Sunday, April 1, 2012

Trucks, Tech, and Green Chili.

I feel like a slacker, but life has gotten mildly crazy in the past two weeks.  I am not complaining, as I like the hustle and bustle, but at the same time, I am simply craving some down time.  Since I last wrote, Sam and I have been on a venture to buy a used truck.  We have spent every hour from 4 pm until 9 pm for the last 5 days after work test-driving and weighing our options.  Of course, in Iowa, the car dealerships are not right around the corner, so I have been annoyed by the drive time to both Iowa City and the Quad Cities on a daily basis to find "the one". I am proud to say, when we make big life decisions like buying a vehicle or any other big expenditure, we are extremely savvy.  We like to do our research and feel good about how we are spending our money and that it is a good investment.  However, there has to be some happy medium between being impulsive and being well-versed right?  I have been living, eating, and breathing vehicles all week, and I am ready to puke a 4x4.  We are both so indecisive and a decision must be made. We are looking at both a 2007 Titan LE and a 2007 Tundra Crew Cab. Enough power to haul our boat and our "someday" camper, as well as fit our "someday" kids.  Boy Scout Motto: Always Be Prepared.  Sometimes I think we are a little too prepared.... I will update you when we come to our conclusion!  What team are you on?  Team Titan or Team Tundra??  Please comment and chime in to help us make our decision! (See below for more details.)

In the meantime, work has gotten utterly insane, as the spring always does- standardized testing, field trips, planning, meetings about kids and with staff members abound!  This time of the year always gets a little hairy, but this year seems to be much more time-sucking. However, I was asked to team-teach a class this summer teaching teachers how to use SMARTboards and create their own lessons using SMART software.  I am seriously pumped about this opportunity and can't wait.  However, the paperwork that needs to be done prior is somewhat grueling- it is a course offered via our district, but also for re-certification credit and graduate credit, which evidently brings with it a lot more red tape, a syllabus written in advance, a professional vitae, and much more.  All due by Monday.  Between this and truck shopping, I am sorry to say that I am more than worn out!

So this is the recipe I meant to post last weekend, but never had the chance.  Remember when I spoke of that awesome green chili in my previous post about breakfast burritos? Well, after my trip to Colorado, I was on a mission.

It seems that not many people in the midwest of have ever heard of or tried green chili.  I was very surprised when in California a couple years ago. I ordered an omelette with "green chili", expecting the savory delicacy melt-in-your-mouth soup draped over my eggs, but I literally received eggs with nearly tasteless chopped green chilis. No onion.  No cumin. No sauce. Hardly what I expected and utterly disappointing.  Green chili is an awesome alternate to the traditional red chili- usually made with pork, chopped green chilis, onions, and savory seasonings.  Once the reluctant patron gets over the fact that it is green- which by the way usually it is more of a brown or even red- than they realize the true potential for this delicacy.

Green chili can be eaten many different ways including as a soup topped with cheese and sour cream or as a dip with chips...

 wrapped in a homemade tortilla or a topping for a burrito...

  ...or over eggs for a delightful huevos rancheros.  Yes, that was my stomach you hear grumbling.  It is simply delicious.

Several years ago, my husband decided to try to find a stellar recipe that captured everything we loved about green chili.  We managed to piece together a recipe that did the job.  We make it in huge batches now, sometimes fully intending to freeze it, but then gradually finishing off the entire batch throughout a week.  This  last week we made it and ate it with the fresh tortillas I bought while in Colorado.

See my previous post about the tortillas here. I took the remainder of the chili we had not eaten and made another batch of breakfast burritos and froze them for workdays.  I simply replaced the salsa with our homemade green chili.

First collect the ingredients: 

1 1/2 tsp. Granulated Garlic
2 1/2 Tablespoon Chicken Base
1 tsp Celery Salt
1 tsp Oregano
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1/2  Tablespoon  Jalapeno
1  Tablespoon  Fresh Cilantro (or to taste)
1/2  Tablespoon Chili Powder
 2 lbs.  pork cut small cubes
 1 cup cooked onion
 14 oz. chicken broth
10 oz. can green enchilada sauce
35 oz. canned chopped green chilis
1 Tablespoon chili powder (for puree)
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch (Use to thicken in the end if desired.) 

Cut the pork into one-inch pieces.  It is not important what pork you use.  I usually look for what boneless pork is on sale. Brown the pork and drain.

 Chop the onions....

Add onion and chicken broth (It will not cover meat and that is ok). Simmer approximately one hour. Stir often to avoid sticking. Continue stirring for one hour. 

Add 1 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic, 2 1/2 tablespoons of chicken base, 1 teaspoon of  celery salt, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1/2  tablespoon of chili powder and a little water.  Simmer 1 hour stir often avoid sticking.

Add 10 oz. can green enchilada sauce.  Simmer for a half hour.

Add 27 oz. of the canned chopped green chilis. (If green chilies are cold, increase to a boil).  Cook for an additional fifteen minutes. 

Puree the remaining 8 oz. of canned green chilies. Then add 1 tablespoon of chili powder. Add this puree mixture to the pot. 

Ten minutes later, add 1/2 teaspoon of chopped jalapeno, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the fresh chopped cilantro. 


So... What team are you on?  Team Titan or Team Tundra??  Please comment and chime in to help us make our decision!



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