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.

The pressure is on

Wonderful flavors of orange, rosemary, and red wine are perfect for a weeknight Valentine's day dish.

With so many new kitchen gadgets coming onto the market these days, it’s easy to understand why home cooks feel overwhelmed by the expanding kitchen toolbox on offer from our favorite retailers. We thought it would be nice to take a step back in time by returning to a classic, trusted device we’ve come to love – the pressure cooker. As we write “trusted,” our thoughts turn to our mothers and their fears of exploding lids, shattered glass and hot molten food blown all over ceilings and walls. Some love these things, some hate them, and some don’t know what the hell we’re talking about. Read on, we’ll explain.

Pressure cookers are stove top pans with locking lids on them that use steam and pressure to cook food very, very quickly. Think of it as a sort of precursor to the microwave that hisses but doesn’t emit electromagnetic waves (or reheat coffee). There are so many great uses for the pressure cooker it’s a wonder why there aren’t more of them in U.S. households. But when we bring up the joys of the pressure cooker to our moms, we can see shrieks of terror in their eyes. Modern pressure cookers are infinitely safer than those our grandmothers used to put up preserves. With built-in safety features that prevent explosions even under the most negligent use, these cookers provide the perfect solution to the home cook who wants to prepare slow food quickly. Slow cookers, used for long braising of roasts and all-day simmering of stews, certainly have their time and place in the kitchen, but when you want to cook a stew or beans extra fast there’s only one device that will get the job done and it isn’t your microwave oven.

If you’re in the mood for a hardy yet elegant dish for Valentine’s day, without all the stress, may we suggest that you try’s Lamb and Shitake Mushroom Stew in the pressure cooker. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can substitute  almost any meat for the lamb (our latest version made use of wild elk). You can  use button or portabella mushrooms in place of the shitake if you don’t like the shitake’s slippery texture.  It’s even better made a day or two ahead and reheated, served over buttered noodles, orzo, polenta, rice, or simply in a bowl with a nice piece of baguette on the side to sop up the delicious sauce. So there’s no need to stress over what to cook on Monday night’s romantic dinner if you’ve planned ahead, just reheat and serve.

Pressure cookers are safe and easy to use. They’re also energy efficient. So put away any fear of catastrophe inherited from the cooks in your family and invest in a tool you’ll love the very first time you put it to use. You can spend a little or a lot on a good pressure cooker. Our suggestion is to start modestly. Our pressure cooker was a gift, but we suspect it wasn’t a bank breaker. We don’t need a lot of bells and whistles on a pressure cooker – quick pressure release, low pressure settings, etc. We’ve experimented with ours and know how to get the best out of it. With a little time, you’ll get there too.

This Lamb and Shitake Stew recipe makes use of some of our favorite flavors – red wine, rosemary, orange and salty Kalamata olive. Use grass-fed beef if you can’t find good lamb. You’ll still be pleased by the results. In the pressure cooker, all those great flavors come together in minutes. Enjoy!

Pressure Cooked Meat and Mushroom Stew (aka Lamb and Shitake Stew)
Can be doubled and frozen for a quick dinner later in the month

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. lamb shoulder meat or chops, beef, elk or pork roast cut into 3/4-inch cubes
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, shitake (stemmed), button, or portabella mushroom cut into 1/2-inch pieces,
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 3×1/2-inch strips orange peel (orange part only)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup Chianti, Sangiovese, or other fruity red wine
10 Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted, halved

Heat oil in a pressure cooker pot over high heat. Sprinkle lamb, or whatever meat you are using, with salt and pepper. Add the meat to pot; sauté until light brown, about 5 minutes, you may need to do this in two steps to avoid overcrowding the pan. Add the next 5 ingredients; sauté until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and wine; bring to boil. Put the lid on top of the pressure cooker and reduce heat to medium-low for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, release the pressure and stir, checking to make sure that the stew does not burn on the bottom of the pan. If the sauce is still too thin then put the lid back on, bring back to pressure and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add olives to stew and season with salt and pepper. (Can be made a day or two ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over medium heat, adding water by tablespoonfuls to thin sauce if desired.) Serve with orzo, buttered noodles, or rice as the base for the stew.