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Pozole Verde

13 Mar

This is a recipe that tugs right at my heartstrings. I love Pozole and this recipe for verde from Karen at The Back Road Journal does this traditional dish proud! Viva Pozole!

Turkey Chili and Savory Chipotle-Jack Scones

6 Mar Spicy Turkey Chili

This week we had the first snowstorm of the year in New England! Yes, you read that correctly, here it is the beginning of March and we have only had ONE real snowstorm this year. In fact, my little town of Berwick, received about 14 inches of the white stuff. It snowed continuously for almost 2 days. We then had cold rain and sleet to follow it up. I can tell you that I did not miss it one little bit. If global warming means that New England will have warmer winter weather and less snow, then I am all for it!

All that cold and wet weather made for a perfect time to cook up a batch of some energy packed Turkey Chili. My turkey chili is made with lean ground turkey breast. The other thing that I love from my recipe is that once you prep all the ingredients, you can be sitting down to eat in 40 minutes. This chili requires none of the long stewing that some meat based recipes require.

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili

When I usually make this chili, I setup a mise en place and then commence with the cooking. I found that this gives me complete focus on the cooking, rather than having to worry about cooking AND prepping at the same time. This recipe also has an added bonus of using beer, so feel free to consume while you are cooking!

I accompanied the chili with a savory scone recipe that I wanted to test out. I absolutely cannot eat chili without bread, or cornbread, or some other type of chili-sopping food item. This time I wanted to do something a bit different, so what could be more different than a savory scone? The first flavor combination that popped into my head was chipotle and cheese. So I went about researching recipes for various types of scones, I settled upon a lighter version from Cooking Light. The only variation that I made was that I added bit more chipotle and used monterry jack cheese instead of cheddar.

Chipotle Jack Scones

Chipotle Jack Scones

Grab a Corona, serve yourself up a bowl of turkey chili, grab a chipotle-jack scone, and enjoy!

So what are your traditional recipes for Chili? What would you suggest to make this recipe even better?

 

Turkey Chili

  • 1 pkg (1.3 lbs)  Ground Turkey Breast
  • 2 ½  tblsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp dried epazote
  • 1 28oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 chiles poblano
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 1 can white hominy (pozole)
  • 1 yellow onion (for this recipe I used a vidalia)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 chipotles in adodo
  • 1 tblsp. sauce from the adobo can
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • About 1 cup of beer
  • About 1 cup of water

Mise en place all the ingredients:

  • Chop the onions and mince the garlic and place in a small bowl.
  • Combine the chili powder, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika in another bowl.
  • Roast, peel, seed, and devine the chili poblanos, chop and place in another small bowl.
  • Remove the seeds from the chipotles and place with the adobo sauce in another small bowl.
  • Rinse the beans well and place together in a small bowl together with the epazote.
  • Rinse the hominy, then remove the seeds from each kernel, place in a small bowl.
  • In a large bowl, take the tomatoes and crush through your fingers to make a nice pulp.

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, we can start to cook!

  1. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat
  2. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the ground turkey and with your mixing spoon, break the ground turkey up really well.
  4. Once you have broken it up, add the bowl with the spices. Mix well to combine and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the beer and continue to cook until the ground turkey mixture is reduced to more than half, about 8 minutes
  6. Now add the chili poblano and mix well to combine.
  7. Next add the tomatoes. Once it comes back to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
  8. After 20 minutes, add the beans with the epazote and mix well to combine.
  9. Add the hominy, again, mix well to combine.
  10. At this point you can add the 1 cup of water if you desire a more soupy consistency.
  11. Simmer for another 20 minutes on medium-low heat.
  12. Serve with those delicious chipotle-jack scones and some more beer!

    Spicy Turkey Chili

    Spicy Turkey Chili

Chipotle-Jack Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp cold butter, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded monterry jack cheese
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chipotles in adobo (about 3 large chipotles)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl and mix with a pastry blender until well combined and crumbly.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon (I used some damp hands!) until the dough is well formed and just a tad sticky.
  4. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with some cooking spray and divide the dough in two halves and place on the baking sheet.
  5. Form each ball of dough into a circle just about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick.
  6. Then with a sharp knife or a pastry knife, divide into 6 triangles by cutting each circle in half, then making an “X”.
  7. Place some parchment paper a spread the triangles out on the tray about 1 inch or more apart as they will rise during baking.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, halfway through I rotated the sheets in the oven to ensure even baking.

