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Vegetarian Chili Verde

Though there is some prep work that goes into this chili, it's still a convenience in so many ways. For example, it can be made 2 or 3 days ahead. Also, it uses canned fire-roasted green chiles as the basis for the sauce and skips the laborious task of roasting and peeling your own. The corn bread, too, which is nice and moist, can be made 1 day ahead. Just cool it completely, then wrap it tightly in foil and let it stand at room temperature.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

One 8-ounce Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes 

One 8-ounce yam (red-skinned sweet potato), peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes 

4 large cloves garlic, flattened, peeled and chopped 

4 large tomatillos (8 to 9 ounces), husked, rinsed, cored and chopped 

2 large poblano chiles (8 to 9 ounces), stemmed, seeded; 1 diced, 1 cut into 4 strips

2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 28-ounce can hominy with juices (preferably golden)

1 cup vegetable broth

One 7-ounce can diced mild green chiles

Garnishes, such as crumbled feta cheese, chopped green onions, sliced avocados, lime wedges and chopped serrano chiles) 

Garnishes, such as crumbled feta cheese, chopped green onions, sliced avocados, lime wedges and chopped serrano chiles)

Buttermilk and Sour Cream Corn Bread, recipe follows

Buttermilk and Sour Cream Corn Bread:

1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus more for greasing 

2 cups yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1/3 cup sour cream

2 large eggs

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes, yams, garlic, tomatillos and poblanos. Cover and sweat until the onions are tender, stirring often to prevent browning, about 8 minutes. Mix in the oregano, flour, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the hominy with the juices and the broth and bring the chili to a simmer. 
  2. Place the green chiles in a processor. Using tongs, transfer strips of the poblano chile from the pot to the processor; blend just until smooth. Scrape the chile sauce into the pot. 
  3. Cover and simmer the chili 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer until the potatoes and yams are tender and the chili is reduced to desired consistency, stirring often, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Season with more salt and pepper if desired. 
  4. Ladle the chili into bowls. Serve with garnishes and Buttermilk and Sour Cream Corn Bread.

Buttermilk and Sour Cream Corn Bread:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-9-by-2-inch metal baking pan. 
  2. Blend the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a processor for 5 seconds. Add the butter cubes. Blend until the butter is reduced to tiny pieces, 15 to 20 seconds. Whisk the buttermilk, sour cream and eggs in a large bowl to blend. Add the dry ingredients from the processor and stir until evenly moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. 
  3. Bake the corn bread until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the bread on a rack at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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