It is incredible how our world is so diversified. It seems as though with each year of my life, the planet is getting smaller. Well, it’s not really getting smaller; but, it’s easier to travel great distances. You hop on a plane and within hours, you can land in Spain, Brazil, or Paris.
My daughter left here a few weeks ago and before I knew it, she was calling us in England. Even as I drive across the United States, I always think about the pioneers who travelled the same distance in their covered wagons. It seems grueling to drive from Los Angeles to New Ulm in three days. I can’t even imagine how long this trek would have taken by wagon, not to mention the dangers.
The best part about the ease of travel is how people are becoming more acquainted with different cultures, traditions, and foods. I have always been fascinated by learning about different cultures. I love to sample new foods from far away places.
This month the United States celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated in this country since 1974 when President Ford extended Hispanic Heritage week to last an entire month. This celebration commenced on Sept. 15 and lasts until Oct. 15. Sept. 15 is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico gained independence on Sept.16 and Chile on Sept. 18.
Ahh…chile. Now, I am talking about the food, not the country. I am a huge fan of green chile.
To help celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to share with you the most delicious sauce I have ever tasted. My grandmother has been making this for as long as I can remember. I wasn’t able to eat it as a child because it was just too spicy. Now, I put it on everything: chips, sandwiches, cheeseburgers, tacos, burritos, fajitas, chicken, and eggs. My absolute favorite way to eat this is on eggs.
Last year, I grew my own Anaheim green chili, roasted them myself and made green chili sauce out of those. I had so many chilies that I made individual packages and froze them. I had chili all year long. It was amazing.
This year, I don’t have a garden. However, I am lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods market. Last weekend, as we walked into the market, a man stood out front roasting the Hatch green chili right there outside the store. I couldn’t believe it. Hatch green chili is the absolute best chili for this dish. It is grown in New Mexico. If your local market doesn’t sell this, you can order it and have it delivered to your door. Go to www.hatchnmgreenchile.com for more information. They send them fresh or already roasted.
Once you have the chili, from your garden or from the store, the green chili recipe is so easy. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare. You just skin the chilies and chop them up. I like to make a big batch and have it all week long to put on everything. I like to roast the tomatoes too. The flavor from the roasted chili and tomatoes is amazing. Then, you cut everything up into chunks, mix it together with chicken stock, garlic, onions, and pork or beef, and seasonings.
I leave out the meat because I like to use it as a topping for chicken or beef or eggs. So, my recipe doesn’t include the pork. If you add beef or pork, it is pretty much a meal in itself. Also, you can prepare these spicy or not because you can choose whatever green chili you desire. If you don’t want the spicy, but want the chili flavor, see what mild chili they sell at the grocery store.
If you just want to sample some Hispanic food and don’t feel like cooking, try some of the tasty snacks from Pepe’s El Original. These are in the Hispanic food section of your grocery store. My favorite is the Chicharrones. These are super spicy, crunchy and so good. My kids love the Churros De Canela. They taste just like the churros you get at the fair, but crunchier.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
10 Hatch chilies, roasted, skinned, and chopped
5 red tomatoes, roasted and diced
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon corn starch
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the diced onions and saut for five minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saut for five more minutes. Add the chili, tomatoes and stock. Let this simmer for about ten minutes. Add in the seasoning and mix well. Pour the cornstarch into a small glass of water and mix well. Slowly spoon the mixture into the green chili sauce. Let it simmer for a few minutes more to thicken it up.