New Mexico Green Chili: Green Chili and Wild Antelope Pozole

Our dear friend, and artist extraordinaire, Zannah Noe, gifted us a giant bag of frozen, roasted New Mexico green chilies, a souvenir of her 2012 Albuquerque painting stint. After sampling Zannah’s version of pozole during one of her early returns to SF, we were excited to have our own chilies on hand for a host of chili-accented dishes.

New Mexico green chilies are quintessential southwest food. Native chilies have been cultivated in the region for nearly 6,000 years. They’re full of vitamins – including tons of vitamin C – and the capsaicin (the stuff that makes them hot) has a number of medicinal uses. In fact, the evidence of capsaicin’s healthfulness is overwhelming and those who avoid hot chilies because of “stomach issues” do so to their detriment.  The capsaicin in chili peppers seems to have a protective effect on the stomach lining and may reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Contrary to popular misconceptions, peppers do not cause stomach ulcers. In fact, the chemicals in green chili aid in the prevention of diverticulitis, a nasty inflammation of the intestinal tract. Folks who suffer from heartburn often blame recently consumed peppers for the upset, but the real causes of an over acidic stomach have nothing to do with “spicy foods” and far more to do with poor diet. The bottom line: hot peppers are good for the stomach!

We finally busted out our frozen bag of flavor-packed peppers for this truly western stew. Pozole has an ancient, pre-Columbian origin and early versions of the dish were eaten ritualistically by early Americans; shared by entire communities, after sacrifices to the gods. In this version, we substitute traditional pork with wild antelope for a more flavorful, leaner stew. The pressure cooker makes quick work of rehydrating the hominy and tenderizing the wild meat. Served with warm corn tortillas, diced fresh radishes and cilantro, a bowl of green chili pozole is the perfect mid-winter warmer.


New Mexico Chili Association

The Chili Pepper Institute – New Mexico State University

Food as MedicineDharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

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Green Chili and Antelope Pozole

1 cup dried hominy, or 2 cans cooked hominy, drained
1 1/2 pounds antelope stew meat, or other venison (pork or beef can be substituted), cut into one inch pieces
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried cumin powder
1 bottle beer
4-6 cups chicken broth, water, or a mixture of both
1/2 – 1 cup, or more, pureed roasted New Mexico green chilies or canned chilies*
salt and pepper


queso fresco
diced avocado
sliced radishes
lime wedges
chopped cabbage
chopped cilantro

Special Equipment: pressure cooker

If using dried hominy; place the dried hominy on a baking sheet and search, picking out any small stones or other items. Rinse the hominy in a colander then place it in the pressure cooker. Cover with water at least three inches above the hominy and add 1 tablespoon salt, cover and heat over medium high until the water comes to a boil. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes. Release the pressure using the cold water method. Remove the lid and check the hominy for doneness. If more time is needed cook in 10-minute intervals until the hominy is chewy but still firm. Do not over cook it at this point. The hominy will need to cook a little longer with the meat. Once the hominy is cooked, drain the liquid and set the hominy aside.

Dry the inside of the pressure cooker before continuing. Place the pressure cooker over medium heat and add olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add pieces of the antelope to the pan. Do not over crowd the pan or the meat will steam instead of brown. Cook the antelope until well browned on each side, 3-5 minutes, remove from the pan and place on a plate, set aside. Continue to cook all the meat. Once all the meat is cooked and removed from the pan add more olive oil, if needed, and the diced onion. Cook for 4-6 minutes until translucent, scraping the pan often to avoid burning. Return the meat to the pan and add the oregano, cumin and other spices. Using a micro-planer, grate the garlic over the meat and onion. Cook for 20 seconds then add the bottle of beer, scraping up the brown bits.

Return the hominy to the pan and add the chicken stock, or water, making sure you have enough to cover the meat and hominy by about 2 inches. Add the pureed green chili, starting with 1/2 cup than add more if desired, 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time, up to 1 1/2 cups. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the broth to a boil then cover with the lid. Cook at low pressure for 20-30 minutes. Cool using the cold water method and check the meat for tenderness. If needed, cook the stew in 10 minute intervals until the meat is tender. The meat will tenderize if allowed to be cooked the day before and then reheated or cooked earlier in the day and allowed to rest before reheating and serving.

Serve with crumbled queso fresco, chopped avocado, slices of radishes, chopped cabbage, chopped cilantro, and wedges of lime to squeeze over the top.

*Some farmer’s markets sell roasted peppers or chilies. If you have one in your area, these fresh roasted chilies are much better than the canned varieties. However, in a pinch, you can always use the canned ones. Also, all chilies are not created equal. Some have more heat then others. Use caution when adding them to your pozole.

