Tag Archives: mexican

Posole

Ann Arbor Food This a variation on the mexican soup posole. Mine shown here is a little thicker than the traditional soup. I cooked the hominy from the whole grain corn in a pressure cooker to speed up the four hour cooking time. It only took about 2 hours and even still was chewy, but the family likes it that way. This dish can be made with pork, chicken, seafood or beans if you want to make it vegan. I flavored mine with a pumpkin seed, tomatillo, cilantro, lime, and posole spice mix.

Ingredients:

12 oz: Hominy (or a 24 oz can)
1 quart of stock or water
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, small dice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
6 tomatillos, large dice
1 bunch of cilantro
1 cup of pumpkin seeds
1 can of pinto beans (or 1 cup cooked) or 1 Lb ground pork, diced chicken thigh meat, or shrimp
Juice of 2-3 limes
Posole spice mix to taste (found in the mexican spice section in grocery stores)
salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

Cooking the Hominy:

Soak hominy over night in cold water. Rinse and add to a pressure cooker with enough water to cover by two inches above the corn. Bring up to pressure then lower the flame to a simmer and cook for two hours. Keep the flavorful liquid.

If using canned hominy: Simply open the can and proceed to the next step:

Verde:

Place the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray. Put in a 350 degree oven and toast the seeds until they are brown in color and plump up. 15-20 minutes Make sure they do not burn. set aside.

In a sauce pot, add the tomatillos in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer for ten minutes. Blend, then strain through a fine mess strainer.

In a blender, add the cilantro, juice of two limes, the pumpkin seeds and the strained tomatillos. Blend till smooth. Add some water if needed.

The Soup:

Heat a Tbs of olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes. Add the carrots and cook for five more minutes. Add the garlic and cooked for about a minute. Add the Hominy and cooking liquid, the beans, the stock, and posole spice mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the verde and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper and more lime juice to taste.

Chicken Variation: At the Soup Stage: brown the diced chicken in the pot with the olive oil. Remove chicken and cooked the onions, carrots, and garlic. Add the hominy and cooking liquid, chicken, chicken stock and posole spice mixture. Continue with the rest of the recipe.

Pork Variation: At the Soup Stage: brown the ground pork in the pot with the olive oil. Remove the pork and cooked the onions, carrots, and garlic. Add the hominy and cooking liquid, the ground pork, chicken stock and posole spice mixture. Continue with the rest of the recipe.

Shrimp Variation: Use the same process as the bean version except at the end add baby shrimp and let cook for about a minute just before serving.

Taco Night

Ann Arbor FoodI have been thinking about eating more locally lately and what that means for my dinning options. Certain cuisines seem to lend themselves to a local diet more than others. Mexican food for example can fit nicely in the local temperate climate of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Tomatoes, peppers, chiles, onions, corn, black and pinto beans, garlic and fresh herbs all do well here in Michigan. In fact I have most of these items are in my home garden. The only thing that is hard to grow around here is citrus fruits like lemon and lime and avocado which are an integral part of the Mexican food flavor profile.

By no means am I local foods purest, but I do like to try and make meals with as much locally sourced ingredients as possible. This meal is one of those meals.

Taco Night Menu:

Shrimp and Black Bean Tacos with Homemade Tortillas

Black Beans: (Vegan Option)

Measure and sort out one cup of dried bean. Soak over night. Strain off the soaking liquid and rinse the beans. Place in pot and add enough cold water to measure an inch above the beans. Bring beans to a boil, skim off any white foam that forms, add a bay leaf, cover the pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until soft, but not falling apart, 1-2 hours. Season with salt, chili powder, cumin, lime juice and olive oil to taste. You can also use pinto bean instead of black beans.

Shrimp:

I suggest getting the small shrimp because they are cheaper and you will have to chopped them up to fit the taco shells anyway. They now do farm raise shrimp in Michigan.

Peel, de-vain, and wash the shrimp. Dry off with a towel. Season with some chili power, chipotle  sauce, lime juice, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place in a roasting pan and broil for 8-11 minutes.

Salsa:

1 small red onion fine dice

1 clove garlic minced

3-4 big tomatoes (mixed heirloom) small dice

small bunch of cilantro chopped

Salt, Pepper, lime juice to taste

small jalapeno pepper minced, seeds, and ribs removed (optional)

The salt makes the tomatoes release some liquid. I drain off half of the liquid and use it to flavor the beans.

Tortillas:

2 cups of corn masa flour (I use Bob’s Redmill)

1- 1 1/4 cups of water. (more if needed)

Mix flour and water to form a paste. It should be able to come together.

Heat a cast iron pan on the stove on high for 4-5 minutes

Wet hands slightly and roll paste into a golf ball sized ball.

Using a double sided plastic lined tortilla press, place the ball into the press and flatten. I find that I need to press once to flatten and a second time to make thinner. They will be about 4-5 inches round. Carefully, peel off the tortilla and place in the hot pan.

Cook for one minute on the first side. Flip and cook for another minute. Then flip again, and using a scapula, press down around the edge of the tortilla. You should see it slightly puff up, kind of like a pita, but not as much. Repeat with the rest of the masa mix.

Serve the tacos with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and hot sauce (optional). Note: Do not over fill the shells. I always do and it is a disaster.

I made a cabbage salad and served fresh watermelon from the farmer’s market with the meal.