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Recipe by Hanis Cavin, Chef de Cuisine, Kensington Grill.

I work a lot, usually about 75 hours a week. During “Restaurant Week” I broke 100, so I cook very little at home. I don’t get home until ten at night. When I do cook at home, it’s usually when I’ve gotten myself into trouble; it’s a special occasion. I probably have the best-equipped kitchen, but mostly I use a cereal bowl or a knife for my ham-and-cheese sandwich.

I grew up in San Diego, so when I do cook, I cook Mexican food. Every day at the restaurant we take turns cooking lunch for the crew. It was my turn yesterday to make lunch, and I did my signature dish — a chile verde. I use pork (end pieces from the pork served at the restaurant), salsa with tomatillos, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro all simmered together. It was good.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 8

5 pounds pork loin
2 pounds tomatillos
2 jalapeño peppers, trimmed, including seeds
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
4 red Roma tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
juice of 2 limes
1 cup parboiled rice (like Uncle Ben’s)
salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO DO IT

Chop pork in a medium dice (half-inch pieces) and set aside. Chop the tomatillos, jalapenos, onion, and tomatoes into small pieces, all the same size. If less heat is desired, then discard the jalapeño seeds. Then, finely chop the cilantro.

In a large saute pan on high heat, add three tablespoons of olive oil. Add the pork and continually stir to keep from sticking. Continue to cook until the meat is evenly browned on all sides.

While pork is cooking, add the tomatillos, jalapeños, onion, red tomatoes and two cups of water to a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a rapid simmer.

Let the tomato-sauce mixture cook for 15 minutes. Do not strain. Add the cilantro and lime juice. Blend all the ingredients together and season with the salt and pepper.

Strain out any excess oil from the pork once it is evenly browned. Add the tomato sauce and rice to the pork. Bring back to a boil, then quickly reduce to a simmer. Cook until rice is soft. (Note: don’t use minute or quick-cooking rice.)

Adjust the seasoning if needed. Enjoy!

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