Monday, December 10, 2012

Posole

Posole is often referred to as the "Bowl of Blessedness" by those in the Southwest and Mexico. Posole is the mother process for curing or preserving corn.  Posole is made by soaking white corn kernels in ground limestone and water and then dried.  This stew is very flavorful and just fabulous when you top it with the cilantro, fresh lime, radish slices and shredded cabbage.
On my website, www.janebutelcooking.com, I have a copy of my syndicated story I wrote for the Los Angeles Times several years ago.  This story gives a great more detail of the history.

Posole is not to be confused with hominy, which is prepared with lye--a corrosive chemical which destroys the cellulosic coating.


POSOLE
(Dried Corn with Pork and Red Chiles) 
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 You may serve this either as a side dish or main dish. I like to layer toppings such as fresh shredded cabbage, fresh lime wedges, avocado cubes and cilantro sprigs.
 Yield:  15 to 16 servings
1 pound dried posole
1 quart water, or more
2 pounds pork, steak or roast, cut into ½” cubes
1 Tablespoon salt or to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of Mexican oregano
1 Tablespoon cumin, or to taste
¼ cup caribe chile or to taste
1. Simmer the posole in unseasoned water until it becomes soft and the kernels have burst open; it usually requires 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
2. Brown the pork cubee in a cold, well-seasoned frying pan; adding no fat or oil to the pan. Saute until very browned, then add to the posole.  Deglaze the frying pan with 1 cup water, stirring to loosen the brownies sticking to the pan.  Also add this liquid to the posole.
3. Add remaining ingredients, using one-half the cumin and cook the stew for 1 or more hours, to blend the flavors.  Just before serving, add the remaining half of cumin.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Ideally, this dish should be started the morning before it is to be served, to allow the flavors to develop.
Notes:  In Old Mexico the following toppings are often served and posole is a main dish and often called the Chicken Noodle Soup of Mexico--good for curing colds and ills:
        
        2 cups thinly shredded fresh cabbage
        2 limes, cut into wedges
        1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into cubes
        1 bunch cilantro sprigs
In Mexico, posole is often spelled with a “z” instead of an “s”.

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