Friday, June 18, 2004

my staples, part 2

posole verde Posted by Hello

this is a homemade staple adapted from madhur jaffrey's world vegetarian. this is a huge book with tons of recipes, and though we've only tried a handful of recipes, they've turned out quite well. we make this green posole every other month or so, especially if the weather is cold.

if you don't know what posole is, it's a mexican soup/stew traditionally made with pork. the first time i had it was probably 10 years ago when my hubby's
(then boyfriend) sister made it for the family. it was amazing. the soup was redolent of pork and spices, and supported copious amounts of tender meat and hominy. optional garnishes included shredded cabbage, lime wedges, avocado, cilantro, and corn tortillas, most of which, along with adding flavor, also helped to cut the spiciness. it's something i still sometimes dream of, in waking and in sleep.

now that i no longer eat meat, i must rely on memories and alternatives. not that posole verde is a substitute for traditional posole. they are, in fact, very different creatures, each with their own virtues. a variety of peppers and other vegetables and aromatics are used to create depth in the broth. with the addition of beans, hominy and mushrooms, you create a wonderfully hearty dish. as you can see from the picture, we eat it with tortilla chips, avocado, and (not shown) lime wedges.

this dish is time-consuming to make, even with the shortcuts we take (canned hominy and beans, as opposed to dried ones), so start early or have help.

adapted posole verde

3 cups canned hominy
3 cups canned cannellini beans (or great northern or other white bean)
1 pound mild poblano chiles
3 Tbsp. canola oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
5 medium tomatillos (6 oz.), husks removed, washed and finely chopped
6 scallions, very finely sliced into thin rounds
2 jalapenos, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
12 medium white mushrooms, quartered
2 large or 8 small good quality vegetable bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp. salt

Pour hominy and beans into colander. Rinse and drain. Set aside.

Roast poblanos: Lay them in a broiling pan in a single layer and place under a heated broiler about 5 inches from heat source. Roast for a minute or two, then turn over and roast a couple minutes more. Continue until all sides are lightly charred. Alternatively, you can roast chiles over an open flame. Either cover tray with towel or put chiles in a paper bag to sweat for 10-15 minutes. Peel, seed, and finely chop.

Place oil and garlic in a large pot over med-hi heat. When garlic is golden, add tomatillos, scallions, and jalapeno and saute for 5 minutes. Add cumin and stir briefly. Add mushrooms and stir 2 minutes. Add chopped poblano and stir one minute. Then add hominy, beans, crumbled bouillon cubes, oregano and cilantro. Add 5 cups water and bring to a simmer. Mix well and taste for salt. Add salt if needed. Simmer, covered, very gently for 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serves 6


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