    Chipotle Jack Scones

    Chipotle Jack Scones

Las Posadas

12 Dec Pozole Rojo

Christmas is such a magical time or year, no more so than in Mexico, where Christmas time means Las Posadas!  Las Posadas is a time-honored tradition in Mexico, actually throughout Latin America, which celebrates the journey of Mary and Joseph as they searched for a place of shelter from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Traditionally, a Posada is arranged throughout a neighborhood, with a different house holding the celebration each night, starting on the 16th of December and finishing on the 24th. My family in Mexico celebrates it amongst the entire extended family, usually assigning a day to each relative. It is typically a 9 day festival, called a novena, which represents the 9 months of Mary’s pregnancy.  The hosts of the Posada act as the innkeepers, and the children and adults attending the Posada act as the peregrinos (the pilgrims), who have to request lodging by going up to the house and singing a traditional song asking for shelter.  The innkeepers respond to the pilgrims in song as well. either denying, or allowing the pilgrims to enter the house.  Once inside a great festival ensues, where there is further singing, some pray the rosary, the children break piñatas, and my favorite part, the eating!

This year we decided to hold our own Posada at the DelGrosso household.  So we invited some friends, planned the menu, and started cooking!  

In Mexico, the traditional dish for the holidays is Pozole. Pozole is, like most dishes in Mexico, derived from Aztec tradition. The word pozole is Aztec (Nahuatl) in origin and means “foamy” as the Aztecs believed hominy resembled a foamy froth.  It had a religious significance in Pre-Colombian Mexico as corn was a sacred plant to the Aztecs; therefore, it was only made on special occasions.  After the Spanish conquest, some of the ingredients changed, but the corn and the tradition remained.

Pozole Rojo

Pozole Rojo

So our Posada, being a special occasion, called for Pozole! We planned to serve Pozole Rojo, which is the version of Pozole typically made in my wife’s family. And we also planned to serve Sopes…

Sopes are small antojitos or appetizers which are essentially a slightly thick tortilla with the sides pinched in to form what I call a “boat”. They are then fried and then topped with refried beans and crumbled cheese, lettuce, onions, red or green salsa. There are countless number of different variations to sopes all throughout Mexico.  Sometimes other ingredients (mostly meat) are also added to create different tastes and styles of sopes. We have a standard sope we make in our family, which is simply refried black beans garnished with diced onion, shredded lettuce, cheese, and salsa.

Sopes con Frijol

Sopes with beans, onion, lettuce, and queso fresco.

 The recipes below have been modified a bit for smaller yields. We obviously scaled up our recipe to serve 10 to 12 guests. 

Basic Chicken Stock for Pozole

  • 1 whole free-range chicken
  • 1 medium white onion, quartered
  • ½ head of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • Stems from a bunch of Cilantro
  • About 3 quarts water
  1. Take the stems and tie them together with some butchers twine.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot together with the water.
  3. Bring to a boil on medium heat then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for about an hour, or until the chicken is done and the legs pull from the rest of the chicken.
  5. Take the chicken from the pot and strain the stock with a medium mesh sieve.
  6. Once the chicken is cool, shred the meat from the chicken by hand and reserve.
  7. Use immediately or cool and store in refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze.


Pozole Rojo

The Soup

  • 2 cans (2 lbs.) of Pozole (Corn Hominy)
  • 10-12 Chile Guajillos
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/8 of a medium white onion
  • Chicken Stock (from recipe above)
  • Shredded Chicken reserved from Chicken Stock recipe

