Friday, January 21, 2011

Green Chile Blue Corn Posole

Photo by Sergio Salvador
www.salvadorphoto.com
Posole is great winter comfort food and a fascinating part of our cultural heritage. Made from corn dried in the summer sun so it would keep all winter, this is what New Mexicans ate when eating local was the only option!

Last week I made my own blue corn posole by cooking the dried corn in limewater... and it's easier than it sounds! If you're so inclined, you can read about it read about it here. It turned out great - there is something deeply satisfying about the flavor. Making your own may also be the only way to get organic posole, as I've never seen it for sale. Of course, you can buy locally produced dried or frozen posole at most New Mexico grocery stores. Just don't use canned hominy, which is mushy and bland in comparison.

In New Mexico, posole is often served as a simple vegetable side dish. It can be as basic as just corn, onion and salt. Of course it's better with chile – either red or green. Using a really good (preferably homemade) stock gives it a richer flavor. When you have great ingredients, they don't need much embellishment. There are as many posole recipes as there are families that enjoy it. You can add meat if you like. I love how the recipe on the back of the Bueno frozen posole package calls for pigs' feet to make the stock! Many recipes call for oregano, some use cumin. And some like to garnish with fresh cilantro, radish slices and a squeeze of lime juice.

1 pound dried posole OR 2 pounds frozen posole
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic
½ to 1 pound frozen green chile, chopped
2 quarts good chicken or vegetable stock
1 T. salt, or as needed

If using dried posole, soak in fresh water overnight (omit this step if using frozen or freshly made posole). Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot, and simmer 2 hours,or until the corn is tender and some of the kernels have “blossomed” or popped open. Or just put it in a slow-cooker on low heat all day. Serves 8-10.
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