at all.
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When you buy tomatillos make sure they’re firm, not wrinkled up or rotten. They can be cooked or used raw. For me, raw tomatillo salsas are a bit on the tart side, so I use them in cooked sauces like in this chile verde.

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Here’s what I did to make this hearty pork stew with green chiles and tomatillos:

Pork Chile Verde

1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, quartered
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
Olive oil
4 pound trimmed pork butt, cut into bite-sized pieces
Black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery plus leaves, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 – 4 ounce cans chopped green chiles
2 bunches cilantro, rinsed, divided
3 cups broth, divided
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Sour cream, optional
Chopped cilantro, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, or 375 degrees on a roast setting.
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Place the cut up tomatillos, onion, and garlic cloves on a jelly-roll pan and sprinkle with some olive oil.
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Roast them for about 30 minutes.

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Meanwhile, heat up some olive oil in a large dutch oven on the stove over high heat. In batches, brown the pork.
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Continue with the remaining pork, adding a little more olive oil as necessary, and placing the browned pork in a large bowl; season generously with black pepper.
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When you are done with the pork, turn down the heat to medium, add the onion, celery, and green onions and sauté for about 5 minutes.


Then add the green chiles, 1 bunch of chopped cilantro, and 2 cups of broth. (I’ve even used a good Mexican beer to braise the pork, and it’s good!)

Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pot, and season with oregano and cumin. Bring the mixture to a boil, then gently simmer for about 30 minutes.


Keep the pot covered with a lid if you feel there’s not enough liquid to braise the pork. Or, if you feel there’s too much liquid, leave the pot uncovered and let the liquid evaporate gently.

Place the roasted vegetables in a blender jar. Add the second bunch of cilantro, and the remaining 1 cup of broth. Blend until almost smooth.


Pour the green sauce into the pot with the meat.

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Stir well, and simmer for about 1 hour.

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Pork chile verde is a stew. It should be thick, not some cubes of pork floating in a green soup. If you need to reduce the liquid a bit, don’t hesitate to do so. It will not adversely affect the overall dish.

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I like my chile verde with a dollop of sour cream!

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I also sprinkled on a little ground pink peppercorns. You could also use some cayenne flakes.
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Chopped cilantro also adds to the freshness of the chile verde; chopped green onions can also be included.
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note: I usually make pork chile verde the day before I first serve it. Somehow, it’s just better that way.

Poblano Roast

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Chile peppers are an integral part of Mexican and Southwestern cuisines, and it’s good to get to know them – especially the ones that are readily available to you.

One of the most well-known and available chiles is jalapeños, which are pretty hot, and tend to scare people. It’s okay if you never want to try them, although that would be a shame.

Poblano peppers, on the other hand, are mild, which makes them much more versatile. This is especially the case for those who don’t like things too spicy-hot, but want to experiment with Mexican and Southwestern cuisines.

The fresh poblano is dark green and long, about 5″ long on average. Dried poblanos are called ancho chiles, which you might have used before to make an ancho chile paste or sauce. Ground ancho chile powder is also available at spice markets.
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Chile pepper nomenclature is really involved and confusing. That’s why it’s good to become familiar with the fresh, dried, and smoked varieties of chile peppers that you can readily purchase locally. Those are the ones you’ll probably be using the most. This is my favorite chile pepper reference:

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Traditionally, you roast fresh chile peppers, like poblanos, before cooking with them. This process helps remove the thick peel, plus, the roasting adds flavor. After roasting, it’s just a matter of removing the peel, chopping the chiles, and you’re all done. The resulting green chiles are very similar to what you’d find canned, but they are so much better. It’s really worth the time having a poblano roast. And, it makes the house smell good!

First, purchase fresh poblanos that are nice and shiny and firm. Remove any dust or debris on the peppers.

To roast, place 2 or 3 peppers on a gas burner* and turn it on to the highest setting. Don’t overcrowd.
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Let them roast; you’ll hear the popping and sizzling. Move them using long tongs. This is hot work.
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Let them roast on all sides; they will become black and charred. The charring affects the chile peppers in a good way!

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When they are completely roasted, place the peppers in a paper bag. Seal the bag, and set it aside for the peppers to steam-cook. This action loosens the peels. This should take about 20 minutes.

After the chile peppers have cooled, gently rub them by using your hands or paper towels to remove the peels. It’s sort of like peeling a roasted beet, if you’ve done that.

There might be some little bits of char remaining, but that’s ok. That is what adds flavor. Whatever you do, don’t put the peppers under running water to help with peel removal. You will lose the precious, flavorful and pungent chile pepper oil.

After the peels have been removed, remove the stem using a sharp knife and discard. Open up each pepper body and remove the seeds. Personally, I like some seeds, so I’m not extreme about removing every last one. That’s just a personal choice.

Then chop or julienne the chile pepper, depending what size and shape you want. Each poblano pepper yields about 1/4 cup of chopped chiles.

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So now you have freshly roasted green chiles and you can use them in a soup, a stew, a sandwich, a salad, in a salad dressing, in rice, in beans, or in a dip like tomorrow’s post!

If you don’t want to roast raw chile peppers like poblanos, you can dice them up and saute them, just like you would green peppers and onions. Once they soften, the peels aren’t problematic. But roasting results in a far superior product!

* Alternatively, if you don’t have a gas stove, use a high setting on your oven like a 450 degree roast setting, or the broiler.

note: If all you can find are Anaheim peppers, which are longer and a lighter green, these are just as good to use. In fact, Anaheim peppers are what you typically get when you purchase canned green chiles. The roasting process is the same.