Hominy, a type of treated corn, is an essential ingredient in Pozole. Iím amazed at the number of people whoíve never heard of hominy, and also at the number whoíve never tasted it. Southerners dry hominy, grind it, and call it gritsómost of us have eaten them or at least heard of them. Mexicans use it canned in Menudo, a soup very similar to Pozole, which is believed to cure hangovers and includes tripe instead of Pork. Iíve tried a few casserole dishes with hominy, too, but as often as I pour over cookbooks looking for new recipes, I rarely see many calling for hominy other than those previously mentioned. Hominy adds an interesting texture to this soup, and itís really good. If you havenít tasted it, itís worth a try.
This quick and easy version of Pozole is a great soup for entertaining. Your hands-on time will be minimal. It can be featured at a soup buffet surrounded by small bowls of crunchy and colorful vegetables, cheeses, and tortilla chips for crunch. Guests can add a little or a lot of their favorite toppings. It is also great at family-type sit-down dinners with a lazy-Susan in the middle of the table to hold the add-ins. Warm tortillas are a great accompaniment, as are crisp bolillos (Mexican spindle rolls) or even French Bread.
2 cups pork from the Basic Pork Module, cut into 1" pieces
1 1/2 quarts water (6 cups)
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 16 oz. cans white hominy, drained
1 medium onion , finely chopped, or ľ cup dried chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons granular chicken bouillon
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 limes, cut in wedges
- 1 3 oz. package cream cheese, cubed
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated, or cheddar-jack (Mexican cheeses such as queso fresco, manchego, and Mexican farmerís cheese are becoming more readily available and are also wonderful in this soup)
- chopped or sliced radishes
- jicama, peeled and cut julienne
- thinly sliced lettuce
- thinly sliced green onions
- chopped avocado
- green chilies, mild or hot, fresh or canned, finely chopped
- shredded carrot
- crushed tortilla chips
Mix the pork, water, tomatoes, hominy, onion, bouillon, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Cover, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Thatís it!
To serve, squeeze a lime wedge in bowl of boiling soup, add cheeses and any of the remaining condiments to taste; stir to melt the cheese.