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Author Notes: Being an almost lifelong Texas resident, I love TexMex, authentic Mexican and other Latino recipes. The bright sunny flavors found south of the border are my go-to comfort food, especially in the winter months. The Filipino adobo includes a hefty dose of vinegar (usually hard-to-find coconut or palm vinegars or more easily obtained rice wine vinegar plus soy sauce, garlic and spices). Posole is a Mexican hominy stew which usually includes pork, and caldo is the Mexican word for soup.
Spicy hot foods, specially soups, offer a comforting relief from cold and sinus symptoms. By all means, adjust the spice factor to your taste and tolerance. Then, wrap yourself in delicious Mexican Filipino warmth in this delicious vacation in a bowl.
By the way, this soup freezes well (if you have any leftovers). It can also be prepared in a slow cooker. After searing the pork and cooking the onion and garlic, deglaze the pan with water or stock and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the goodness (aka fond) on the bottom of the pan. Add everything, except the pasta, to the crock and cover; cook on low for up to 8 hours or high for up to 3 hours. —gr8chefmb
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
- 4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 Medium white onion
- 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed then soaked in 1-1/2 cups boiling water for 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 2 fresh poblano peppers, stems & seeds removed then diced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen kernel corn
- 1 15.5- ounces can dark red kidney beans, undrained
- 1 15- to 15.5- ounces can white or yellow hominy, drained and rinsed
- 1 14- to 14.5- ounces can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 .27- ounces can Mexican tomato sauce [El Pato is my favorite brand; if unavailable substitute regular tomato sauce and add 1-2 tablespoons of pepper sauce]
- 3 cups good chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon coarse ground salt
- 1 tablespoon coarse ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon grated piloncillo or dark brown sugar
- 2 5- to 7- ounces packages fideo vermicelli [Q&Q or LaModerna are my favorite brands], cooked according to package directions
GARNISHES [optional-select as many or as few as you want]
- Fresh lime wedges
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Sour cream or Mexican creme
- Diced avocado
- Shredded cheese or crumbled Cotija cheese
- Finely minced jalapeño
- Diced/slivered red radishes and/or jicama
- Fried thin tortilla strips
- Coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
- Pepper hot sauce
- Fresh pico de gallo salsa
- Warm corn tortillas
- Cut pork shoulder into 1-inch cubes and pat dry with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat in a heavy Dutch oven. Add half of the pork and brown on all sides; remove from pan and repeat step with remaining oil and pork.
- Cut onion in half stem to root and then into thin slices crosswise. Add onion to pan with garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes, or just until onion starts to turn translucent.
- Place soaked ancho chiles and soaking water in blender along with vinegar and soy sauce; process until almost smooth. Strain through a fine wire mesh strainer into pan; discard remaining solids. Add sweet potatoes, diced poblanos, corn, kidney beans, hominy, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, piloncillo/brown sugar and bay leaf plus 2 cups water. Stir to combine and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium to medium low, cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or just until pork is fork tender. Remove and discard bay leaf and adjust seasoning to taste. (It may be necessary to add water to pot during cooking time.)
- Place approximately 1/2 cup cooked fideo vermicelli in bottom of serving and ladle caldo over pasta. Garnish as desired. Serve immediately.
- NOTE 1: If you have a well-stocked grocery store, the dried ancho chiles, Mexican tomato sauce, piloncillo, and fideo vermicelli can be found on the Mexican/international aisle. The Mexican crema and cotija cheese can be found on the dairy aisle.
- NOTE 2: The dried chiles can also sometimes be found in the produce department. The fresh poblanos can easily be switched with bell peppers (green, red, yellow, orange or purple); the flavor will be milder than poblanos.
- NOTE 3: Jicama can be found on the produce aisle, too. It looks kind of like potato; the texture and taste is kind of a cross between potato, apple, and pear. The brown outer peel is extremely tough and fibrous. Peel with a paring knife or serrated vegetable peeler before using.
- NOTE 4: Mexican tomato includes chiles and can be quite spicy hot. If Mexican tomato sauce in unavailable or you prefer a less spicy caldo, substitute regular tomato sauce.
- NOTE 5: Piloncillo can be found in a cone or disk shape or small nuggets. Use a fine holed box grater to use. A sharp knife can be used to shave segments off and crushed with the flat side of the knife or finely chopped. Dark brown sugar may be substituted.
- NOTE 5: Fideo vermicelli is a thin spaghetti-like pasta broken into tiny pieces. This product can be found on both the pasta and international foods aisles of well-stocked grocery stores. If it is unavailable, substitute thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta and break it into smaller pieces before cooking. You could also substitute ramen noodles for the pasta.
- NOTE 6: Mexican crema is similar to crème fraiche. The texture is thicker than regular sour cream and the flavor less tangy than sour cream. Greek yogurt could also be used instead of crema or sour cream. Recipes for homemade crème can be found online, too.
- NOTE 7: Cotija cheese is similar in flavor and texture to Greek feta cheese.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Noodle Soups
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