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What We Eat When We Eat Alone
by Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin

The Quaker cowboy selected mashed potatoes with green chile as one of his eat-alone dishes. This thick and hearty stew retains that timeless combination but is more of a main dish.You could mash it, if you like, or add another cup or two of liquid to turn it into a soup. The sour cream softens the Chile's heat and brings everything into a delicious and balanced mouthful.


    • 1 or 2 long green chiles or poblano chiles, roasted and peeled
    • 1 tablespoon sunflower seed oil or other vegetable oil
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 large russet or 5 smaller potatoes (a scant pound) peeled and chopped into 1½ inch chunks
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 cup water or chicken stock
    • sour cream to finish
    • chopped cilantro to finish


1. Chop the chiles coarsely. Heat the oil in a wide pot; add the onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, garlic, and potatoes, followed by the chile along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and give a stir. Cook together for a few minutes, then add the water or stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.

2. Cover and cook until the potatoes are completely softened, about 25 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pepper. At this point you can mash the potatoes, or at least a few of them to give the dish a creamy sort of background, if desired.

3. Pour into a bowl; add a dollop of sour cream and the chopped cilantro.


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