The Garnishes

  • Sliced radish
  • Shredded lettuce.
  • Diced Onion
  • Dried Mexican Oregano
  1. Rinse and clean the Pozole by hand, removing the “seed” or hard kernel from each piece of hominy.
  2. Toast the guajillos on a griddle similar to method described in Barbacoa recipe.
  3. Once the guajillos are roasted, place the chiles in hot water and let sit, covered for 30 minutes.
  4. While the guajillos soak, place the chicken stock and corn together in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil on medium-low heat until the corn “blooms” or opens up. This should take about 10 or 15 minutes.
  5. Take the guajillos and clean the chiles by removing the stems, seeds and viens.
  6. Place the chiles in a blender with a clove of garlic, about 1/8 of the onion, and about 3 cups of chicken stock.
  7. Puree the chiles and force through a medium mesh sieve once the corn has “bloomed”.
  8. Continue to simmer the pozole for about 5 minutes to incorporate the flavors of the chile.
  9. Salt to taste. It is important to salt AFTER the corn has “bloomed”. Salt will inhibit this process.
  10. Serve with shredded shredded chicken, finely minced onion, sliced radish, shredded lettuce, and a pinch of dried Mexican oregano.

    Pozole Rojo

    Pozole Rojo


Frijoles de Olla

  • 1 cup of beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ of a white onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 quart of water
  1. Clean and sort the beans, removing any stones, broken beans, bad beans, etc.
  2. Place all ingredients in the Olla and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 90 minutes or until beans are very tender, adding more water if necessary.

    La Olla

    La Olla – My Olla.


Sopes “Boats”

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups warm water
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Mix the masa harina and the salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the water to the flour, make sure that the water is warm.
  3. Press the dough with your fingers and the palms of your hands as if you were kneading bread dough. If at any point through the tortilla making process the dough seems too dry or too wet, add a little more water or masa to the dough.
  4. Take a piece of the masa dough and shape it into a ball the size of a plum, or slightly large golf ball. Make about 16-18 balls from the dough.
  5. Take two pieces plastic from a ziploc type plastic bag and cut them to the shape of the surface of the tortilla press. Open the tortilla press and lay one piece on the press. Place the masa ball in the center. Place another piece over the masa ball. Gently close the press and press down lightly, until the dough has spread to a diameter of 4 or 5 inches. You want the circle to be a little bit smaller and thicker than a tortilla, as you will be pinching up the sides.
  6. Heat a griddle or a large skillet on high heat. Working one at a time, hold a tortilla in your hand, carefully removing the plastic on each side. Allow the tortilla to rest half on your hand, and half hanging down, and gently lay the tortilla down on to the skillet. Cook the tortilla on the hot pan for 30 seconds to a minute on the first side.  Gently flip the tortilla over for about 10 seconds.
  7. After 10 seconds take the tortilla from the griddle and place on your work surface. Place the fully cooked side up.
  8. Using your thumb, index finger and your middle finger, gently and carefully pinch in the sides all the way around the tortilla to form the “boat”.
  9. Once your sope is formed, place it back on the griddle to cook a bit more, about 30 seconds on each side.
  10. Repeat the process with each ball of dough until you have about 16 or 18 boats.

    The Sope "Boats"

    My Sope “Boats”


Sopecitos de Frijol

  • 16 to 18 Sopes “boats”
  • 1 cup of Frijoles de Olla

Garnishes

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Queso fresco (crumbled)
  • Diced White Onion
  1. Place a medium sauté pan on high heat with about a tablespoon of corn oil.
  2. Take about a tablespoon of the white onion and cook until onion begins to become translucent.
  3. Put the beans in the pan with about ¼ cup of the bean broth.
  4. Cook for a few minutes and bring the beans to a slight boil.
  5. Begin mashing the beans with a potato masher and mash them until the beans are nice and creamy.
  6. Remove the beans from the heat.
  7. Put your skillet or griddle on the stove and put it on high heat.
  8.  Once it comes to temperature. Take some corn oil (I put it in a squeeze bottle) and put about a tablespoon on the cooking surface. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, work in batches and fry each boat in the oil until they are crisp (but not browned), put a little more oil on the cooking surface when needed.
  9. Once your boats are all crisped, you start assembling the sopes. Take a rubber spatula and spread some of the beans on each sope and place on a serving platter.
  10. Then take a pinch of diced onion, a pinch of shredded lettuce, and a pinch of queso freso and place on each sope. When I say a pinch, you can use your own judgment here. Put as much as you want on each sope!
  11. Finish with dollop of fresh salsa.

    Sopes con Frijol

    Sopes con Frijol