Tuesday, April 2, 2013

IRRESISTIBLE GREEN POZOLE


Do any of you cook with hominy?

Last year, when I saw a bag of Rancho Gordo hominy at my local butcher shop, I couldn't resist snatching it up. I had never cooked with hominy before and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it - an impulse buy you could say.  Some weeks later I was thumbing through the Ruth Reichl's Gourmet Today cookbook and found her recipe for Pozole, a wonderful Mexican stew packed with chicken, hominy, tomatillos and topped with lime, avocado, radish and cilantro. Bingo! Now my hominy had a purpose.

Well I have to tell you, that pozole was good - irresistibly good - and I knew I wanted to share it with you guys. Finally, here I am.

As you have probably noticed, I tend to favor recipes that are simple and quick to make, not fussing too much with the natural deliciousness of good ingredients. As I am in the thick of recipe testing feedback for my book ( thank you wonderful testers!), one of my favorite compliments is that the recipes are surprisingly easy. This makes me happy. That said, this pozole recipe is kinda time consuming and makes for a ton of dishes, but it's so worth the effort. And when you're done, you have this amazing one-bowl meal that is deeply satisfying and delish!

As a little side note... I wanted to give a shout out to Kimberley Hasselbrink, the talented cook and photographer behind The Year in Food. I got to meet Kimberley in person last week when she graciously invited me for lunch. She cooked up a few really tasty items from her upcoming book to be published by Ten Speed next year. If those bites were any indication, her book will be as delicious as her blog. I cannot wait to cook from it!


If you are going to prepare your own hominy, and not use the canned stuff, allow yourself soaking and cooking time before you get set to make the pozole. I suggest soaking your hominy the night before you want to cook. Then cook the hominy a few hours before getting started on making the rest of your pozole.



INGREDIENTS very slightly adapted from Ruth Reichl's Gourmet Today
      {printable recipe}

  • two 15 ounce cans cooked hominy, or 4 cups home-cooked hominy (8 ounces dry will yield approximately 4 cups)
  • 1 large white onion, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • bay leaf
  • salt
  • 3 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs (I'm sure you could also use breast meat, but I don't think the resulting broth would be as flavorful)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed with warm water
  • 1 -2 bunches fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried epazote or dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Delicious Garnishes:
  • avocados, chopped and tossed with salt and lime juice
  • radishes, chopped
  • small white onion, chopped
  • additional chopped cilantro
  • lots of limes
  • more epazote, or crushed oregano


As I mentioned above, if you are using dried hominy, it needs to be soaked and cooked before you can make the pozole. I followed the instructions on the package.

In a stockpot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil.  Add 1/2 sliced onion, 3 cloves garlic, bay, and a teaspoon of salt to the pot. Cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Next, add the whole chicken thighs to the pot. Skim off any foam that forms. Simmer very gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Use kitchen tongs to remove the chicken and set it on a platter to cool. Strain the broth and set it aside for later. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers and set aside.

Grind pepitas in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. ( I think it's brilliant that this recipe uses these ground pepitas for a thickener for the stew.) Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups water with remaining 1/2 onion and tomatillos over high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 10 minutes, until veggies are tender. Discard the cooking liquid and place the cooked tomatillos and onions into a standing blender along with 1/4 cup cilantro, 3 more cloves garlic, epazote, and 1.5 teaspoons salt. Blend thoroughly.

Heat canola oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pureed veg to the hot pan - be careful as it will be splattery. Cook the sauce uncovered, stirring regularly until it thickens - about 10 minutes. Add the ground pepitas and 1 cup of the broth reserved from cooking the chicken, stir and cook another 5 minutes.

Finally add the shredded chicken, cooked hominy, and 3 cups of reserved broth to the pot. Simmer partially covered for 20 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro. Season with additional salt to taste - though keep in mind that adding freshly squeeze lime to soup will add a nice punch.

Scoop warm pozole into low bowls and serve with all the wonderful garnishes. Damn, that's good.

serves 6

.......................................

I don't know about you, but I'm THRILLED spring is here. We've been buying ranunculus at Monterey Market lately. I'm so happy to see that organic flowers are finally starting to be more readily available. It's about time!

60 comments:

  1. I have never heard of hominy before but now I'm very curious about it. I love a good stew and since winter is refusing to give way to spring in my part of the world, I'd love to try this. It looks so inviting, Erin.

    PS. I love Kimberley's work.

