Monday, May 12, 2008

May 12: Pozole (Carnitas leftovers again!)

I've been trying to figure out what to do with the last bits of leftover carnitas.
Initially, taquitos and flautas were planned but the more I thought about the deep frying, the cleaning and leftover oil, I changed my mind.

I decided to make Pozole.
Pozole (or Posole) is a pork and hominy soup/stew which sounds more appetizing and healthier than a plate of deep fried food.

The Fixins'
4 Cups of Broth/Water - I had 1 cup of braising juice and added 1 14.5 oz can of broth plus water to make up he difference.
1 - 29 oz can Hominy
1/2 Onion, chopped (reserved 1 T for garnish)
1/2 Jalapeno, diced
1/4 C Cilantro, chopped
1 C Carnitas, coarse chop
Couple pinches Oregano and Basil, crumbled
Salt and Pepper

Sweat the onion, jalapeno and cilantro in a little oil, salt and pepper.
Add the broth and pork bring to a boil.
Add the hominy and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Hominy is dried corn kernels that have been soaked in lye. The alkali solution helps break down the tough outer hull of the kernel and removes the germ. The geek word for today is "nixtamalization." Hominy is also the basis for grits - the Southern breakfast hot porridge.

This is the hominy. I purchased the Mexican-style hominy. I don't know what that means. However, it looks like the germ is still attached - the yellow bits on the end of the kernel. Also, some hull bits are still attached. I guess this is a homey style of hominy.

After 20 minutes, the finished soup.
Garnished with thinly sliced cabbage, chopped onions, cilantro leaves, diced jalapeno and a few slices of avocado (for added richness.)

While the soup cooked, I pan-fried some carnitas to make a quesadilla.

Two tortillas between a layer of refried beans, carnitas and cheese.

The soup definitely hit the spot. The broth was very flavorful while the hominy was more towards the bland side. I feel my cholesterol dropping with each spoonful. The quesadilla was my grilled cheese to the pozole soup. :-)

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