Saturday, September 22, 2012

Perfect Autumn Dinner

Our sunny skies abruptly changed to drizzly, sprinkly, gray and chilly, misty then downright rainy in the blink of an eye on Friday. Thursday people were in shorts, and Friday? Break out the Gortex folks, the rainy season is upon us!

But, lucky for me, I love the Pacific Northwest, and adore Autumn a fraction more than the other seasons, so I am ready. And, what better way to kick off the season than to cook up a staggeringly delicious pot of green chile bisque? Well, if you have our friend Vincent's recipe, get yourself some chiles, pronto because you need to get roasting!

Vincent's Green Chile Bisque
(adapted slightly by me, because I always tweak things)

1 lb Italian sausage (sweet, mild or hot, depending on taste)
2 cloves minced/chopped garlic
1 medium, chopped yellow or sweet onion
2 medium chopped tomatoes (heirloom taste the best)
1/2 cup chopped NM green chile (medium to hot, roasted and peeled)
32 oz. chicken broth (divided)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
1 cup heavy cream (or half-and-half, or whole milk with cornstarch, or *not Vince-approved* pureed Silken tofu) 
Salt & Pepper to taste 

Brown and drain 1 lb Italian sausage (sweet, mild or hot, depending on taste), and add 2 cloves minced/chopped garlic near the end; cook about 2 more mins. At this point, I dumped the cooked sausage into a bowl and cooked the rest in the pan separately, knowing that I was going to use my immersion blender to blend all the cooked onions, tomatoes and peppers (all of which Erik would turn his nose up at) into a pretty green-yellow soup of unidentifiable as veggies) 
Add 1 medium, chopped yellow onion to pan (I used a Walla Walla Sweet). Cook for 5 minutes or until onions are transparent, then add 
2 medium chopped tomatoes (heirloom taste the best) 
and 1/2 cup chopped NM green chile (medium to hot, roasted and peeled). To be honest, I couldn't wait to drive over to Whole Foods in Bellevue to get NM Hatch Chiles, so I grabbed three banana peppers and two gorgeous pablanos from the fruit market. I simply roasted until the broiler, then peeled and de-seeded when cool enough to touch. Add 16 oz. chicken broth to pot (slowly) and blend with immersion blender. 

While this is cooking, melt 1/4 cup butter and whisk in 1/4 flour to make a roux. 
Cook 1-2 minutes, then slowly add an additional 16 oz chicken broth while whisking. 
Add roux and broth mixture to meat mixture. Cook to thicken, then add 1 cup heavy cream. So, I also couldn't do the heavy cream. I planned on subbing 1 cup of pureed silken tofu (which doesn't curdle when hot, and would cut fat and boost protein) but couldn't find it, so went with half-and-half instead. I think whole milk and a bit of cornstarch would work well too...  

Simmer 10 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with warm tortillas and good beer and/or wine. 

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