I was given a recipe magazine recently from a so-called friend. The friend really thought she was doing me a favor by passing on the beautiful pictures and recipes.
The trouble is, I don’t do recipes very well. Oh, I start off with good intentions, but I improvise my way through. I tend to think it is because of our distance from town. We are just not close enough to make a run for a specific ingredient or a particular spice.
It may just be because I am a rebel. I will take the recipe as good advice, but I will make it my own. Sometimes the result will be wonderful, but other times…well, let us not dwell on the negative.
For those of you who are interested, this is the recipe taken from Better Homes and Gardens Slow Cooker Magazine and in parentheses you will see my improvisations.
Chili Verde Soup Crockpot Style
6 to 7 hours low heat or 3 1/2 to 4 hours high
1 1/2 lb. Boneless pork shoulder roast (didn’t happen to have pork in the freezer, will possibly end up with a meatless version or throw in some cooked, diced chicken at the end of cooking)
1 T. Olive oil
1 15 oz can Great Northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained (no cans of beans in pantry, just started off with rinsed pink beans, about a half cup. I think there is plenty of time for them to cook with the low heat setting.)
12 ounces fresh tomatillos coarsely chopped
1/2 c. Chopped onion (sorry I didn’t measure, it was probably more than a 1/2 cup)
1 4 oz. Can diced green chile peppers, undrained (it was almost a full can, I stole a few out of the can last night to put on a pizza I had made for dinner)
2 cloves garlic, minced (didn’t bother to mince. I just chopped them.)
3/4 t. Cumin (This is where I had to get creative. I had run out of cumin a while ago and did not replace it. I did have an open jar of concentrated Indian Curry Paste, it’s made with coriander and cumin so I used a tablespoon of that.)
1/2 t. Salt (I leave out salt of most recipes unless I’m baking, I figure that if it is not salty enough it can be added at the end.)
4 14.5 oz can of chicken broth ( who do you think came up with the idea of needing 14.5 oz of chicken broth at a time?)
1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves (I could only find swiss chard available in my garden right now, I went out and snipped off enough tender leaves for about a cup)
(I threw in some chopped green onion tops,1/2 cup diced carrots and a cup of diced potatoes. I have recently attended a class with the head chef from OHSU and he talked about epozote’. It is an herb that has a cilantro-like taste. It adds another dimension to the recipe while calming the gaseous qualities of the dish, like a beano effect. I will add about a Tablespoon of the epozote’ Also, I have some chanterelles sitting in the fridge all cleaned and chopped. They actually don’t need cooking so I’ll put in about two cups just before serving.)
The swiss chard, mushrooms and meat if I decide to put it in will be at the end of cooking.
I would have to say the dish turned out well. Recipes do help with the guidance but I think next time I will add a little more epozote’ along with some cilantro and some chopped red pepper (but it all will depend on what I have on hand).