Green Chile Chili and Spicy Strawberry Dessert Salsa
To all our dear friends and family in the cold Northeast: we do not envy your bone-chilling cold this Valentine’s Day. I hope my Green Chile Chili menu will warm you up and tickle your tastebuds in the days to come. A bit of spice and heat in food is always welcome in the winter. Bright chiles and even out-of-season strawberries give the promise of warmer weather on the way.
Harris’s brother-in-law, Nathan, went deer hunting a while back and has at least 100 pounds of venison in the freezer. He shared his bounty with us, and today’s chili recipe was inspired by his gift. But you certainly don’t have to use deer meat. Beef chuck is delicious, too. I wanted a variation on the usual bowl of red and thought that several types of green chile would be a nice change. I added some tomatillos for an additional green component and braised it in a slow oven for tender, tender meat and mellow pepper flavors with a hit of heat that won’t knock your head off. Then I garnished it with cilantro and sliced raw jalapeños for crunch and a fresh, herbal note and topped it with creamy avocado.
For dessert, I made a strawberry salsa and paired with yummy paleo cookies I found on glutenfreebaking.com. I added some minced jalapeño for a little unexpected punchiness—it was so good with the bright, crunchy, sweet salsa. Use the cookies to scoop up the fruit for a paleo take on savory chips and salsa.
For tunes I picked some of my favorite love songs. I’m so grateful to be married to a man I adore, and wish everyone could have a joyous Valentine’s Day. I know this holiday can be bittersweet for some, and down right sad for others. That’s the thing about holidays. Love comes in a variety of ways. I sincerely hope that however you view this day, you will cherish those who love you and those you love in return.
- 2 lbs beef chuck or venison, cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 2 poblano peppers
- 2 Anaheim peppers or Hatch chiles
- 3 tomatillos
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 tbsp lard or ghee or coconut oil, separated
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- tbs salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes
- 1 cup broth beef, chicken, ham
- 1/2 cup cilantro minced
- 1 jalapeño sliced
- 2 avocados sliced or mashed
Raise oven rack to about 6 inches from the broiler element. Set the temperature to broil. Oil a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tbsp lard or oil. Remove the stem ends of the poblano and Anaheim peppers. Cut the peppers along one side and press open to flatten. Remove ribs and seeds. Lay the peppers skin-side up on the baking sheet. Remove the papery covering from the tomatillos and add to the baking sheet. Broil until skins are blackened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove vegetables to large zip top freezer bag or a paper bag. Allow the vegetables to steam. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F.. When cool enough to handle, rub the blacked skins from the pepper and chop them along with the tomatillos. Set aside.
Add 1 tbsp lard or oil to the rimmed baking sheet. Distribute beef or venison in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
In a Dutch oven, melt remain oil over medium heat, add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Do not brown. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add browned meat and any accumulated juices, peppers, tomatillos, broth and Rotel tomatoes. Place covered Dutch oven in the oven and braise for 3 hours. Taste for seasoning, adding cayenne if you like.
Garnish with cilantro, jalapeño and avocado.
- 1 cup strawberries finely chopped
- 2 kiwis finely chopped
- 1 apple finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lime juice
Mix together and serve with paleo sugar cookies (link below).