Celery: Braised Celery, Mushrooms, and Leeks; Waldorf Salad; Mean Green Juice

Celery is a vegetable in the same family as carrots, fennel and parsley, that in the U.S. is traditionally used during the winter holidays or as a diet aid. Children in the U.S. become familiar with celery because of the numerous delicious spreads that these half-tubes hold. Things like peanut butter, cream cheese, pimento cheese, and canned Cheeze Whiz mask the bitterness of the vegetable and make it more palatable to young taste buds. But, most kids will eat out the gooey spread, tossing the vegetable aside. It’s the astringent and bitter qualities that make kids, as well as many adults, dislike the vegetable.

The whole celery plant is edible: leaves, stalks, and root, also know as celeriac (a much milder tasting option). Older tougher leaves can be unpleasant and numbing to the tongue when eaten alone. However, chopped finely and tossed in any number of salads the bitterness adds a nice depth of flavor that’s often missing from mild lettuce leaves alone.

Celery is rarely eaten as a cooked side dish in the U.S. France is the only country that comes to mind that serves celery by itself; usually braised. Of course, there’s also the stir-fry dishes at most Chinese restaurants with more chunks of celery than meat, or anything else. Most likely because it’s so inexpensive. Chinese celery is often the preferred vegetable in these stir-fry dishes, but it’s not as easy to find in most grocery stores outside of major cities and their Chinatowns.

Celery has become a cliché with women and dieting. Often advertisers, when promoting a new diet product, will use the image of a woman eating a stalk of celery as the woman’s only known form for losing weight. It’s a misnomer that one will burn more calories eating a stalk of celery than the stalk contains – that it has a “negative” calorie effect in our diet. That celery is low caloric is not the only reason for eating it, or for that matter eating most vegetables and fruits. Raw celery does have only 8 calories per cup and is made up of mostly fiber and water, but it’s also a source of vitamins A, B, C, and E, potassium and calcium. Plus, the bitterness of celery is an astringent, which makes it a good diuretic, especially when concentrated and drunk in fresh juice form. So even though it might be a cliché, celery is a great vegetable for weight-loss when incorporated into a responsible diet plan.

The most common preparation for celery is to sauté it with onions and carrots, also called mirepoux or soffritto, when creating a soup or a base for a sauce. In Louisiana, the Holy Trinity of cooking consists of celery, onions, and peppers (red, green, or yellow). The bitterness of celery is mellowed and mingles with the sweetness of the carrots or peppers and the strong sulfuric qualities of the onion.

Storing celery in a plastic bag in the fridge will keep it crisp for a week or two. If the stalks become limp, however, don’t toss it away, just yet. Celery, like many vegetables, will rehydrate within an hour or two. Cut ¼ – ½ inch off the base end and place the celery in a glass of clean, cold, water. The stalks will drink up the water and become very firm. You can then use the newly hydrated stalks for cooking or just to munch on as a quick and healthy snack.



Sweet Onions & Sour Cherries, Jeannette Ferrary and Louise Fiszer

Vegetables, James Peterson

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Braised Celery, Mushrooms, and Leeks

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, cleaned and sliced thinly
6 ounces button mushrooms, halved, or quartered if large
5-6 celery stalks, strings of the celery peeled (optional), cut into 1” pieces
2 tablespoons Vermouth
2-4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon butter
salt & pepper
chili flakes (optional)

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil then add the sliced leek and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the leek is starting to wilt. Add the button mushrooms, season with a small pinch of salt, and sauté for 4-5 more minutes or until the mushrooms and leeks begin to brown. Scrape the pan often. Add the celery and sauté for 4-5 more minutes.

Deglaze the pan by adding the Vermouth and scraping the bottom of the pan. Add 2 tablespoons water and add the butter in small amounts over the vegetables. Season with a little more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a small pinch of chili flakes, if using. If the pan becomes dry, add 1-2 more tablespoons of water and scrape the bottom. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the celery is tender.

Waldorf Salad

5-6 celery stalks, cut into ½” pieces
1 medium apple, Granny Smith preferably, cored and cut into ½” pieces
1/4 cup whole fat yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons tarragon, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
salt & pepper
whole butter lettuce leaves, or other lettuce
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken or turkey (not deli meat)

In a medium bowl, add the celery, apple, and lemon juice, stir. Add the yogurt, mayonnaise, tarragon, and parsley; stir to combine. Add the walnuts and season with a few pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add the chopped cooked chicken or turkey if using.

To serve, place a whole lettuce leaf on a plate and scoop a generous portion of the apple and celery salad on top.

Mean Green Juice

2 Servings

4 – 5 celery stalks
1/2 cucumber
3 – 4 collard green leaves* (alternately use, kale or chard)
parsley, small bunch

Alternate the celery and cucumber with the collard green leaves and parsley in a high power juicer. Drink immediately.

*Use 8-10 ribs instead of using the whole leaves. Reserve the leaves for sautéing and cooking.