Thursday, September 15, 2011


Yeah, the HEAT WAVE IS OVER!  Thank goodness.  In keeping with the corn/tomato theme, this soup was my first response to a cool-ish morning.  I've been curious about hominy forever, and I think this was actually my first experience cooking with it.  It has the most distinctive flavor.

But HANG ON A MINUTE.  My sources tell me that pozole once traditionally contained human flesh.  So, in a way, as with these witches' finger cookies, this is an instance of vegan cannibalism, which gets me really excited for reasons that may or may not have to do with an embryonic dissertation topic.  Cannibalism reminds us that everyone--not just veg*n, allergic, kosher, or halal people--draws lines about what's okay to eat and what isn't.  And cannibalism is often vegetarianism's shadow-discourse, like in Melmoth the Wanderer (1820), where the noble vegan savage hears about meat-eating with a shock and disgust (the narrator tells us) that we Westerners would have to hear about cannibalism.  Or in Matthew Lewis's Journal of a West Indian Proprietor (1815-18), in which (Lewis tells us) Jamaican slaves refuse to eat vegetables that grow near the burial ground of white people, fearing some kind of physical or spiritual contamination, and in which exotic fruits and vegetables are described as horrifying human body parts, while things like sea turtle and crocodile are simply interesting new foods.  There's far too much to be said about this (and about how I want to make something like this!).  For now, let's talk about soup.

The original recipe called for a poblano pepper, but I think I ended up with a pasilla?   In any case, it wasn't very spicy, so I had to add a serrano as well.

I also--for once--found the soup to be too acidic, so I added a TB of sugar to mellow it out.

Quick Red Posole with Beans

2 TB olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large poblano chile (I ended up using a pasilla chile and a serrano)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
red chile powder, such as ancho, to taste
1 (24-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice, or 2 pounds very juicy fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed, or 2 cups cooked
1 (15-ounce) can white cooked hominy, drained and rinsed, or 2 cups cooked
1 c Mexican light-colored beer or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1 TB lime juice
1 TB sugar
Optional Garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, chopped fresh tomato, ripe avocado, lime wedges.

1. In a large pot, combine the oil and garlic over medium heat. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the onion and poblano chile. Stir and cook until the vegetables are softened and the onion is translucent, 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Add the cumin, oregano, and chile powder and fry for another minute.
3. Now add the diced tomatoes with juice, beans, hominy, stock, and salt. If using fresh tomatoes, you may want to add more beer, water, or vegetable broth if the tomatoes alone don’t provide enough liquid to create a stew. Stir, increase the heat, and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
4. Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice, and season with freshly ground pepper. Let the posole sit for about 10 minutes prior to serving, to cool slightly and allow the flavors to meld.  Serves 3-4.

No comments: