“The Israelites called the food Manna. It was white like coriander seed and it tasted like honey wafers.”
This recipe is called Cheesy Posole (or Pozole) and I “threw it together” one day while living in New Mexico and discovering I didn’t have all the ingredients (or the time) I needed for regular, traditional New Mexican Posole.
And because I am one of those who loves instant gratification, I did not want to cook my posole all day long as most true New Mexican soup/stew makers do.
So this note is to my dear sweet sister-in-law (who was born and raised in Moriarty, N.M) who will shake her head as she reads this, all the while thinking …”doesn’t she remember any of the rules regarding old fashioned true New Mexican cooking?” And my response is: ‘yes, my sister from another mother, I do remember, but this is just a faster Posole recipe and it is tasty.’
First, let’s talk about the traditional Posole.
Authentic Posole starts with pork of some kind…mostly a marbled pork shoulder or a pork shank roast.
It is first cut into chunks and browned in oil with a bit of garlic and onion and then transferred to a large stock pot of water and cooked low and slow until very tender.
Then it is time to work with the red chiles.
Preferably Hatch, N.M. red chiles….and yes, I order them on line every year and put them up in my freezer.
The Red chiles should be softened in hot water or roasted over a gas flame or put in the oven to char before de-seeding and de-veining.
The red chiles should then be strained to remove the tough bits in the red sauce. (one wants the red chili sauce to be smooth)
(Traditionally, the red chiles are put in a blender along with more fresh garlic cloves, cumin, Mexican oregano, onion, salt, pepper and a little cilantro….and then strained before adding to the soup pot)
When strained properly, the red chile mixture is added to the pork and since the cooking process goes on for several hours, one should periodically skim off the excess fat that accumulates on the top of the stew/soup.
Then one adds the rinsed white hominy, which is simply dried white corn kernals (Maize).
Most New Mexican cooks prefer the dried hominy in a bag or they use frozen hominy, but I use the plain old canned hominy.
The end result is a very thin red (rojo) broth with tender chunks of pork and hominy and seasonings.
For garnish, one can add anything to the top before serving.
And I do mean anything…. from sliced radishes to shredded cabbage to shredded cheese to corn chips to cilantro or parsley or whatever you have on hand.
And this soup/stew is delicious and can be kept in the fridge for several days or freezer for 3 months.
However, Are you seeing the arduous tasks evolving here?
Not that the end product isn’t worth it, it is…but when you are in a hurry, you make do with what you have.
Soooo in my haste to have ‘instant Posole’… here is what I ‘threw together’ in about 10-15 minutes.
I started with a can of cream of chicken soup and a can of enchilada sauce.
I usually use leftover pork roast or I will use a bone or two of country style ribs….OR I have been known to chop up a raw pork chop and use that.
Brown it or not….your choice.
Add a bit of chopped onion, cumin, Mexican oregano, salt and pepper or whatever seasoning you have and add to the soup mixture.
At this point, I add a can of drained white hominy and a small can of Jalapeno sauce (I use El Pato brand from Wal-Mart or Publix)
Now, here we deviate from the authentic traditional recipe.
I like to add shredded cheese or slices of cheese to my soup.
About 1 cup.
It makes for a thicker orange-y colored soup… which I kind of like…. versus a thinner red broth.
To each his own.
Here is the quick Cheesy Posole recipe which can be ready to eat in about 10-15 minutes.
Pork of your choice (left over cooked or a browned pork chop or two)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of enchilada sauce
1 small can of Jalapeno sauce. (I use El Pato Jalapeno sauce)
1 can of white hominy, drained
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Cumin or Mexican oregano (optional)
crushed tortilla chips for garnish
chopped cilantro for garnish
In sauce pan, add the chicken soup, the enchilada sauce, the hominy and the jalapeno sauce, stirring while heating.
Meanwhile, Chop left over pork (or brown a chopped pork chop) and add to the soup mixture in the sauce pan.
Season with Salt & pepper to taste
Add the shredded cheese until melted and combined.
Ladle into bowls
Crush tortilla chips and add to the top of the soup bowl and serve.
Ok that is it.
So quick and easy.
However, if you want to make the Posole the traditional red broth way….you can’t go wrong there. So so so good.
Have a great and Blessed Day
“For His lovingkindness is great towards us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting.”