2017 Cookbook Challenge Week 4 - Green Chili Stew and Cornbread
This week I was planning to make chili, something I've made many times before. Then I realized I should try to find something for week 4's recipe challenge. I found a recipe for Green Chili Stew in my cookbook "Retro Ranch: A Roundup of Classic Cowboy Cookin'", by C. W. Welch. I have a whole set of these "Retro" series books. They are modern books, full of retro recipes and decorated with fun vintage imagery. I'll be honest, I first started buying these books because of the pictures but never made much out of any of them. This was a big reason for wanting to do this cookbook challenge in the first place. I've never made anything out of "Retro Ranch" but, it is an interesting book since many of the recipes have instructions on how to cook over an open fire, like a true cowboy, and how to cook indoors away from bugs and wolves.
I had never had Green Chili Stew before and wasn't even sure what it would taste like, but the ingredients were promising, so I decided to give it a go. For the cornbread, I decided on their recipe for flourless cornbread. Previously, I have only made cornbread from a muffin mix, so this was a first for me.
The stew recipe was pretty easy. My only issue was with the vagueness of some of the ingredients. The recipe called for 8 green chilies. I would have liked to see the actual amount needed, listed in the recipe. I had to look up a number of recipes for this stew to figure out what the amount should be. Most of the recipes I found online indicated around 2 cups of chopped chilies, so that is what I went with. Our local grocery store labels all hot peppers "green chilies", which could mean anything from jalapeño to Thai chilis, so it was all a bit confusing. I ultimately decided on the Anaheim Chilies but used only 3 of them because I didn't want to overwhelm the stew, in case I was wrong about what peppers to use. I also added a couple of jalapeños to add a bit more heat. I also decided to roast the peppers before chopping to give them more flavor. The recipe also called for 2 10oz cans of diced tomatoes, which didn't seem to exist at my grocery store. The only 10oz cans I could find was Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies. Since there were chilies in the soup anyway, I decided that would work just fine.
The stew came out great and we ate it for a few days this week. It only got better and more flavorful as time went on.
I wasn't as thrilled about how the cornbread came out. This recipe said that sugar was optional, so I left it out. Big mistake. The resulting cornbread was a bit on the salty side without any sweetness that I usually expect from cornbread. We ended up drizzling honey on the bread and let that soak in for a while and it was much better.
Week 4 Roundup:
Cookbook: "Retro Ranch: A Roundup of Classic Cowboy Cookin'" by C. W. Welch, 2005
Recipes: Classic Green Chili Stew and Flourless Cornbread
Difficulty: Lots of ingredients to chop, but pretty easy.
Alterations: I used less peppers, added jalapeños and roasted the peppers first.
Result: Stew was excellent. Bread wasn't great, although Chris said it wasn't bad
Make again?: I would definitely make the stew again. I would probably use a different recipe for cornbread. If I did make this one again, I would add the optional sugar.