My most recent masterpiece.
I’ve been feeling a little discombobulated lately. I think it’s just the heat and the stress of working in a totally new environment, but one of the ways I cope sometimes is with cooking. Really elaborate cooking. In the past couple weeks I’ve made a nectarine tart with almond crust, cupcakes with chocolate butter cream, and this:
This is posole. It’s a traditional Mexican hominy soup, made from dried and processed corn (known as nixtamalized maize) that has been slow cooked in flavorful broth and then further seasoned with chile salsa. In this case I made the stock from scratch with the unwanted ends of carrots, onions, and jalapeños, de-kernaled corn cobs, garlic cloves, a big handful of cilantro, and a hefty dash of salt. It was my first time making homemade stock; I was pretty proud of myself.
I also made my own chili colorado, a traditional red sauce that can be added to soups, used as enchilada sauce, or just used like ketchup on everything from hashbrowns and fried eggs to micheladas. It was reasonably easy to make, the only issue involved grinding close to a cup of pure chili powder from some dried New Mexican chilis I had bought (I used my coffee grinder, coffee was a bit spicy the next day). I am slowly using up the approximately 2 cups of sauce I made; it’s so good I don’t want it to go to waste. I’ll probably make some black bean enchiladas with it later this week.
The soup itself was ridiculously simple. You just slowly simmer (I used the oven method!) the posole kernals in the stock, with some added garlic and onion, for a few hours until they pop and get soft. I then added some fresh sweet corn and shredded carrots for added flavor and texture. When everything is at the desired consistency, you stir in the chili sauce and plenty of lime juice.
I ended up topping it with a whipped créme made from avocado, créme fraíche, lime juice, and salt. It provided a soothing fattiness to an otherwise rather lean and spicy soup.
All in all it was quite a success. The whole pot fed us for almost three days. There was at least one day where Zack at it for 3/4 meals in 24 hours. I’m not posting the recipe mostly because it was pretty involved and I’ve gotten the impression that my readers are more interested in simple recipes. However, if anyone is interested, I can!
**Note:I bought my posole at whole foods, it was the “New Mexico foods” brand, available next to some spices in bags on the side of the “ethnic foods” isle.