Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bringing Southwestern flavors to the Northern Rivers

Happy Cinco de Mayo! 

As part of my care package from home, I received eight cans of green chiles from my parents and two large cans of green chile enchilada sauce. Ohhhh mama! In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo (mostly coincidental) and celebrating real [New] Mexican food, I cooked my roommates chile verde for our first group dinner using most of the chiles sent from home. I'm happy to say it was a hit! I got to give everyone a taste of green chiles and even my Aussie roommates loved it! Here are some photos of our lovely dinner :)

If you're interested, here's the recipe I use for chile verde, from my Southwest Slow Cooking recipe book:

Chile verde about to start cooking.
One onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
2 lbs chicken (the recipe actually calls for pork but since I don't eat pork, we're going with chicken)
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp oil 
15 green chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped
1 tsp cumin
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or more depending on how soupy you want it)

The preparation is so simple (especially if the chiles are from a can and already chopped up, though freshly-roasted green chiles are always desirable when they're available). Saute onions and garlic, add to slow cooker. Brown meat in oil and add flour to chicken, and throw everything in the slow cooker. Cook 6-8 hours on low. I had just under 4 lbs of chicken for 7 people and luckily everything fit into the slow cooker I borrowed from my awesome RA. 

Chile verde is one of my favorite southwestern dishes of all time and it did not disappoint. My roommates all loved it! To go along with the theme, I also made simple cheese quesadillas and one of my roommates, Taylor, made some guacamole to share. For dessert, Bayleigh and her newly-arrived, fresh from the USA beau, Gary, made delicious chocolate chip cookies. Not southwestern-themed, but definitely an American classic. 
Taylor showing off the goods.

Bayleigh sneaking a taste
Gary and Bayleigh

Left to right: Zoey (Aus), Kinji (Japan), me, Bayleigh (USA), and Taylor (USA).
Our unit: Bayleigh, Harry (also Aus), Zoey, Kinji, Taylor, and me.
It was the perfect day for a hot dinner. It's autumn in Lismore and the nights are quickly cooling off. Today was the coldest day so far with rain microbursts in the afternoon and all throughout the evening. 

I might just have to make this again for everyone. I've got some green chiles left over and green chile enchilada sauce that I could use for basically the same thing. But maybe I'll just have to mix it up and make green chile enchiladas instead :). All in all, it was a great evening and wonderful to share some of my beloved Southwestern culture with my roommates. 

Next up is Kinji, who's planning to make authentic Japanese sushi for us. I can't wait! One month left and we're definitely all making the most of it.

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