Pork Chili Verde recipe and cookbook review: Whole30 Friends & Family

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You love get-togethers and delicious food, but you don’t want to eat a bunch of tomorrow’s regrets? I’ve got you! If you love the line of Whole30 books, you are going to adore Whole30 Friends & Family! It’s a book filled with Whole30 party food, and it covers everything from parties with kids, game night food, and grown-ups only fare. Everything we’ve tried has been delicious, and it’s at the easier end of the entertaining spectrum, so you can focus on friends, family, and delicious food. Great book! She has a light hand with salt, so I salted to taste.

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Don’t know what Whole30 is? The first book really details it, but I can give you the gist: A meal, three times a day, consisting of a plateful of produce with protein the size of your palm (or as many eggs as you can hold in your hand – literally), and a serving of fat – mmm! There are lots of fat choices – clarified butter, olive oil, or animal fat the size of your thumb, or 1/2-1 avocado, or a palmful of wonderfully fatty nuts like macadamias, or 1-2 palmfuls of glorious olives. Pretty much that easy. And if you have a nice workout, you’re supposed to have another serving of protein within 20 minutes of finishing it. I found it difficult to eat that much. I’m a grazer, but trying! There’s nuances about adding in dairy or other carbs, but she basically wants you choosing produce over other carbs for the nutrient density. No sugar. No alcohol. Okay, now that I’ve covered that, we’re -ish. We eat this way more often, but we love beer, wine, cheese, and other excellent food, but -ish seems enough to keep us feeling great. No, you are not supposed to ish! You’re supposed to do it 100% for 30 days, and then make informed decisions after that.

I’ll tell you all about the other dishes we tried, but first I wanted to share the recipe for Pork Chili Verde. It’s not a looker, but don’t let that fool you! This is a fantastically flavorful bowl of comfort food! We all loved it! The can of coconut milk stirred in at the end makes it lusciously creamy.  The verde sauce made with roasted jalapenos, tomatillos, roasted chiles, and cilantro give this so much depth of flavor. I used hatch chiles that I’d roasted during hatch season instead of the canned chiles. Terrific if you’ve got them, but it dials the heat way up! Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for letting me share it with you! Hope you love it, too!


Pork Chili Verde is excerpted from The Whole 30 Friends & Family © 2019 by Melissa Hartwig Urban. Photography © 2019 by Ghazalle Badiozamani. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Pork Chili Verde

SERVES 10

Next time there’s an office chili cook-off, bring this beauty. You’ll stand apart from the crowd with this hearty green chili made with pork tenderloin, tomatillos, jalapeños, green chilies, and Yukon Gold potatoes.

For the Verde Sauce:
2 jalapeños
6 tomatillos,
husks removed and chopped (about 2 cups)
1 (16-ounce) can roasted green chilies
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves,
plus more for garnish

For the Chili Base:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
2 pounds Whole30-compliant pork tenderloin,
cut into ½ -inch cubes
4 cloves garlic,
minced
1 medium yellow onion,
chopped
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes,
chopped
1 green bell pepper,
chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons Whole30-compliant chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 cups Whole30-compliant chicken broth
¾ cup Whole30-compliant coconut milk

1. Adjust the oven racks so one is about 6 inches from the broiler heat. Preheat the broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil.

2. Make the verde sauce: Cut the jalapeños in half; remove the seeds, if desired. Place the jalapeños, cut sides down, on the baking pan. Broil until charred, about 4 minutes.

3. Place the jalapeños, tomatillos, green chilies, and cilantro in a blender. Cover and pulse until combined yet chunky.

4. Make the Chili Base: In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the pork and cook until opaque, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, potatoes, bell pepper, cumin, salt (if desired), chili powder, black pepper, and oregano. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, 6 to 7 minutes.

5. Addthe verdesauce and chicken broth to the pork mixture. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the pork is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk.

6. Top servings with cilantro.

PREP: 25 minutes
BROIL/COOK: 50 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 15 minutes


My thoughts and pics of the dishes we tried:

1) Shrimp and Avocado Cucumber Bites – p 155. These made such an elegant and delicious tray and was super easy. I doubled the recipe for a whole pound of large shrimp, and it was effortless to put together. It’s in the adult party section, but was a huge teen magnet in this house. It’s quite economical for a shrimp dish – a lovely way to really stretch a bag of shrimp.

2-3) Grilled Steak and Peach Salad – p 189. This is a fantastic salad! I usually have a much lighter hand with dressing because it looks terrible when you really pour it on, but a little dripped off my blender onto the counter and I gave it a taste, and rather than a nice drizzle, I lost all restraint and poured it on with abandon.

4) Coriander-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Tangy Apple-Mustard Compote – p 33. This is mouthwateringly delicious, easy-peasy, a looker on the plate, and makes the house smell amazing. I just paired it with a salad. This is in the date night section, but would be a very easy one to scale up for entertaining.  It served 4 in this house.

5) Sweet Plantain, Sausage, and Broccoli Breakfast Skillet – p 112. Delicious and a very interesting twist on the breakfast skillet. This was listed in the camping party, and I can really see that. If you had everything washed, cut, and bagged, this would be very doable over a camp fire. I’d probably just do it in a Dutch oven then, so you don’t have to pack a dutch oven and a skillet.

6) Charred Pepper Steak Tacos with Citrus Chimichurri – p 5. These are so yummy! The pepper standing in for the tortilla is perfect. It adds so much flavor oomph.

7) Meatloaf Meatballs – p 102. The almond flour worked really nicely as a binder and all of the vegetables made them light and juicy.

8) Aleppo Pepper-Garlic Prosciutto Crisps – p 98. These are delicious. I went with the serving suggestion of honeydew and cantaloupe, and it was perfect, like a crunchy version of prosciutto y melon.

9) Hawaiian Chicken Burgers – p 81. Delicious! The pineapple and scallions taste great and make them super juicy. My market was out of ground chicken, so I used ground turkey and that worked just fine.

10) Chili-Lime Roasted Zucchini – p 78. Super quick and flavorful. Great with the Hawaiian Burgers.

11) Apple Bacon Bites – p 66. These are fabulous fall bites. The gala apples got soft and caramelized in the dusting of cinnamon and bacon jacket.

12) Orange Juliet – p 135. Yum! This is a lovely, barely sweet, really creamy and refreshing drink. I may double the orange next time for a stronger orange flavor.

13) Seared Scallops with Avocado Whip – p 68. These are so elegant and quick. I doubled the recipe for a very decadent dinner for four.

14) Citrus Kale Salad – p 71. This was absolute perfection with the scallops. The licorice-y fennel is fabulous with the oranges and onion. It has a very Mediterranean vibe.

15) Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole – p 126. Spaghetti squash, chicken, bacon, and a creamy, herby mayonnaise dressing. It definitely hits those popper craving notes. We all loved this. And it makes a lot, so in our family of four, we all had lunch leftovers.

16) Pork Chile Verde – p 125. This is a fantastically flavorful bowl of comfort food! We all loved it! The can of coconut milk stirred in at the end makes it lusciously creamy.  The verde sauce made with roasted jalapenos, tomatillos, roasted chiles, and cilantro give this so much depth of flavor. I used hatch chiles that I’d roasted during hatch season instead of the canned chiles. Terrific if you’ve got them, but it dials the heat way up!

I’ll update this as I play in the book more!

Some others I have flagged to try: BLT Potato Skins – p 2 * Layered Mexican Dip – p 6 * Pesto Bacon Potato Salad – p 20 * Sauteed Snap Peas with Lemon and Tarragon – p 30 * Beet-Parsnip Fritters with Arugula Pesto – p 40 * Hot Artichoke-Parsley Dip with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes – p 43 * Teriyaki Beef-Cauliflower Rice Cabbage Cups – p 50 * Dijon Brussels and Butternut Squash – p 67 * Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Jalapeno Poppers – p 88 * Almond-Crusted Onion Rings with Green Onion-Cracked Pepper Aioli – p 92 * Sausage and Sauerkraut-Loaded Sweet Potatoes – p 94 * Creole Shrimp – p 100 * Rainbow Mango Slaw with Almond Butter Dressing and Fresh Herbs – p 106 * Marinated Chicken, Pineapple, and Vegetable Foil Packets – p 109 * Steak Fajita Foil Packets – p 111 * Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites – p 130 * Zucchini Coins with Whole30 Ranch Dressing – p 132 * Bacon-Wrapped Trees with Roasted Red Pepper-Almond Dip – p 140 * Saucy Chicken Collard Green Enchiladas – p 157 * Orange and Cumin Pork Carnitas in Celery Root Tortillas – p 160 * Crisp Prosciutto-Topped Deviled Eggs – p 169 * Potato-Sausage Breakfast Bites – p 175 * Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Peppers – p 182 * Barbecue Meatballs – p 184 * Buffalo Chicken Patties – p 185 * Bacon Herb Mushrooms – p 197 * Arugula, Fennel, and Citrus Salad – p 198 * Roasted Turkey Breast with Chorizo Filling – p 202 * Smashed Potatoes with Herb-Garlic Butter – p 204 * Warm Spiced Apples with Nutty Coconut Topping – p 205 * Green Chile Pulled Pork – p 215 * Grilled Apricots, Peaches, and Plums with Charred Green Onion Vinaigrette – p 216 * Balsamic Peach-Arugula Salad – p 232

*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.


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Whole30 Friends & Family

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