Okay, okay so Federico Garcia Lorca probably didn’t even know what the heck chile verde was but I love his poem Romance Sonambulo and love that line, “verde te quiero verde” so much that it just had to be part of my Chile Verde recipe. You come to Doña Lupe’s, you’re gonna get some poetry and literary references. It’s the price you pay if you want my recipes.
Chile Verde is great with pork, a perfect compliment so I added some of my chile verde to some of the shredded pork. The reason I made it though, was for my favorite tamal, the delicious, chile and cheese ones. For this recipe, I used very little chile and kept it very mild. I was going for flavor only and no heat. In the tamal, I use a strip of roasted pasilla chile, a slice of cheese (use queso fresco or Monterey jack) and a generous spoonful of my chile verde. My grandmother always put a tangy green Spanish olive in the center but I chose not to this time.
About 1 pound of tomatillo milperos (use regular tomatillos if you can’t find the smaller milperos)
1 head of garlic, peeled
1 bunch of cilantro, washed and trimmed
1 onion, quartered
1 roasted tomato, peeled and seeded
salt to taste
2 chile gueritos, roasted, seeded, de-veined and peeled
chicken broth or water – a bit at a time (about one cup total)
Roast the chiles and steam off their skins. Peel, seed and de-vein them. Add to a blender.
Remove the husks from the tomatillo milperos and wash them. Boil in a small saucepan till they’ve changed color and are soft. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and add to the blender.
Add the garlic, onion, salt, cilantro, roasted tomato and a bit of the broth. Puree. If the blender gets stuck or the sauce is too thick, add more broth. The sauce should be tangy, slightly salty with the rich herbal flavor of cilantro.
You can cook the shredded pork in this chile sauce but I used it for the chile cheese tamales as seen in Tamalada Part 4.
Rajas de Chile Verde – Roasted Pasilla Chile Strips for Tamales
For chile and cheese tamales, I like to use fresh roasted pasilla chiles. I take several of the chiles and wash them, then place them onto a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about a half hour. Then turn them over and roast for about another 15 minutes.
Once the chiles are done roasting, wrap them in a clean, slightly damp dishtowel and leave to steam off the skins. I generally leave them there till they cool off.
When the chiles are cool, slide the skin off, remove the stem, seeds and veins. Slice the chile into thin strips and set aside till you need them. That’s it! If you have left over strips from the tamales, save them to make rajas con crema y queso (recipe at a later date).