At the Still Point of the Turning World
Residency is over, NOW what? (While I'm waiting for the answer, I'll get some spinning done....)

Friday, December 27, 2002

A CONFESSION


Now that the Christmas season is over, can I confess how glad I am that it has passed? Without actually being a Scrooge, I felt particularly gloomy this year when faced with the candy canes, overdressed trees, co-workers wearing Santa caps and felt antlers, etc. etc. Perhaps it had a lot to do with working nights and feeling weird all the time, and certainly it had a lot to do with accumulated stressors, too many to list here, but this year I really felt like I was putting on a brave face to the world. I found myself saying, "Oh, happy Christmas," and wondering which was correct, happy or merry.

One of the few things that saved the season for me: POSOLE!

Posole (pronounced po-SO-lay) is a traditional Native American stew, shared with Mexican immigrants at some point and refined by them into a special-occasion meal. It is usually served at Christmastime, and during one midnight feast in the switchboard room, I tasted it for the first time in many years. Heaven in a bowl!

Being a woman of action, I researched posole recipes on the internet, compared many of them, contemplated my past experiences with stews and sauces, and came up with the following recipe which I whipped up yesterday. If I do say so myself--it is DEE-LICIOUS.

Posole Theresita

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 (15oz) cans of hominy, white or yellow--your choice
1 (15oz) can of tomato sauce
1 cup of chicken broth
1 pound pork shoulder with the bone in
Vegetable oil

Garnishes: any or all of the following are desirable, but the tortillas and lime are a must

Warmed flour or corn tortillas
Lime wedges
Avocado, cut into cubes
Green onion, finely chopped
Radishes, finely chopped
Cheddar or jack cheese, grated

Cooking instructions:

1. In a skillet, warm vegetable oil and brown the pork shoulder on both sides.
2. In a stockpot, fry onions and garlic until onions are clear.
3. Add pork, broth, tomato sauce, hominy and spices to the stockpot.
4. Simmer covered until pork pulls easily off the bone--about 3-4 hours.
5. Add chopped cilantro immediately before serving, or at the table.
6. Serve with suggested garnishes in little bowls.

Serves 4-6 as an entree with a nice green salad and a wee bit of tequila.

If you are interested in alternative posole recipes, here's a few I found and plan to try in the future:

Vegetarian Low-Fat Posole
Chicken Posole--beware! Lots of pop-ups!

Ta-ta--I'm off to eat the leftovers.

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