Posted on January 26th, 2016
Let’s cook with large hominy kernals
I was in Market Basket looking for the Goya products. When I finally found the cans of white hominy, a curious fellow customer asked me: “What is that for?”. “El maiz? The white corn? To cook Mexican pozole!” I replied.
If you have wondered about what those puffy and chewy Mexican hominy kernels of corn taste like, grab your apron and find out by cooking pozole, an authentic Mexican dish that dates back to the Aztecs. It’s delicious and healthy; perfect for the cold weather.
The one common ingredient in pozoles is maiz pozolero, or white hominy. In Mexico we use an heirloom variety of white corn called maiz cacahuatzintle. Here in Somerville, the perfect substitute is the canned white hominy that is sold in Market Basket or La Internacional in Union Square for only $1.99. This time I’ve chosen to make pozole rojo, but there are also verde and blanco pozole recipes as well. Each type of pozole uses a different variety of chiles that imparts a distinctive color and flavor. Pork meat is usually the preferred cut of meat to add, but you can use chicken as well.
Pozole rojo uses chile guajillo and chile ancho, which you can also find at La Internacional. These chilies give a nice complex flavor and are not overly spicy. Blizzard or not, it’s chili season. Let’s expand our culinary repertoire, and cook pozole. And don’t forget the variety of sides to complement this delicious mexican soup. Enjoy! —Maria F. Martinez
For the pozole
- 3 cans white hominy, drained,
- 1 chicken, whole, skinned and cut up into pieces (or a combination of chicken and pork)
- 64 fl oz of unsalted vegetable or chicken stock ( water can also be used)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 white small onion, peeled
- 1 bay leave
- Salt and pepper to taste
- (Yields: 6-8 servings)
For the red sauce
- 2 Chiles Anchos
- 3 Chiles Guajillos
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 Garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp of canola oil
- ½ tsp dried Mexican oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Limes, halved
- Finely sliced radishes
- Shredded lettuce
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- Dried ground chile, such as piquín, ancho, chipotle or a Mexican mix
- Dried Mexican oregano
- Crispy tostadas or tortilla chips, store-bought or homemade
Put all ingredients for the chicken except the white hominy in a stockpot. Cook until chicken is tender and the meat can be easily separated from the bone.
To make the sauce, first devein the chiles and them for approximately 25 minutes in enough water to cover them.
Then, drain the chiles and put in a blender with the onion, garlic, oregano and some of the chicken cooking liquid. Blend until a sauce consistency.
Heat the oil in a small pan, add the sauce, season with salt and pepper and cook in low heat for approximately 10 minutes. Pass through a colander and put aside.
When the chicken is done, remove the bones and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Return the meat to the liquid, and discard the bay leaf and onion too.
Add the chile sauce, and white hominy to the soup and cook for 15-20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, and serve hot with all accompaniments together.