Welcome to The Fresh 20 Recipe Diary! Each week we will feature an in-depth look at one of the week’s recipes including its history, ingredients, and any special cooking techniques. As always, we love to hear from you, so please post any comments, questions, or suggestions below. Let’s get started!
This week’s recipe: RED CHICKEN POZOLE
ORIGINS: Pozole is a celebratory dish from Mexico and New Mexico served on Christmas Eve and for other special occasions. It is also rumored to be a home remedy for those who may have over celebrated! The word ‘pozole’ is a Nahuatl (an ancient language of Central Mexico) word meaning “foam” or “foamy” referring to the frothy surface of the stew from boiling meat and hominy.
- Ancho Chiles – a dried dark red/brown poblano pepper. The process of rehydrating the chili and blending it with its soaking water gives the stew its signature red color.
- Hominy – Made from corn kernels that are dried and then soaked in lime or lye to remove the outer hull. This is the key ingredient in pozole and can be found in canned form in most markets.
- Pork, Chicken, or Seafood – Traditionally pozole is made from various cuts of pork, but modern versions often use chicken and seafood.
- Garnishes – Other than its flavor, the best part of serving pozole is the presentation of the beautiful rich red stew with its traditional garnishes of sliced radishes, lime or lemon, cilantro, and cheese.
RECIPE NOTES: This recipe is delicious, nutritious, and easy! Be sure to allow the ancho chili enough time to really soak and soften for a smooth rich liquid. The kale and cabbage only need to be cooked long enough to slightly soften, so once you see them beginning to wilt add in your broth, hominy and ancho mixture. They should still be tender/crisp when served. Serve the garnishes in small bowls and let everyone personalize their stew and then dig in. Most nights just getting the entire family together around the table is reason enough to celebrate!