I made this pozole before I went to Thailand, but I think that it is appropriate because it is a combination of the Mexican classic with a bit of a Thai twist. Pozole is typically made with a fatty cut of pork, or sometimes chicken thighs and drumsticks, and simmered with chiles and whatever spices you like, such as cumin or maybe a bit of cinnamon. It's one of my favorite things to order on a cold day or on a day where I'm feeling under the weather. If you've never had pozole, definitely make this or seek it out. Pozole is made with hominy, which is similar to corn, but instead of being eaten fresh, it is dried and then soaked to bring it back to live. Hominy has a wonderfully chewy bite to it and is perfect for a hearty dinner. The shrimp made for slightly lighter fare, and instead of a thick, stew-like broth, I went for a thinner chile variety. I will say that this is certainly a spicy dish. The avocado definitely helps cut through some of the spice, but if you don't like heat, look elsewhere. I love a tongue burning dish, though, so I ate this for three nights in a row - on the last night, to change things up a bit, I added a poached egg (which is clearly the best way to enjoy any meal). —CrepesofWrath
dried hominy (soaked overnight or simmered for 3 hours)
dried red chile peppers, seeds removed
slices bacon, chopped
large onion, minced
cloves of garlic, minced
pound shrimp, cleaned and sliced in half
large bunch cilantro leaves, plus more for serving
salt, to taste
avocado, cubed, for serving
sliced scallions, for serving
In This Recipe
First, you need to soak your hominy. You can either place it in a bowl of water, covered, for 12 hours, or you can place it in a pot, cover with water, and simmer gently for 3 hours. I went the simmering route because I did not think ahead, as usual. Simmer the hominy, covered, until it is tender, stirring every so often.
Once the hominy is ready, set it aside. Now you need to rehydrate your chiles. Cut off the tops of the dried chiles and shake out any seeds (a few seeds remaining is fine). Place them in a bowl and cover with boiling hot water (I just used the microwave to heat up the water). Cover with a paper towel or plastic wrap and allow to sit for 30 minutes or so. Once the chiles are rehydrated, reserve 3-4 cups of the chile water, then drain the rest and puree the chiles in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding in a bit of water as needed. Set aside. As a side note, you will have a lot of chile puree and probably won't use all of it. I divided mine up into smaller portions and froze it to use at later dates in other recipes.
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat your olive oil over high heat. Add in your bacon and cook until crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add your onion and jalapeños to the bacon fat, and cook until the onions have become translucent, about 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Add in the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add in 2 tablespoons of the chile puree, stir, then add in 3-4 cups of the chile water (if you'd like it to be less spicy, you can just use regular water or use half chile water and half regular water) and the hominy.
Taste and add another tablespoon of chile puree if you would like more heat (I did). Stir to combine and add some plain water to cover the hominy if it isn't completely covered. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, then add in the bacon, a big handful of cilantro leaves, and the cleaned and sliced shrimp. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes over medium heat. Taste and add salt as desired. Serve with cilantro leaves, avocado and scallions.