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  2. Madga! So good to hear from you. Hominy is new to me too, though it is a big thing in the American South and into Mexico. It wouldn't be traditional, but you could make the pozole with fresh corn. I bet it be delish!
    Kimberley's really talented and such a sweetie.
    Hope you're well.
    xoxo
    E

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  3. It looks really scrumptious! This pozole must be wonderfully flavorful and enjoyable.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    Replies
    1. Rosa, it's so good and satisfying:)
      xo
      E

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  4. We love hominy!! We add it to so many things!!! We saw it in the grocery store aisle about 3 years ago and bought it on a whim... Loved it ever since!!!

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    Replies
    1. Here's to impulsing buying of hominy!
      When I made my big batch for the pozole, I froze 1/2 of the cooked hominy. Can't wait to use it.
      xo
      E

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  5. You know, even though I live in California, I don't think I've ever eaten posole! clearly, I must rectify this immediately. :) Your recipe sounds so good!

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    Replies
    1. Eileen, You've gotta try it. Ruth Reichl's recipe will guide you to deliciousness:)
      xo
      E

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  6. Thank you Erin for introducing me to Pozole. I haven't seen it before and I have never bought hominy either.

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    Replies
    1. Jane, happy to oblige! It's worth the effort. I am craving a bowl right now.
      xo
      E

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  7. I LOVE Rancho Gordo beans. The tastiest, most interesting ones around. Have not tried the hominy. But I am buying a bag the next time I order from them. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Carolyn, What is the magic with Rancho Gordo? Everything they grow is damned good I'm totally hooked. Are you going to IACP? It would be fun to meet in person.
      xoxo
      E

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  8. So green, fresh, and tasty looking! Love the color. I have never used hominy! I have probably only eaten it a handful of times.

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    1. Hey Dulcie, the pozole is so fresh and delish! Hominy is quite dense so the lighter broth and all that citrus and veg is a great balance.
      Always good to hear from you!
      xoxo
      E

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  9. Those pictures look so incredibly beautiful !

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  10. This soup is just stunning. Love the simple aspect to food and typically always makes a masterpiece even with the simplest of ingredients. I have yet to cook with homily but I think I need to. Lovely photos!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Lisa, I think you'd love this flavorful and fresh stew. It's worth tracking down hominy if you can:)
      xoxo
      E

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  11. Look at how the greens just glow. Doesn't it make you think of Spring and the bounty it holds? Glory.

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    Replies
    1. Hey there atmoseats.... yep, I'm ready for spring over here!
      -E

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  12. I never cooked or had hominy before but this pozole sure is a reason to try it! I am so happy spring is here, isn't it the best season? Hugs, Najwa

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    Replies
    1. Najwa, I'm seriously reveling in spring. Last night Lilah was snipping little green bits from the back yard and we watched some little finches nesting in our bird house. These kinds of fairytale evenings are rare and only seem to happen this time of year.Ahhhh...
      xoxo
      E

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  13. I have no idea what is hominy .. huh! This is what i love the most about blog hopping. You taught me something new my friend and I can't wait to try it. I adore Kimberly's blog and her photography is stunning. I wish to meet her someday and you too!

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    Replies
    1. Kankana, I totally agree.... that is the fun of blogs... for us to share ideas, recipes, ingredients! I thought there might be some hominy newbies out there - I know it's a recent addition to my kitchen. Let me know how it goes if you find some.
      xoxo
      E

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  14. Damn, that was good. Made it for supper tonight and it turned out great. A tad salty, probably due to using roasted & salted pepitas, but still very tasty.

    Our first exposure to Posole was a Dean & Deluca kit we bought in the '80s. Loved the recipe but couldn't find a replacement. This is really great. I'm ordering some Rancho Gordo hominy for next time.

    -Vic

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  15. So great to hear you made the pozole tonight! Thanks for letting me know.
    Interesting that Dean and Deluca sold pozole kits in the 80s:)
    -E

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  16. Lovely shots, I didn't knew also about hominy, but recipe looks amazing. The ranunculus image made my day, here is still snowing!

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    Replies
    1. Gabriela, the ranunculus are making my days too. The days are still pretty rainy around here and those vibrant flowers always make me smile.
      xo
      E

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  17. I've never cooked with hominy and you know what, I've never heard of epazote! Clearly I need some Mexican cooking education. I'd happily start with this - it looks wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This wouldn't be a bad place to start:) Ruth Reichl's recipe is spot on. Yum!
      xoxoxo
      E

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  18. I am definitely going to look out some hominy - I've never seen it for sale here but can't wait to try this recipe! Lovely as ever, Erin!

