Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Comfort Food Favorite

Many of you have inspired me to cook and share some of my favorite comfort food. When I was a child, my father made Menudo on a regular basis; a staple of the Mexican diet. Although I loved the Menudo, I was not a fan of the tripe. My mother would always remove the tripe from my serving so I could enjoy. As an adult, I discovered Pozole. It was an answer to my prayers; the best of Menudo without the tripe. Here is my favorite Pozole recipe.

Green Pozole with Chicken

9 cups water
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 large white onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
1/2 cup hulled (green) pumpkin seeds (not roasted; 2 1/4 oz)
1 lb tomatillos, husked
2 fresh jalapeño chiles, quartered (including seeds)
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon dried epazote or oregano (preferably Mexican), crumbled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (15-oz) cans white hominy, rinsed and drained (I usually double this)

Accompaniments: diced radish; cubed avocado tossed with lime juice; shredded white cabbage; chopped white onion with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

Cook chicken:
Bring 8 cups water, bay leaf, half of onion, half of garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil, covered, in a 6-quart heavy pot, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add chicken and poach at a bare simmer, uncovered, skimming off any foam, until just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board to cool. Pour broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids, and reserve. When chicken is cool enough to handle, coarsely shred with your fingers.

Make sauce while chicken cools:
Cook pumpkin seeds in a dry small skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until puffed but not browned (seeds will pop as they puff), 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely, then finely grind in coffee/spice grinder.

Simmer tomatillos and remaining onion in remaining cup water in a 3-quart saucepan, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain vegetables and purée in a blender with jalapeños, 1/4 cup cilantro, epazote, remaining garlic, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add purée (use caution as it will splatter and steam). Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in pumpkin seeds and 1 cup reserved broth and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken, hominy, and 3 more cups (I sometimes will add 2-3 additional cups of the broth to account for the extra hominy) reserved broth and simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes.

Nadine waiting for the Pozole

Serve pozole in deep bowls with accompaniments and toasted corn tortillas.


buffalodickdy said...

Sounds kinda good in a vegetarian sort of way(except for the chicken!)

doggybloggy said...

I am on my way..and I will bring my own tripe...that sounds good especially using pumpkin seeds that is so yucutan of you

Michelle Ann said...

In the interest of my vegetarian friends....we can eliminate the chicken cooking portion of the recipe, use 4-6 cups vegetable stock and substitute the chicken with 3 pounds of extra firm tofu.

Tanya Kristine said...

holy shit...that looks great! and yes i'd make that with tofu. absoluelty.

pinknest said...

oh this looks excellent! i want to make it. and nadine is GORGEOUS!!!

Tanya Kristine said...

bored with this post already.

but i would be less bored if you had brought me in some.

Michelle Ann said...

Buffalodickdy, the heat of the dish makes up for the lack of the red meat!

Doggy, yes very Yucatan and you are more than welcome to bring your own tripe...

Tanya, we will have to make the veggie version for you...it should be awesome.

Pinknest, let me know when you make it...it is a great cure of those days when you partied too much the night before. Nadine said thank you for the compliment.

Tanya...again. So sorry, I only had the carnivore version.

doggybloggy said...

hullo..I keep checking back and surely this pot of posole (my regional spelling) should be gone by now.