Pozole, a love story
Just have to say, in all my years here, learning about pozole may be the best thing I've picked up. Made it for the second time tonight, we could eat this every night for the rest of our lives if we had to pick one thing in the whole world. Thanks to all!
Sorry! I've cobbled this together from what I've found here over time.
3 # approx bone in country ribs (others call for pig head, ears, feet etc,thought I'd take the easy way out) (cheap and yummy)
6 cloves garlic
2 small cans green chile (I use Trader Joe)
oregano; plus chili powder and cumin to taste
quart chicken broth, with spoonful of ham base added
29z can of hominy
4 or 5 corn tortillas, cut in strips and fried
sliced Vidalia onion or similar
very thin sliced radish
(these may seem weird but they are perfect accompaniments, I must have all of them on the table)
Pressure cook pork in water to cover with 4 sliced garlic cloves and some oregano 1/2 hour (or cook separately in whatever is your favorite way til shreddy).
Cut onion and 2 other garlics in large pieces. Puree in blender with diced green chile plus 2 tsp salt.
Shred cooked pork and use 2 cups of cooking liquid to reheat. Add all to pot with chicken broth, hominy, green chile mixture and all else, simmer 30 minutes.
Deep fry the cut tortillas, serve with all other condiments on the side to add as desired.
So much better than the sum of its parts.
The dried posole is easy to work with too. You just need to soak it overnight and cook it longer. Rancho Gordo has great recipes and their mail order is a little less pricy than AM -although I LOVE Anson Mills!
Your garnishes are mostly what we do too. Green cabbage and chicharrones are nice too, along with a little queso fresco.
I find it curious that Mexicans don't use (whole) hominy in other dishes, or at least that, nothing else is commonly known.
In Ecuador, mote as it is called there, can be served as a starch along with rice and/or potatoes (and yuca). It's especially popular as a side with their equivalent to carnitas (fritada).
It is also used in a variety of soups, including a cows foot soup.
Oh but they do! Tamales and corn tortillas are made from nixtamalized corn, which is what posole is (in fact the bags here call it that). Hominy is the Americanization of the native North American Indian word, while posole or pozole is the Nahuatl word) It the nixtamalization that releases the vitamins in corn. (And, no, it is not sweet corn it is "field corn" that is nixtamilized.) You can do the process yourself if you want.
Here is a link to a video showing how corn is nixtamailzed and turned into tortillas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcan7L... It is from the CIA.
Some people here in New Mexico make a dish similar to posole called 'chicos'. Chicos are dried or smoke-roasted corn that is not nixtamulized: the flavor is quite different, especially when the chicos are dried in a horno to get the smoky flavor.
I added 'whole' to my question to distinguish this use from the ground form (masa).
Curiously in the Andes, whole hominy is widely used (as well as other forms of corn), but tortillas are not made. They also make something like tameles, but with a fresher corn (at least Ecuadorian humitas are).
I have only seen it in soups in Latin American cooking. Interestingly, I had only heard of hominy in grits in non-Southwestern cooking until I was in college or so. As a child in Missouri and Colorado, I never saw whole hominy. And while I have heard of it casseroles, I have never actually seen it outside Latin American cooking. What do people make with whole hominy in "American" cooking?