Slow Cooker Green Chili

This is my version of a green chili – here in Nova Scotia, Canada, I’ve never seen things like fresh tomatillos or many of the Mexican ingredients I’ve seen on food tv or in cookbooks.  They may be around somewhere, but I can’t find them!  So I make do with what we do have, and this is what I’ve come up with.  Stephanie O’Dea has several great non-tomato chilis on her site as well, White Chili, Creamy White Chili with Apple and Chili Verde, which is what inspired me to try this version with my ingredients.

You could omit the beef or use any leftover meat you have, such as chicken, turkey, or pork.  You can also do all of the prep the night before, and simply take the ceramic insert out of the fridge when you wake up, allow to warm to room temperature (a cold insert can crack if heated right out of the fridge) and set to cook when you leave in the morning.

Green chili freezes beautifully and the leftovers can be used in several other dishes, such as tortilla pie or tortilla bake – maybe I’ll do an entry for one later in the week!

Roasted Corn:  In my last post, I used roasted corn that I did in the oven – this time I did it much more quickly and simply by dry-frying it in a medium high skillet – I would recommend squeezing any water out of thawed frozen corn in a tea towel before trying it!

Pan roasted corn – easier than the oven.

Green Chili
palmful of cumin seed
1 teaspoon of white peppercorns
1 tablespoon ground coriander
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup packed arugula or spinach
1 cup broth or water
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 1/2 cups cooked beans (roman – a white bean with red speckles, which turns pink when cooked, also called cranberry beans)
2 cups roasted corn
1 bottle (455 ml/ 16 oz.) “Green Mexican Sauce” by La Costa – any green Mexican tomatillo based sauce or salsa would work, I’ve used a few different kinds.
2 carrots, finely diced
2 onions, diced
chopped tomato (1 and 3/4 of two dodgy tomatoes from the fridge)
1 small can stewed tomatoes (14 oz/ 398ml)

Peel the garlic and leave it whole.  Heat a dry skillet over medium high heat and dry roast the garlic til it is a bit cooked and brown. Add the cumin, coriander and peppercorns and toast until they are fragrant.

Put the arugula in a small food processor, then add the toasted garlic, spices, and the dried herbs.  Add 1/2 cup of broth or water and process until smooth.

Sadly this lovely bright green colour disappears with the slow cooking.

Put beans, corn, green sauce, and processed arugula herb mixture into slow cooker.  Meanwhile, sprinkle chili powder over the beef and brown in a medium high skillet.  Drain the beef and add to slow cooker, saving enough fat to brown onions and carrots.  Once the vegetables are browned, add them to the slow cooker with the canned and fresh tomatoes.

This is the cooker loaded up, with the green sauce I used.

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Taste during cooking to adjust seasoning and add salt or more seasoning if necessary.


Result:
  It is quite spicy and hot, but we love that – it would depend on your green sauce how hot it got I think. I added some chopped arugula just at the end, and served it with some greek yogurt mixed with cucumber and garlic paste, and yesterday’s corn muffins.  It was delicious and very filling!

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