Hot Air Balloons and Green Chile Stew Time in Albuquerque – What a Gas !


Music – “Green Chile Love Song” from Wayworn Traveler by Kim Townsend. Released: 2003

For those of you not fortunate enough to live in Albuquerque, or be able to use up your sick leave at work to travel here, you are missing one of the most spectacular annual events New Mexico has to offer:  The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, now in its’ 43rd year and about to wrap up this coming weekend.

Balloonists come from all over the world. This year 559 balloons from 21 foreign countries (these people insist in including Canada on the “foreign country” list) are present for 10 days of fabulous flying events, balloon glows, mass ascensions (not the religious type), fireworks, thousands of things to do and plenty to eat. In former years, as many as 1,100 balloons were crowding the skies over the city, but, it was just that: too crowded and since that time, between 600 and 700 balloons is about all the launch field can handle. Have a quick look at the balloon slide show, then read on about Green Chile Stew!

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At this time of year in Albuquerque, mornings can be quite cool, in the 40’s or even high 30’s, but as the sun comes up, it warms up and if you don’t layer, you’ll be cozy at 5:00 am and suffocating by 8:00 am. The Hatch green chile is still coming from the south part of the state and you can smell it roasting around town. One of the most delightful recipes using green chile is the New Mexico Green Chile Stew. Of an assortment of New Mexico cookbooks, I have one favorite: the Green Chile Stew recipe from “The Pink Adobe Cookbook”, by Rosalea Murphy, published in 1988. Ms. Murphy’s restaurant, The Pink Adobe, in Santa Fe, has sometimes been referred to as “a national treasure” and she has published several additional cookbooks. The recipe follows beneath the photos. (Note: I made two additions to her basic recipe (see below).

Green Chile Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds boneless pork, cut into 1-inch cubes

½ cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic minced (I used 2)

¼ cup flour

2 cups peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes

2 cups roasted, peeled and chopped fresh green chiles

1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon sugar

1 cup chicken or beef broth

Heat olive oil in 4 quart Dutch oven with a cover. Add the pork and cook until lightly browned. Add the onion and garlic and stir with the meat. Add the flour and stir about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, green chiles, jalapeno pepper, salt, pepper and sugar. Mix to incorporate. Add the broth and lower the heat. Cover pot and simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the meat is tender. Serve with flour tortillas.

The additions I made to the recipe include 2 raw potatoes, chopped into cubes, which I added after the stew had already simmered for about 40 minutes. Adding them any sooner would turn them into mush. I also added my secret ingredient: 2 or 3 tablespoons of Tequila (purely for medicinal purposes, I assure you).

The stew is delicious, and freezes well.

Next year, make plans to come for the 2015 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. You won’t regret it.


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About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 6,500. What next? More shelves?
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