Wednesday, March 24, 2010

smc cooks comfort food

“Food is the most primitive form of comfort.”
― Sheilah Graham

its a long standing tradition amongst us peculiar people(mormons) to take meals into families that just had a baby or are ill. some stakes are doing away with this tradition. not sure why, but i think its a disgrace. sure, its not like we are living on homesteads or in a time where mcdonalds isnt on every corner and a hot pizza is 30 minutes away from your front door. still. i think the tradition is a good one and should stick around.

i spent yesterday cooking for 3 different families. me and my taste testers, a dear friend who has been sick for several weeks, and a sister in my ward who had her first baby after many years of trying.
i am pretty famous in these parts for my adaptation of a very old recipe that i got at my wedding shower from an older woman in my ward. who was worshiped every time she made it and was famous for the delicious elixir. the story goes that she got it from her husbands grandmother(was going to say grandmother in law, but didnt sound right)who was raised in the colonies in mexico. she used to make huge vats of it to send with the young women when they went to girls camp every summer. there were never any leftovers-its that good and i have yet to meet someone who doesnt like it. i never heard her say that the recipe was a secret, but it wasnt passed around or printed in the ward cookbook, so i am thinking she kept it quiet on purpose.
the recipe she gave me was basically directions, with no real measurements, written in long hand. i have modified here and there to suit my taste,so feel free to punch it up with more spice or whatever might make your little taste buds sing.

My Old Ward's Famous Green Chili Burro Mix
1 small to medium pork or beef roast(3-5 pounds) OR
1 whole chicken or cut up fryer
1 onion, diced
2-3 tomatoes, diced
2-3 bouillon cubes(i always use chicken)
2-3 garlic cloves
2-3 tbs oil(i have used both canola and olive oil)
2(at least, i usually use 3)small cans of green chilies
corn starch
salt and pepper
salt and pepper the meat, put in a large sauce pan or stock pot. cover with water(by about 2 inches or so)cook on low for several hours until done.
note: i used to bring to a boil and then turn the heat down and simmer until done. this last time i followed the old recipe and started it off on low and just let it cook all night. the meat literally fell off the bone and was more flavorful.
remove the meat and set aside to cool. continue to let the remaining broth to simmer while you saute the onions, green chilies(drain, but reserve the juice), and tomatoes in oil.
once the meat has cooled, shred using two forks or very clean hands. place into a large saucepan and add the sauteed chili mixture. cover with broth(you will probably have broth left over. i strain it and use it for other recipes)and add the bouillon and garlic. i use fresh garlic, but garlic salt is fine. just make sure you add it before any additional salt and pepper. add about 2 tbs of cornstarch to the reserved green chili juice and pour into the mix-stir until slightly thickened. i go for a stew like consistency, but you could make it thicker if you wanted.
taste this ambrosia and add more seasonings to taste. i almost always add an extra bouillon cube and a little salt and pepper. sometimes another clove of garlic. if you wanted more green chili you could always throw in another can. lots of room for alterations in this recipe.
i made spanish rice to go with and sent tortilla chips and flour tortillas. one of my taste testers loves it over chips with a little cheese-nacho style. i like it with the rice, rolled up in a burrito. some of us have been known to eat it like a stew. its just good-no matter how you choose to do it.

“It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so entwined that we cannot think of one without the other.”
— M.F.K. Fisher


  1. Hey SMC, your sister's husband's grandmother was raised in the Colonies? I would love it if you'd send me an email (if you feel comfortable with that) and let me know who she is and if she still has family here. I am currently living in the colonies myself! It is a small world and I think it's so fun to make these types of connections! My email is

    Oh, and this recipe sound amazing!

  2. Sounds delicious! I am really hungry now.

  3. I love green chili burros. I miss living in places where they aren't called burritos.

  4. I skipped over the recipies as I know I will never cook them... but that quote at the end is SO TRUE!! food, security, & love are all intertwined for me for sure.