This thick and hearty stew from Durango, one of the northern states, is another Mexican dish that closely resembles chili con carne. A very similar recipe, carne guisada, is given by Jim Peyton in his book, El Norte: The Cuisine of Northern Mexico. We use pork in our version, but beef (or even shredded beef) can be used.
Like most stews, this one takes a while to cook, about 4 hours. It is interesting because it contains a number of pre-Columbian ingredients, namely Chiltepins, corn, squash, potatoes, and tepary beans. The spicy heat can be adjusted by adding or subtracting Chiltepins.
Pomegranates go with green chile too, as demonstrated in this tasty twist on fresh avocado salad. This recipe (and many others) can be found on the "official" pomegranate industry website, www.pomegranates.org, along with the answers to deep existential questions such as "can you eat the seeds?"
Grilling caramelizes the sugar and honey in the sauce, making the fruit sweeter. This is obviously a dessert, but it can be served as a side dish to barbecued ribs, poultry, or fish. Other firm fruits will work, such as peaches or pineapple, but make sure that they are slightly under ripe. It is difficult to grill ripe fruit.
When the aroma of this dish rises up from the cooking fire, it tantalizes the nostrils. For the best results, use a mortar and pestle to combine the ingredients but if you lack such simple tools, use a blender. We thank our friend Richard Sterling for this Cambodian recipe, gathered on one of his extensive Southeast Asian trips.
Here is the favorite hot sauce of the Canary Islands that is commonly served over papas arrugadas, new potatoes that are boiled in their skins in sea water. It is also sprinkled over grilled or crispy fried fish. Variation: Replace the parsley with freshly minced cilantro and you have mojo picón de cilantro.
The attitude comes from the green chiles--they definitely add the spice and heat for this otherwise ordinary dish. I like to stuff a small wedge of jalapeño Monterey jack cheese into the center of the pepper just before it’s finished cooking. That adds even more "attitude"!