For My Fiancé: Mexican Pozole

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This blog post is sponsored by Swanson®.

Before I met my fiancé Dallas, I wasn’t really a major fan of Mexican food. I mourn now those 20-something years that were left without incredible dishes and spices like chilaquiles, sopes rancheros, and oh mole. Magnificent mole.

But to maybe help my case for those wondering how the heck could I was not a fan… I grew up in Memphis where I didn’t really have access to great Mexican food/restaurants. The most I could deal with was a plain quesadilla and well, I’ve come a long way.

Dallas was quick to show me what I had been missing out on…either by taking me to hot spots or hole-in-the-wall spots around Los Angeles and San Diego, to weekend fiestas with his family where I have learned so much about cooking a hearty, flavorful dish.

One of those dishes I constantly heard about was Pozole (or posole), a Mexican staple soup traditionally made with pork, hominy and but of course, chiles and spices. Other variations include using beef, chicken, seafood, and beans. Some typical accompaniments include shredded cabbage, radishes, onion, lime, salsas, sour cream, chips or tostadas.

Pozole’s main component is hominy (processed maize or corn)… and with corn being sacred to the Aztecs and other indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica, the soup is not something served every day but more so for special occasions, holidays and the like.

Last year for example, I spent my first Christmas with him and his family in San Diego. That is when Elena, more family than house helper, was over to show me how to make a bowl (or in her case, a massive pot) of Pozole.

The combination of spices, hearty broth, bite-sized protein and hominy is pretty fabulous for a cold weather meal. And the love that one puts into it, the way Elena showed me, is a secret necessary ingredient that truly makes the dish shine.

Now that we’re far from California, I try as much as I can to recreate traditional dishes for Dallas and myself. It reminds us of beaches, fiestas and cherished faces.

During a recent trip to the grocery store, I was thinking what dish to make next when I saw a massive can of hominy… and then in an aisle over, Swanson® Chicken Broth… and then when getting vegetables, fresh jalapenos. Those cooking cogs started to turn in my mind and I thought why not surprise Dallas (and perhaps myself if I could do it right) with some Pozole!

The recipe below makes for four… but I’ll be honest, Dallas and I had no trouble eating it all up ourselves. Misión cumplida!

*And for those first-time makers like myself, know that the soup should be rather thin and brothy as you’re going to load it up quickly with add-ins such as cabbage, cilantro, onions, lime, avocado, onions, chips, etc. Go light on spices for a milder flavor or pop in some extra peppers for hotness.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chicken breast (cubed, bite-sized)
  • 5 c. Swanson® Chicken Broth
  • 1 (29 oz.) can white hominy, drained
  • 1 c. yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 jalapenos (sliced)
  • 2 sp. garlic cloves (minced)
  • ½ c. mild green enchilada sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 jalapenos (sliced)
  • 2 c. red and green cabbage (sliced, combined)
  • 1 c. carrot (peeled)
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (for soup), 1 Tbsp. chili powder (soup topping)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 c. cilantro (chopped)
  • 5 limes (cut 4 in half to make 8 slices for garnish. Cut 1 in half, squeeze for fresh lime juice)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large pot on medium heat. Add chicken, onion, and garlic. Sauté 3-4 minutes, searing chicken on all sides.
  2. Stir in broth, enchilada sauce, jalapenos, and spices. Bring to a boil on high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 30 minutes.
  3. Add hominy. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in lime juice and ½ cup cilantro.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with rest of cilantro and sliced cabbage and carrots. For those who want a spicier soup, sprinkle chili powder on top of garnishes.
  6. Keep lime slices to the side, can use to squeeze extra lime juice into soup.

Serves: 4

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Sharareh

Sharareh Drury is an award-winning journalist in Chicago. She's a foodie and traveller, loves to tell stories, and is always hungry for adventure and a flavorful dish to go with it.

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