I am a jealous person. I try not to be because I do find jealousy to be one of the most unattractive characteristics in a person, but nevertheless, I too fall prey to the grips of jealous tendencies.
But I don't get jealous about normal things. If a lady sparks an interest for Matt? No biggie. If someone has a nice house that is decorated just like I would? I don't really care.
What I covet is skill. I covet people who are creative. Artists, for example. I just cannot process how a person can create something beautiful out of normal everyday materials. Painters, sculptors, composers, and last but not least, chefs.
I have always been very good at following directions. I can perform music that others have written, I can follow recipes, heck, I can even do a decent job following a paint by number, but when the training wheels are removed, I flounder (just like I did when the real training wheels WERE removed...in 4th grade...don't judge me).
So, creative people make me envious. Green with envy. And this only became more evident as I cooked a "green" centered meal from Veganomicon that was so damn creative, I could hardly take it.
I made the "Manzana Chili Verde" because it seemed weird. Apples in chili? Gross-ville, population: ME (I love teenagers). But this recipe had enough redeeming ingredients that I love (like cilantro, lime, potatoes, white beans, etc. etc. etc.), that I decided to risk it.
And I'm glad I did.
I didn't mess much up on the recipe side, but the trip to the grocery store was definitely a learning experience. First of all, I had no idea what a Poblano pepper looked like. Should have google imaged that BEFORE going, rather than after, but here's a pic, in case you were wondering:
Frankly, I can't tell the difference between this picture and a regular old Jalapeno, so...I don't feel like I'm any smarter.
I ended up buying 2 of these bad boys:
Those are Hungarian Wax Peppers. I have no real idea why I bought these because I even saw the name. I think I liked the way they looked.
I also ran into a little snafu while trying to locate the tomatillos. I've never seen one of these before and when I asked the overly friendly produce guy if they had any, he said no.
I didn't believe him.
And lo and behold, I found those tricky tom toms! Who KNEW they had jackets?
But, I found everything I needed and the rest of the experience was rather painless!
This was awesome. I loved how tangy yet spicy this chili was (I assume that was due to the apple and pepper combo). Matt was not a real fan, but I was! And since it was so green, you couldn't help but think you were eating something SUPER healthy! The only annoying part was having to transfer the hot liquid to my food process to blend, BUT, something tells me I may be receiving a hand mixer in the near future (a.k.a. it says so on my registry).
Adding the avocado as a garnish really sealed the deal for me as well.
Here's the recipe for Manzana Chili Verde from Veganomicon.
1 lb baby Yukon golds, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 T vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced small
3 jalapenos, seeded and sliced thinly
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped into 1" pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
1 t salt
1/3 c dry white wine
1 lb tomatillos, papery skin removed, washed, chopped into 1/2" to 3/4" pieces
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, quartered, and sliced thinly
2 c vegetable broth
1 c loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/4 c shopped scallions
1 (15 oz) can small white beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
Avocado slices for garnish
Place the chopped potatoes in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let boil, covered, for a little less than 20 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside. Of course, you should be preparing everything else while it is boiling.
Preheat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, jalapenos, and poblanos in oil for about 10 minutes, until everything is softened and the onions are slightly browned.
Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt. Saute for 1 more minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the white wine and tomatillos, raise the heat a bit to let the wine reduce and the tomatillos release their juices, about 5 minutes.
Add the apples, vegetable broth, scallions, and 1/2 c of cilantro. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to partially puree everything. If you don't have one, let the mixture cool slightly and pulse in a blender or food processor.
Taste for sweetness/tartness. Tomatillos are sometimes bitter; if that is the case, add a teaspoon or two of sugar and that should level things out. Add the cooked potatoes and the beans, simmer for a few more minutes, until everything is heated through.
Add the remaining cilantro and the lime juice. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the avocado and scallions, and serve.