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Vegetarian New Mexico Green Chile

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 3 onion, chopped
  • 5 or 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 small cans pinto beans (can also use kidney or black beans)
  • 24 roasted green chiles, chopped
  • 1 large can whole peeled tomatoes
  • tofu, cut in large cubes
  • oregano
  • marjoram (optional)
  • lavender (optional)

Instructions

A note on roasted green chile: These are the heart of the recipe. The result is directly related to the quality of the chiles you use. If possible use new mexico grown chiles (sandia, barker, 6-4, etc.) from the Las Cruces or Hatch area; they really are better. At the other extreme, you can use supermarket bought Annaheims, if you must. Look for firm chiles that are not dehydreated and wrinkled. Do not use canned chiles in this recipe. You can roast the chiles over a gas flame with tongs, or by broiling them on a cookie sheet, first one side, then flipping them over and doing the other side. They chiles should be brown and darkened. They will look awful, but will be delicious inside. If you don't blacken them enough they will be hard to peel; if you roast them too much they'll lose their texture and flavor. Pull off the stems, and skins, and any obvious veins and seeds. I buy chiles once a year and freeze them roasted. Saute chopped onions in olive oil until transluscent, over medium heat. Add garlic for a few minutes, being careful it doesn't burn. Add the tofu, and drained beans (keep the juice) and the chile and fry for a few minutes over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Add in the tomatoes, bean juice, oregano (lots), salt (could take lots), and optionally, a little marjoram and a pinch of lavender. Cook over 'warm' heat to mix the flavors, or let it sit off the heat a couple hours. Don't boil. Add more water if necessary as it cooks. It should have the consistency of thick stew. It only gets better in time. It tastes best the next day. Freeze what you don't eat, it tastes great defrosted.

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