Posts Tagged ‘green chile’

What to Eat at the Airport: DFW

When we started this blog about two years ago, we never dreamed that we would be singing the praises of airport food. But that was before Pappasito’s Cantina became the only bright spot in a very trying day at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

We were en route from Boston to Albuquerque when our early morning connecting flight in Dallas was canceled without explanation. The next flight wasn’t until late in the day and we were resigned to a long, boring wait and generic fast food. We were debating the merits of pre-made sandwiches, bagels, yogurt smoothies, and McBurger when we stumbled on Pappasito’s in Terminal A. The long bar looked so inviting that we grabbed a couple of stools, perused the Tex-Mex menu and settled on tamales filled with chicken breast meat and topped with green chile. Bulging out of their corn husk wrappers, they were the real deal. The tamal was redolent of corn and lime, the chicken was intense, and the green chile was just the right balance of hot and sweet.

Even though we had ordered one of the more modest options on the menu, the servers kept the tortilla chips and spicy red salsa coming, along with refills on ice tea. (No free refills on the Dos Equis drafts, alas.) But a good meal in convivial surroundings certainly lifted our spirits.

It turns out that Pappasito’s is a popular local chain, first started in 1983, so we’d had a taste of border town cooking after all. And it made us think that there may be local foods with character lurking in other airports as well. We resolve to keep an eye out–and we will let you know when we find them.

01

11 2011

Duran Central Pharmacy — a prescription for chile cuisine

Counter at Duran Central Pharmacy

Counter at Duran Central Pharmacy

The drugstore lunch counter is a dying breed all over the country, but it’s alive and well in Albuquerque, N.M., where Duran Central Pharmacy (1815 Central NW, Albuquerque, N.M., 505-247-4141) has been around for 45 years and in the same location since 1975. It’s close to the tourist-haunted Old Town, yet locals make up most of the clientele. The food isn’t fancy, but it’s definitely special, highly local, and because it’s full of chile peppers, it’s good for you. Not only does the red chile sauce here have no beans, it also eschews such adulterants as cumin. The green chile is likewise a straight-ahead stew of chopped green chile peppers with just a little sautéed onion and garlic.

Rolling tortillas.

Rolling tortillas.

Those sauces alone would keep me coming back, but I’m even more impressed with the freshly rolled and griddled flour tortillas. On Thursdays, the drugstore even serves carne adovada—the chile-laced New Mexican dish that’s a spicy cross between pork barbecue and roast pork. Arrive early to get a seat.

23

11 2009

Warming up with green chile chicken stew

Green chile chicken stew

Green chile chicken stew

El Pinto Restaurant (10500 4th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM, 505-898-1771, www.elpinto.com) may seat up to 1,000 people at a time, yet the quality of the handmade New Mexican food belies the size. Maybe that’s because it is a family restaurant run by the grandsons of Josephina Chavez-Griggs. Her daughter Katy opened La Posta de la Mesilla in 1939, and Katy’s nephews Jim and John Thomas Meek (“the salsa twins”) operate El Pinto. Many of their recipes, though, go back to Josephina. When I was there recently on a cold November night, the green chile chicken stew lifted both the chill and my mood. It’s a perfect winter warmer and simple to make at home once you have the green chile sauce (see the recipes page or the post of November 19). Here’s the recipe adapted from El Pinto:

Green chile chicken stew

Ingredients

1 tablespoon corn or canola oil
1/4 cup all-purpose white flour
1 quart homemade chicken stock
1 lb. boneless chicken thighs cut in 1/2″ pieces
3 cups (about 4 medium) red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in 1/2″ cubes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 recipe green chile sauce (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn (fresh or frozen)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat oil in 1 gallon or larger Dutch oven. Blend in flour and make into a roux, heating and stirring until golden brown.

Whisk in chicken stock to make smooth sauce.

Add chicken. potatoes, garlic, and chile sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes until potatoes are tender and chicken is very tender.

Add corn and bring back to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with warm tortillas.

Serves 12.

21

11 2009