Every so often, I have to work on a Saturday. It’s never ideal but I can excuse those Saturdays because I get Friday off instead. Having a Friday off means I can go to the grocery store without dealing with the crowd, drive to St. Louis midday without worrying about traffic and, best of all, cook all day without any distractions. Though there’s only two of us, our house is alive on Saturdays with the sound of music, television, the washing machine, the dishwasher, and whatever project we have going on. But on Fridays?
On Fridays, the house is quiet.
And when the house is quiet, I make things like this:
Pozole (or posole) is, as the title states, a Mexican stew known for its mixture of chile peppers, corn, and pork. It’s a basic stew that allows for a variety of toppings (and really, aren’t toppings the best part?) to be passed around the table. Use deep bowls!
Pozole Verde (adapted from Food and Wine)
Keywords: blender saute soup/stew entree gluten-free Cinco de Mayo Super Bowl Mexican fall winter
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 5 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 pound poblano and jalapeno peppers (approximately 12-15; use a mixture of both or stick to just one)
- 1/4 chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp coriander
- 1 15-ounce can hominy, drained
- Shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, queso fresco, chopped onion, sour cream, tortilla chips, and lime wedges for serving.
Roast the poblanos and/or jalapenos over a gas flame or under the broiler until charred (approximately 10 minutes under the broiler, flipping halfway through). Place the charred chiles into a bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and let cool.
In a large pot, bring the chicken stock and water to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, cover, and simmer over low heat until tender and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred, reserving the cooking liquid.
Peel the skin off the cooled chiles, then stem and seed. Transfer them to a blender and add the chopped cilantro. Puree and, while the blender is running, add one cup reserved cooking water. Puree until smooth.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook over low heat until the onion is soft, 8-10 minutes. Add the pureed peppers and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the green sauce (it might be thick) into the cooking liquid in your pot. Add the hominy and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Add the shredded chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook just until heated through. Ladle pozole into bowls and top with cabbage, radishes, queso fresco, onion, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and/or lime wedges.
I used chicken to lighten things up, and I adore any stew that includes hominy (dried corn kernels). Hominy tends to soak up any flavor you have going on in your bowl, and it becomes almost a solid version of your stew.
Though roasting the peppers is not a necessary step, it adds depth to the pozole that you can taste in the green broth. The skin slips right off after being charred under the broiler or over a flame, and the seeds slip right out after cutting one open.
Serve this stew with a wide array of toppings – think of your favorite taco ingredients and expand. Cabbage is a must, as is queso fresco, and tortilla chips. Throw a lime wedge on top and serve with cornbread on the side and you have yourself a meal.
Have a wonderful week!
Tell me: Is it cool enough where you live for soups and stews?
It was beautiful here this weekend – low 70’s and breezy! Back into the 80’s this week though.