10 November 2009


This is not my mother's chili! Not even close. This is a spectacularly meaty, flavorful, definitely Mexican/Southwestern version. (Unfortunately, some wonderful dishes just don't photograph well.) No chili powder comes near the pot. Instead, a perfect combination of oregano, cumin, green chilies, and jalapeños.
 In fact since my first trip to Santa Fe, there is no chili powder in my house, only powdered chiles. The red kind. The ones used in ristras. Authentic chiles. And, I fell in love with Hatch green chiles.

Tonight's chili verde is recipe from Ogelvie's Bar and Grill that was featured in a Bon Appétit article in the late 1990s.  We love this chili and are always torn about how much we eat straight and how much we make into chile con queso. Tough decision.

This chili has the perfect combination of meat and spices, with just a bit of broth. And, the fresh cilantro and chopped green onion toppings hit it out of the park. Tonight instead of standard green onions, or scallions, we have cipollini green onions from Joseph's. I hesitated over buying them as they were a bit more bulbular than I prefer--a sign in standard green onions that youth has passed. These young cipollinis are spectacular! According to the Specialty Produce website, they should be available all year round. I'm going to ask next time I'm at Joseph's.

[Ogelvie's Bar & Grill, Taos, NM)]

1/4 Cup Olive oil
3 lbs. Lean ground pork
2 Cups Onions, chopped
6 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
16 oz. Salsa Verde
14-1/2 oz. can Diced tomatoes in juice
1 Cup Low-fat chicken stock
16 oz. Green chilies, chopped
2 T. Jalapeno chilies, minced
1-1/2 T. Oregano, dried
1 tsp. Cumin, ground
1/2 Cup Green onions, chopped
1/2 Cup Fresh cilantro, chopped.

1. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add ground pork and 2 cups chopped onions.
3. Saute until pork is cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon--about 12 minutes.
4. Drain off fat.
5. Mix in garlic; set aside.
6. Melt butter in heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat.
7. Add flour; stir until deep golden brown, about 6 minutes.
8. Stir flour mixture into pork.
9. Mix in salsa, tomatoes with juice, broth, all chilies, oregano, and cumin; bring to a boil.
10. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
11. Season with salt and pepper.
12. Just before serving, stir in cilantro, and top with green onion.

Excellent mixed with Velveeta cheese = chili con queso.
* * *
A very good day, today. JA doesn't forget any promises, so he climbs out of bed this morning already talking about the Omaha Children's Musem. We defer until after naptime and by 8:30am CA has him out in the backyard playing Ready, Setty, Goey, Spider--running through the crunchy autumn leaves. We take a late morning walk to the park near the green fire hydrant and play on the train and the swing and the slides.

Beautiful LE smiles all morning, except when I try to give her the bottle. She has decided that she will not take a bottle from strangers, including me. She won't starve. She can live off her thighs and calves for weeks! Mommy is only working for a couple of hours today, so she's home in time to rescue Miss LE. They nap while we go to visit the green fire hydrant.

During naptime JE and CA assemble the IKEA organizers as I veg a bit with my new Elizabeth George book. By 3:15pm we are at the Children's Museum and discover it closes at 4:00pm. We go in to discuss purchasing a family membership. Too many options and none of them fit perfectly, so we wander into the gift shop until the very nice clerks tell us to go into the museum free of charge since it is so late in the day.

JA has a fun and frenzied 30 minutes and we are re-convinced that he needs a membership. The benefits exceed our expectations when we learn there are reciprocal arrangements with museums in many cities, including Chicago.

The big question that plagues JA as he heads for bed is, "What will we do tomorrow?" I suggest he think about it while he is going to sleep, but he needs an immediate answer so I suggest that we bake cookies. He runs off very delighted and expectant.

We love being here and every moment with the two little ones has us over-the-moon.

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