Heidi Swanson's Green Pozole

September 22, 2015
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

"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

What You'll Need
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) dried pozole (whole dried hominy)
  • Fine-grain sea salt
  • 2 medium white onions, quartered
  • 7 medium cloves garlic
  • 4 tiny tomatillos, paper skins removed, rinsed
  • 4 poblano chiles
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 2 cups (2 ounces or 60 grams) coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 tablespoon 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nora
  • Christopher Bailey
    Christopher Bailey
  • Joan - Downstairs
    Joan - Downstairs

3 Reviews

Nora March 15, 2020
Delicious. I cheated and used the can of hominy in my pantry because it was a what's-for-supper-in-two-hours decision. I roasted the peppers and onion with a little olive oil until browned and the liquid they produced had reduced. I used my food processor. I added a tiny bit of honey for balance. I liked making a slurry of the cilantro with just a little water in the food processor and adding it for the last few minutes. That gave it a nice freshness and I will do that with other dishes, instead of using it as a garnish. Shredded meat of any kind would be a good addition for those who indulge. Will make again, likely with the same cheat so it can a be a last-minute supper.
Christopher B. April 5, 2016
Boy, so much to say, where to begin. This really could have been made easier, technique wise, and clearer and more thorough, ingredients wise.

- Olive oil and red onion are never mentioned in the ingredients
- I would have stated up front to leave skin on the garlic (and what about the charred onion?)
- I would have stuck all the veg under the broiler and turned frequently; I genuinely believe it'd have come out more consistant than in the (cast iron) skillet I used.
- not a chance the immersion blender was going to break down the charred veg or the cilantro; I ended up using my food processor for both
- even at four cups of liquid this was too thin; ended up processing some of the hominy I made over night, then realized I needed to add a ready made can (inferior, even though the dried hominy I prepared came from the same company). Guy in the store suggested adding a potato ... seems like a brilliant idea to me and I will add next time.
Joan -. January 29, 2016
Seems like this recipe is missing a step at the beginning to prepare the dried pozole. Will it "blossom" without first slaking off the hull and removing the pointy, stem end? Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

I love the "floral" flavor of pozole and the shape of the cooked kernels. I'm ready to go with tomatillos that come up to LA from Mexico. Thanks for the selection pointers.