Now that it’s officially fall, and the weather is getting cooler, many of us are turning to foods that are a little heartier.
A rich and warming pot of chili is a good dish to make the transition from summer to autumn in part because it’s a perfect football food — it feeds a crowd and it’s so easy to eat on the couch in front of the TV. Chili is also versatile, and can satisfy a vegetarian as well as a carnivore, depending on the mix of ingredients.
It’s also equal opportunity when it comes to spice. If you love a dish that makes your lips and taste buds burn, throw a few more chili peppers or tablespoons of chili powder into the pot. If you’re more reserved, use less or choose a milder chili pepper, such as poblano.
This green chili combines chunks of pork tenderloin with white onion, garlic and salsa verde. Cannellini beans, a type of white kidney bean, add protein and fiber without overpowering the other flavors. I also add fresh jalapeno pepper for a gentle kick of heat. (To make it even spicier, don’t remove the ribs or seeds.)
The broth is a bit thinner than in some beef- or bean-based chilies, but it’s incredibly flavorful. Plus, it all comes together in less than 45 minutes.
To make salsa verde from scratch, place 1 pound tomatillos (husked and rinsed), 2 or 3 stemmed and seeded jalapeños and half of a white onion in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and add enough water to completely cover.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are cooked through and soft, around 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender using a slotted spoon. Add cilantro, garlic, lime juice and a generous pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if desired.
Serves 6. Gretchen McKay, Post-Gazette
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced, or more to taste
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken stock
Two 14-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups homemade or jarred salsa verde
11/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cubed
1 teaspoon cumin, or more to taste
2 teaspoons chili powder, or more to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
Sliced avocado and chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat until glistening. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 4-5 minutes.
Stir in jalapeño and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add chicken stock, white beans, salsa verde, pork, cumin, chili powder and salt, then stir to combine well. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low.
Simmer until the meat is cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in lime juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with avocado and cilantro.