Cool weather a hot time to cook with chilies
The chili plays a key role in many of the worlds cuisines to the delight of both diners and doctors! Kicking up the flavor of dishes without adding fat, chilies are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, and they increase metabolism, preserve foods, and can aid health issues such as heart diseases, cancer, asthma and allergies. Scientists are even working with chilies to create new pain drugs.A common misconception is that chilies are hard on ones stomach; not true! Chilies actually aid gastrointestinal health. The chemical that gives chilies both their punch and healthful qualities is capsaicin (kap-say-ee-zin), and the majority is found in the internal veins and seeds.Here in the American Southwest, green chilies rule in Mexican-inspired dishes. Different varieties of green chilies have different levels or heat; if you like your chilies mild, try Anaheim peppers.Green chilies are roasted over an open flame, and then closed in a bag to steam. This adds a rustic and roasty flavor, and makes skin removal a snap. You can do this at home on your grill, but commercial roasters do a much better job, and they do it faster.Sure you can get chilies in a can, but fresh roasted local chilies are far superior. Dont let the season pass you by: The next few weeks is your only chance to buy fresh roasted green chilies until the fall of 2005. Stop at a roadside stand and order up a bushel. Bring the warm chilies home, pack in Ziploc bags and stack them neatly in your freezer. If wrapped well theyll easily last a year in your freezer. Chef Mick Rosacci, Tonys Meats & Specialty FoodsChef Michaelangelo (Mick) Rosacci and family own and operate Tonys Meats & Specialty Foods and Tony Rosaccis Fine Catering in Littleton and Centennial. More recipes atwww.TonysMarket.com. Chili Rellenos8 roasted chilies, peeled1⁄2 pound cheddar or Jack cheesevegetable oil1 cup flour1⁄2 teaspoon salt1⁄2 teaspoon sugarpinch baking soda1 egg1⁄2 teaspoon oil1 cup ice cold water Earlier in the day: Cut cheese into fingers to fit into each chili. Make a small slit on the side of each chili that is just big enough to slip cheese into and carefully remove seeds and veins. Carefully insert cheese fingers into each chili, pat dry and place on paper towels in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.When ready to cook: Heat oil in a deep fat fryer or at least 1⁄2 inch deep in a frying pan or wok. Ideal temperature is 375 degrees shimmering and almost smoking. Combine flour, salt, sugar and baking soda. In a cup, beat egg, add oil and cold water and beat to combine well. Combine with flour mixture and mix gently. DO NOT OVERMIX a few lumps are fine. For a thicker batter, increase flour. Masa flour may be substituted for some or all of the flour as desired.Immediately after mixing, dip chilies into batter, allowing excess to drip off. Carefully slide coated chili into hot oil, frying until golden brown on each side. Serve with green chili gravy. (Recipe follows.) Quick Green Chili Gravy2 tablespoons vegetable oil2-3 tablespoons flour or masa2 cups chicken stock1 clove pressed garlic2 tablespoons minced onion8-12 roasted chilies, peeled, seeded and choppeddashes of oregano and cumin to taste1 small can chopped tomatoes In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown flour and oil, stirring constantly, cooking to produce a golden roux. Whisk in stock and remaining ingredients and simmer over medium to low heat to marry flavors and reduce to taste; adjust seasoning. Serve on anything and everything that needs a green-chili zing. Chef Mick Rosacci, Tonys Meats & Specialty Foods Classic Pork Green Chili3 pounds pork, cubed1 tablespoon oil3⁄4 cup flour or Masa1-3 tsp salt*3 cups chicken stock5 cups fresh roasted green chilies1 tablespoon fresh oregano1-2 jalapeos or chipotles (optional)1 tablespoon minced garlic14-ounce can tomatoes, chopped In a Dutch oven, brown pork cubes in oil (in batches if necessary). Add spices and flour and mix well. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring well to avoid lumps. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and let simmer until meat is tender and sauce is thick (about 2 hours). Adjust seasoning as desired. *Careful with the salt, some stocks are salty. Chef Mick Rosacci, Tonys Meats & Specialty Foods Pueblo Green Chili Stew2 pounds boneless pork sirloin or shoulder, cubed1 tablespoon vegetable oil3 12-ounce cans corn kernels, drained2 stalks celery, without leaves, diced2 medium potatoes, diced2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped12 ounces roasted, peeled and diced green chilies4 cups chicken broth2 teaspoons ground cumin1 teaspoon dried oreganosalt, to taste In large Dutch oven or deep skillet with lid, brown pork cubes in oil over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add rest of ingredients to pot, cover and simmer for one hour. Serve hot with fresh corn or flour tortillas. Serves 8. Quick Green Chili Sauce2 cups chopped green chilies1 fresh zucchini, cut into half coins2 ears of fresh corn, or 1 can kernel cornup to 1 cup chicken stock or waterSaut corn and zucchini in a stick-free pan for 3-5 minutes. Add 1⁄2 to 1 cup chicken stock and simmer approximately 15 minutes. Add green chilies and simmer 10-15 minutes more. Adjust to desired thickness with chicken stock. Serve on everything from eggs to steak. Grilled Green Chili SalsaGreat for chips or as a condiment.1 sweet onion, sliced2 ripe tomatoes, sliced2-3 tablespoons olive oil sea salt and freshly ground pepper5-10 roasted green chiliesjuice & zest of 1⁄2 lime1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced1⁄2 teaspoon cumin1-2 cloves garlic, pressed2 tablespoons chopped cilantrominced jalapeo (optional)pinches of sugar Brush onion and tomato with some of the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill onions over medium-high heat until soft and brown; grill tomatoes to mark and lightly char. (If chilies are not roasted, grill to blacken, place in a bag to cool peel and seed.)Chop onion, tomato and chilies and combine with remaining olive oil, lime, herbs, jalapeo and garlic, as well as salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Cover and let rest in refrigerator for several hours serve at room temperature with chips, over grilled meats or as a condiment. Chef Mick Rosacci, Tonys Meats & Specialty Foods
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