22 February 2009

Easy Green Chile Stew

I love Hatch chiles. I have them canned, in the freezer, made into sauce, crushed and powdered. Having New Mexican food after a lifetime of TexMex really opened my eyes to the idea of the chile as a star ingredient. I already add chiles and hot sauce to nearly everything, but always as an ingredient, not as a star.

That all changed one day last September in Hatch, NM at a restaurant called 'The Pepper Pot'. A simple meal of chile rellenos, one chile with red chile sauce, the other with green, was a revelation. The sauces were very plain, seemingly just chile powder, water, a little thickener (flour and oil maybe?) and possibly a touch of salt. All you tasted was the chile. And it was magnificent.

It was so good, that we left early the next day so I could eat there again before we headed to Santa Fe...

This led me, in a frenzy one very cold and gloomy Missouri winter day, to order a boxed Green Chile Stew mix from my favorite source of powdered chiles. I had very low expectations, but it was actually very good for an 'instant' stew. So, I decided to step it up a little. My stew adds beans and corn to make it a complete meal, and still is pretty quick and easy. The box took 30 minutes to make, you can do this one in a pressure cooker even faster.

Easy Green Chile Stew
(If using canned beans, see instructions following the recipe)
makes 8-10 cups

1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
6 c water
1 1/2 c zuni red beans, soaked overnight and drained
2 dried chipotle chiles (or substitute 2 tsp smoked paprika, see note)
6 Tbs green chile powder (see note for source)
2 c diced red or yukon gold potatoes
1 c frozen or fresh corn kernels
2 tsp sea salt

Set pressure cooker to 'brown' setting.
When cooker is warmed, add olive oil
Add onions and saute 2 minutes
Add garlic and saute 1 minute
Add water, beans, chipotle & chile powder
Pressure cook at 10 pounds pressure for 11 minutes
When cooker goes off, release pressure and add diced potato
Pressure cook at 10 pounds for 6 minutes
Release pressure and add corn and salt
Stir well so it doesn't stick on the bottom.
Pressure cook at 10 pounds pressure 1 minute
Release pressure and serve.

The stew can be eaten by itself, or served over brown or wild rice. Garnish with chopped green onions and a dollop of sour cream or vegan sour cream. A little grated Chihuahua, Jack or your favorite vegan cheese over the top of each serving is also excellent.

Using canned beans:
Set pressure cooker to 'brown' setting.
When cooker is warmed, add olive oil
Add onions and saute 2 minutes
Add garlic and saute 1 minute
Add potatoes and chipotle
Add water to cover.
Pressure cook at 10 pounds pressure for 6 minutes
Check potatoes. They should be nearly done. If not, cook a minute longer
When potatoes are nearly finished, add remaining ingredients
Pressure cook at 10 pounds pressure for 1 minute
Release pressure and serve

We get our green chile powder from Chimayo To Go . They ship quickly and have very good prices on bulk chile powders. For real Mexican/New Mexican taste, you'll also want to get chicos and dried epazote from this page

For smoked paprika, this is the best stuff EVER! From The Spice House


  1. If, hypothetically, one had a multitude of mushrooms (portabellos bigger than her head) and some crazy looking zuchinni (sphereical...) and a lot of rocket and some balsamic that Tae left behind sometime...what on earth am I to do / would you do with it?


  2. I'd grill the mushroom and let it cool. Make a salad of the rest with a balsamic dressing and chomp away. You could also add some black beans to it, or some cold cooked grains.