Monday, August 17, 2009

Posole

Last week I was in the throes of a rare bout of patience, with a posole result.

Posole is one of our favorites. It reminds us of the trip we took to Santa Fe for our tenth anniversary. Our experiences on that trip seemed heightened; the art more exuberant, the birds more unique, the food more savory. Maybe everything was magnified by the clear desert air. Or maybe it was the gratitude. Ten years is nine years more than we counted on when we married, at the beginning of my cancer treatment.

Posole is a New Mexico specialty dish and there are as many ways to make it as there are cooks. Hominy is the base, which puts it in the patience-food category, as the dried kernals might require cooking all afternoon to become tender. But the reward is a soup/stew with a rich broth pungent with chilies and spice.

If you can't find hominy locally, you can order it from Santa Fe Cooking School . I used a mix of red, blue and white hominy but it's just as good with a single color.

This recipe serves 6-8.

Ingredients:
12 oz. hominy (dried, not canned)
2 1/2 quarts water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tblsp cumin
2 cayenne peppers (or jalapeno peppers or chipotle peppers, or serrano peppers ...whatever you have and like)
1 lb. pork, cut into 1" squares, and the fat cut off
Other choices are beef, buffalo and lamb. The meat should be one of the tougher cuts because it will cook a long time. I wouldn't use pork loin or tenderloin for this.

Put the first five ingredients in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add pork/beef/buffalo/lamb. Let simmer for an hour and check the corn kernals. If the hominy is hard, set timer for another half-hour. Add water if needed. It could take anywhere from one to four hours.

When the hominy has begun to soften, add the following:
Salt & Pepper to taste--I start with a couple of teaspoons salt
1 Tbsp cumin
3 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped

Return to simmer and set timer for 15 minutes. Check hominy and vegetables for tenderness, adding time if needed and adjusting seasonings to taste.

There is something to be said for a food that warms the heart as well as the belly. I hope you enjoy the posole as much as we did.






1 comment :

Paula said...

That looks soooo yummy. I like the idea of including red, white and blue hominy, since corn comes in so many colors.
We held a little Inaugural Luncheon for friends who wanted to watch the festivities with us on January 20. I served Sloppy Joes and red, white and blue potato salad. (They grown blue potatoes in Maine.)