Posole is a Mexican and Southewestern treat that I have neglected for far too long. I first had it at La Cocina restaurant (now closed) in Aspen many years ago, where it was served on the side of nearly every plate, instead of the more common beans.
It is made from hominy, corn kernels that have been treated with an alkali, first by the pre-Columbians centuries ago. I have usually bought canned hominy (white or yellow); it also comes frozen in the right geographical area. But, just like beans, dried hominy is reputed to be the best, although you do have to soak the kernels overnight before cooking until they “bloom” sort of like popcorn. Making the posole pictured here depleted my pantry to one remaining can, so I have just mailed ordered some dried to try out myself, as the local markets seem to have given up carrying it canned (grrrr!).
I used to cook posole as part of a green chile stew with onion, carrot, celery, and pork. But when I decided to make it the other night, I was inspired by a packet of Posole Spice Blend from Los Chileros I found at Whole Foods. It contains red chile and spices, and the results were delicious, and rather fiery. I also added a can of chopped green chiles for old time’s sake.
Since it was rather fiery, I got the bright idea of chopping some avocado I had on hand (on sale for $1 each at Whole Foods!), and mixed it with some crème fraîche I also had. The results were delicious, cooling, green and creamy, and just perfectly offset the red, hot, stew. Now we’re cooking!