Writer's Grove

Holy Posole

October 4, 2016
screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-1-18-49-pmBack when the Holy Taco Church was a thing, this was the most popular recipe I posted, so I’m reposting it here for everyone. If you’re not familiar with posole (poe-SO-lay, sometimes spelled pozole), I think it’s time you got acquainted. It’s a soup of glorious flavors and textures and as much spice as you want to add, but it always contains hominy.

Hominy is nixtamalized corn, also known as BIGASS MAIZE KERNELS, and you can find cans of the stuff at most groceries where you find your salsas and such. Warning: Grab the 15-oz. can. They also have cans large enough to feed a baseball team—I think they’re closer to drums or barrels than cans—but for this recipe grab the manageable size.

Have you ever had ramen—I mean the real stuff, not that Top Ramen shit you lived on in college? Real ramen always has some kind o’ noodles but different broths and meats and toppings. Posole can be thought of in the same way—it always has hominy, but you can make it with pork or beef or shrimp or, in this case, chicken. With green chile sauce. Endless varieties are possible, so feel free to experiment and explore.

You can make posole from scratch if you want brownie points and have hours to spare. Or, if you’re limited on time, you can take some shortcuts like me.

Disclaimer: Yours probably won’t look like that top image unless you use a buttload of tomatillos. Mine didn’t look that way either. The above picture is the posole at a restaurant in Colorado called Comida (“FOOD!”) and once I tried it, I said, damn, I’m making this at home. But quicker! And without fancy square bowls!

Prep time: Depending on how many margaritas you have in you, anywhere from a half hour to fuggit-I’m-ordering-a-pizza. Some of this stuff you’ll probably have in your pantry and some of it you’ll want fresh. I’ve marked some ingredients with an asterisk, which in this case stands for I JUST SAVED YOU A BUNCHA TIME. Here’s a picture of some o’ them, looking coy:

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HERE WE GO, STUFF FOR THE POSOLE:

1 jar or can of salsa verde, 7 oz or 16 oz, depending on how green you want it*
1 can of hominy, the 15 oz. size*
1 rotisserie chicken they always have ready at the store*
1 quart of chicken stock, low-sodium would be good*
1 small yellow onion or half a bigass sweet onion, minced
2-3 cloves of minced garlic, or do that kick-it-up-a-notch routine and add ten more for no reason, along with a whole stick of butter and a shark fin from a shark you personally punched in the face and whatever the hell else Emeril does on that show
1 teaspoon of chili powder (though you can add more if you hate people)
1 teaspoon of oregano
1-2 teaspoons of ground cumin
Some olive oil to sauté the onions, but who measures that?
Salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t add any and it was awesome.)

STUFF FOR TOPPINGS:

This is entirely up to you and a large part of the fun & beauty of posole—suit yourself for sure!—but here’s what I used:

1 red onion, chopped into wee bits. Or minced. You can pick your favorite descriptor. I didn’t use it all; you can save half probably.
1 lime, which you slice into wedges and squeeze onto your posole
1 avocado, cut up into chunklets
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced. Normally I don’t do radishes but soups are the exception. It’s because they soak up the broth and cease to taste like ass. In posole they’re like colorful crunchy water chestnuts but without the water chestnuts.
1 sprig or bunch or pinch of cilantro. I know some people don’t dig cilantro and that’s cool, whatever works for you.

Other possible toppings: Cheese! Mushrooms! Pickled red onions! Cabbage! Chopped romaine lettuce! A shark fin! Yeti dandruff! Whatever!

ALL RIGHT. GET YOUR MARGARITA AND YOUR KNIFE. TOTALLY SAFE.

Start chopping and drinking. Nothing can go wrong, right? Get a sauté pan and put your yellow onion and garlic in there, heated with the olive oil on medium. Just a few minutes to make the onions transparent, mind—don’t scorch ‘em. Add in the oregano, chili powder, and cumin, mix it up, and let it go for another minute or so. Should look like this:

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Remove from heat and get your bigass stock pot or cauldron or industrial vat and put it on the same burner you were just using to sauté. Dump in your salsa verde or green enchilada sauce (or your diced tomatillos and green chiles, which is what salsa verde is). More you add, greener it’ll be. I just used a 7-oz can, but more wouldn’t hurt.

Also dump in your quart of chicken stock and the can of hominy (just wash and drain it first, you only want the kernels in there, not the liquid). Then shred up the breast meat of that rotisserie chicken and throw it in. Or hell, the thigh meat, leg meat, whatever. It’s your posole. Whatever you feel like using, you’ll need about 2 cups of meaty meat. Now scrape your spicy garlic n’ onion sauté in there, mix it all up, and turn the heat up to high. BOIL IT. Soon as it’s a-boilin’, it should look a little something like this:

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Mine’s not so green as that picture up top because I went easy on the green sauce. You can add more (use another small can or buy a whole pint of salsa verde) or keep it low- key like this—either way is yum-yum. Once it’s boiling, reduce heat and let it simmer for ten minutes.

While it’s simmering, you should do a tiny dance and then get your toppings ready. I highly recommend the lime squeeze right before you dig in, but remember, everything’s optional. Here’s my posole naked but with a wardrobe of goodies waiting to be draped upon it:

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And now you get to make your posole look sexy. Top it with the nom-noms of your choice and enjoy! Goes great with tortilla chips and beer or margaritas, and this recipe should make enough for four people:

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Regarding that time-saving stuff: You can make your salsa verde from scratch and some people really prefer it, so yay if you want to mess with tomatillos and green chiles of various kinds. (I’ve seen people do poblanos, jalapeños, serranos, and of course Hatch green chiles, but damn, it’s all in the can ready to go.) You can also buy some chicken breasts or thighs and boil them forever to make your own chicken stock, then use the meat for your posole. And yeah, some people actually buy dry hominy and boil that too… I seriously don’t have time for all of that, but you can go there if the spirit moves you. Hope you enjoy this super-tasty quick version!

Peace and love and tacos,
Kevin

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