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Traditional Pueblo Stew recipie from my mother in law who lives in New Mexico. I have modified the recipe slightly over the years, but it is still very authentic. Chicken or pork can also be added, but we prefer the vegetable-only version. Serve with monterary jack cheese and hot burrito wrappers.
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For this recipe, use a variety of summer squashes (only use thin skin squashes like zuchini, yellow and crook-neck). Don''t use only one type of squash, and 4 cups is just a guideline - use more if you like squash.
Make sure to use fresh ground red chilis - NOT commercial "chili powder". The ONLY ingredient for ground chilis should be ... red New Mexico chilis. If you cannot find fresh ground red chilis (try Whole Foods in the bulk spices), then buy dry red chilis (only use the large 4-5" reds for this, never use the smaller hotter chilis). Wearing gloves, break open the chilis and remove the seeds, and then grind in a coffee mill or spice grinder until you have powder.
1. Clean and chop squash and set aside in large bowl. Core tomatoes, remove seeds, and roughly chop. Put tomatoes in bowl with squash. Drain and rinse hominy and add to squash and tomatoes. Put this bowl near the range surface, within easy reach.
2. Chop onion and mince garlic, and leave the onion and garlic in two piles on your chopping board. Put the ground chili on a small plate. You will need the onion, garlic and chili within arms'' reach of the range surface for the next step!
3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large stew pot (cast iron or enamelware works best) until the oil is rippling but not smoking. Add the onion and saute until the onion just begins to brown. Immediately add the garlic and saute for a few seconds more until you can smell the garlic cooking - but do not allow the garlic to brown! Reduce heat to low, and quickly add in the ground chili. Stir to coat the onions and garlic in the chili powder and oil. The mixture should be dry and will burn very easily so you have to work quickly! OPTIONAL: If you would like to add meat, add 1-2 lbs of chopped pork or chopped chicken after the onion starts to brown, but before the garlic, and cook until the meat is browned. Then continue on with the recipe, adding the garlic, then chili powder as above.
4. Now, add the squash/tomato/hominy to the stew pot and stir using a large mixing spoon. The mixture will be somewhat moist at this point, and you should stir until the chili powder which should now be a paste) is covered the vegetables evenly.
5. Increase heat to medium, and cook until the tomatoes start to fall apart. Stir regularly to prevent burning, and scrape any powder, onions or garlic that may adhere to the bottom of the pot - this will prevent burning that can ruin the entire batch! Add a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture becomes dry. You can wash and chop the green beans while the tomatoes cook if you are careful to prevent burning.
6. Add the chicken broth and stir. Then add the green beans and pinto beans. Add water sufficient to just cover the vegatables, if needed. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook stirring constantly from the bottom until the first signs of boiling occur.
7. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 30 minutes (60 minutes if you are using meat). Add water as needed to cover the vegetables.
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