Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bean and chile posole

Posole is Southwestern regional dish - usually, it's a stew with pork, chiles, and the posole itself. Posole is whole, dried corn kernels that have been soaked in lye (calcium hydroxide, so the solution has a high pH). It is the same stuff that is coarsely ground to make typical southern grits, or finely ground to make masa, the basis for corn tortillas. It's also called hominy, but seems to be labeled posole around here. I was looking for a picture to put up here, and in my googling and wikipedia-ing adventures, I learned that hominy is the Powhatan word for corn... the same word that is in Chickahominy, the river and Indian tribe near Williamsburg where Andy grew up. Chickahominy means "the people of coarse ground corn." I hadn't put the two together until just now - learning while blogging!

But anyway, this is a not exactly vegetarian version of the dish. No pork, but I used chicken stock because I like the depth and body stock imparts to simple soups. The roasted chiles came from our farmers market (roasted on site in a giant propane powered rotating drum). I really liked the texture of the posole; they're chewy and hearty. I'll definitely be trying it in the future in other less traditional dishes. I haven't tried canned hominy, but I bet it would be good too.

1 c. dried posole, available in the Mexican section of grocery stores in Colorado, also called hominy
1 c. dried pinto beans (kidneys, black eyed peas, or black turtles would all work, canned would be just as good too)
1 T. oil
1 large onion
4-5 medium carrots
a pinch salt
1 t. ground cumin
8-10 cloves garlic
32 oz. no salt added chicken stock (I use Kitchen Basics brand)
10-14 roasted green chile peppers, peeled and chopped to some degree
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/3 c. lime juice
cilantro, chopped, to put on top
hot sauce

1. Soak the posole and beans overnight - fill water to about 2" over level. I put them in different pots, cause I wasn't sure if they would take the same amount of time to cook or not. I think this is a good idea cause although they took almost the same amount of time, I used the cooking liquid from the posole in the soup.
2. The next day, bring the posole and bean to a simmer and cook till tender and appealing - this took about an hour 45 for me, but beans can be very fickle. You could also use the 90 minute method on the beans - wonder if it would work on the posole??
3. In the meantime, heat the oil over medium and sautee the onions, carrots, salt, and cumin till they are lightly browned (6-8 min). Add in the garlic, stir for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Add in the stock and stir to release all the stuff on the bottom of the pot. Add the chiles, tomatoes, beans (drained and rinsed), and posole (with cooking liquid). Bring to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes, till the tomatoes are cooked and it tastes good.
5. Add lime juice, and then add water, salt, pepper, hot sauce to taste. Put some fresh chopped cilantro on top.

1 comment:

  1. Just saw some of that hominy in the Shop Rite in Rio Grande, NJ (not Texas) and was wondering what to do with it.