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    Replies
    1. Kathryn, it's worth a look. I'm curious if you can get hominy in the UK. If not, you could make the pozole with fresh corn. It would still be really yummy!
      Have a great weekend,
      xoxo
      E

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  19. I've never had hominy–how did that happen? Pozole sounds like exactly the kind of thing I would love, so I'm going to hunt down the needed ingredients immediately! Thanks for the lovely recipe, and the cheerful pictures; both have brightened my day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, your sweet note brightened my day! Lemme know how it goes with the pozole:)
      xo
      E

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  20. Erin, I wasn't familiar with pozole or hominy but I have learnt a lot about them on your post here. Thank you for sharing! Your photos are so bright and refreshing that all my senses were awakened by them. Beautiful work, Erin. Emi xo

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    Replies
    1. Hi Emi, so nice to hear from you. And I'm glad to share the deliciousness of pozole. I could happily eat a bowl right now:)
      xoxo
      E

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  21. I will definitely be trying this! I guess I didn't know you could buy hominy dried?! I do love posole and using chicken thighs sounds so good - and with the pepitas as the thickener - nice! I agree - posole is all about the toppings!!

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    Replies
    1. Jane do you usually buy canned hominy? The dried stuff takes a bit more work, but it's always worth it. I hope you try Ruth's recipe... it's SO good.
      xoxo
      E

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  22. I absolutely adore hominy and this green pozole looks so flavorful!

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    Replies
    1. Jess, it really is yummy!
      xo
      E

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  23. I've made a red chile pozole before, but it's been far too long. The tomatillos in this sound great, and I love all the fresh garnishes!

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    Replies
    1. Lisa, knowing your taste in flavors I know you'd love this one:) I think the combination is spot on!
      xo
      E

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  24. I'm still snowshoeing every day up here, but spring is on its way for sure. The snow is beginning to recede in the woods, and patches of green and brown are starting to peek through. I like to dig around in the decaying leaves next to tree trunks, so that my hands will smell a bit like spring, even if it doesn't look overly springy here yet:)

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    Replies
    1. Okay, I've never even been snowshoeing.... I love that that is the norm for you Emma! What an amazing life you live.
      xoxo
      E

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  25. What a great substitution to pasta! I've never had hominy, surprisingly. Can wait to give it a whirl. And ins't Spring the best?! Glad your on the same flower page, I've got daisies, button poms and orchids in every room of the house. Since I don't have a yard, I'm bringing Spring from the outside in! Good to hear your testing is going well, too. :)

    xoxo,
    Christina

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    Replies
    1. Christina, I'm so happy with springtime too! We have a little bird's house in our back yard and the babies started chirping today. Bees are swarming our wisteria. Woo Hoo!
      Take care,
      E

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  26. Hominy is a new one on me, the green pozole looks scrummy :) Tanja

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  27. Have never made a dish like this pozole, but I love the sound and look of it so much! Also, can't wait for your book to come out, Erin! So curious now!

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    1. Denise, I think you'd love the pozole. And thanks for the enthusiasm for my book - I'm so excited too!
      xoxo
      E

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  28. This sounds wonderful! I'm always seeing hominy at the Mexican market I shop at, but have never cooked with it. I think it's time to make an impulse buy of my own and try this out!

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    Replies
    1. Yes - an impulse buy is in order;)
      xo
      E

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  29. I love how green this soup is. Now I just need to find tomatillos and hominy so I can make it, lol! Montreal's gotta have them around somewhere ;) Thanks for sharing your love of hominy and this soup!

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    1. Janice, I hope you can find the ingredients - the stew is so delish!
      xo
      E

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  30. I've never cooked/eaten hominy but I'm so intrigued! I definitely need to try it for myself!

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    1. Chung-Ah, yes hominy is so worth a try. I am happy to have introduced it to my cooking. I always love new ingredients.
      xo
      E

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  31. I just realized I've never tried hominy! It's about time to change that. I love the bright flavors in this soup, Erin.

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    Replies
    1. Oh my Kathryne, you would love hominy. Go get some now! You won't regret it.
      xoxo
      E

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  32. Made this for dinner and loved it! It was a touch too salty, but other than that, I thought it was really great! Perfect recipe :)
    P.S. Here's my pic of it on Instagram: http://instagram.com/p/Ygg8f9wD7F/

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    1. Hey there Janice, Thanks for sharing your photo! xo E

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  33. Love this. Wish I'd seen it sooner. :) Pozole has long been on my to-make list for a cozy day.

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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