"Kernels of blossoming corn immersed in an intense green chile and roasted vegetable make this pozole special. It is based loosely on a Rancho Gordo recipe, and I make a point to serve it a few times during the summer when tomatillos are in season. There is a lady at the farmers’ market who taught me to choose the smallest tomatillos, preferably with a blush of purple. You want fruit that is free from blemishes with the paper lantern still mostly intact. Those have the best flavor. When I can’t get tomatillos, swapping in an equivalent amount of zucchini works brilliantly. You can cook pozole days or weeks ahead of time. Drained well, it freezes incredibly." - excerpted with permission from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson (Ten Speed Press) —Food52
- Serves 6
(225 grams) dried pozole (whole dried hominy)
Fine-grain sea salt
medium white onions, quartered
medium cloves garlic
tiny tomatillos, paper skins removed, rinsed
(2 ounces or 60 grams) coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and stems
dried Mexican oregano
5 to 6 cups
(1.2 to 1.5 liters) water or broth reserved from cooking pozole, or good-tasting vegetable broth
Tortilla chips, toasted pepitas, queso freso or feta, avocado, and/or freshly cracked black pepper, to serve
- Soak the pozole overnight in water to cover generously, as you would for dried beans. When you’re ready to cook the pozole, drain and place it in a large saucepan covered with a few inches of water. Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt, add 4 white onion quarters, and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook at a gentle simmer until the kernels are tender and most of them have popped or blossomed—usually around 2 hours, sometimes longer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the cooking liquid. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid if you like, and set aside.
- In the meantime, heat a large, dry griddle or skillet over medium-high heat and roast the remaining white and red onion quarters, the garlic, tomatillos, and chiles, turning often, until they are charred and slightly softened, 15 to 20 minutes. (An outdoor grill makes quick work of this as well.) Place the roasted chiles in a closed paper bag or tightly covered bowl to steam until cool. Transfer the other vegetables to a large glass bowl to cool, collecting any juices. Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the bowl. When cool, peel the poblanos, discarding the seeds and stems. Discard the serrano chile stems but don’t skin or seed them. Add the chiles to the bowl of vegetables and use a hand blender to puree until smooth.
- Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the vegetable puree and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat, add the cilantro and oregano and 1 cup (240 milliliters) of the water or broth, and immediately puree with the hand blender. Add 4 cups (1 liter) more of water or broth. Add the pozole to the pot, thin with more broth if you like, taste, and season with more salt if needed. Bring back to a simmer and serve in warm bowls topped with tortilla chips, pepitas, queso fresco, avocado, and/or pepper.