I haven't messed around with recipes for decades. Haven't followed one for even longer, maybe junior high. I generally make up my own, or wing it. Tonight I made posole, a traditional pre-
Columbian stew, and it was so good I thought I'd share my version.
Some folks cook up dried posole, which is hominy corn that has been processed. I usually get the canned, already cooked version. Grits are ground hominy, BTW, and are yummy cooked with garlic and cheese.
Back to posole, though. This is a dish that cures what ails ya, especially on a cold winter night with the cedar (juniper) pollen count off the chart. Kinda the Central Texas version of chicken soup. I usually make up a 4 qt. pot, as it freezes well, and seems to improve the longer it has to infuse the flavors.
Traditionally, indigenous New Mexicans make it with mutton or lamb, but you can make it with pork, chicken, or I've even done a veggie version with tofu. The trick is to simmer on very low heat for a couple of hours so the goodness can blend. You'll need a 4 qt. stainless pot or cast-iron Dutch oven with cover, and a large cast-iron or non-aluminum skillet or wok.
2 to 2-1/2 lbs. of mutton, lamb, pork roast, pork ribs, chicken, or hard tofu, no need to cut the meat; tofu is best in bite-sized pieces
2 two-pound cans of hominy (maiz posolero)--I use one can of white, one can of yellow for color,
including the liquid
2 fresh green Hatch or Poblano chiles, seeded and chopped
(or 2 seven-ounce cans of diced green Hatch chiles, with liquid)
(or fresh AND canned, for extra zing and vitamin C)
1 large onion (red is my favorite, for flavor and color)
6-8 cloves of fresh garlic
2 T oil for saute'ing
a quart and a half of chicken or veggie broth
Fresh cilantro, lime, and avocado to garnish.
Brown meat or tofu in 2 T oil in the skillet or wok. Place in large pot or Dutch oven.
Saute fresh chiles, onions and garlic in leftover oil/bits until clear. Add to browned meat/tofu.
Deglaze skillet with a cup or two of the broth. When all bits come off the bottom, add to pot.
If you are using canned chiles, add them to the pot.
Add the hominy.
Add rest of broth, and if necessary, water to within two inches of pot rim.
Simmer on very low heat for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, checking every 20 min. to make sure there is plenty of liquid.
When the meat is falling-apart tender, serve it up, garnish with a squeeze of lime, a couple of T of cilantro leaves, 2-3 slices of avocado, and enjoy! Doesn't need salt, since the hominy will be salted. Just the thing for cedar fever weather--the heat and the chiles help clear out your head.
Photo attribution: Pozole soup served in clay bowl in Cuernavaca, Mexico, December 2006. By Meutia Chaerani/Indradi Soemardjan http://www.indrani.net
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