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The temps have finally dipped below 60 and I'm going to make pozole on Friday. Having a couple of friends over, so it'll be worth making. I have a bag of RG's posole from our trip to Napa. Going to buy a pork roast and slow cook it whole in the crockpot on Thursday. The meat guy at Central Market told me not to chunk it up before cooking: he maintains that cooking it whole allows for tasty shredding later. I tried this once and he was right.

 

I'm mulling over the combination of dried chiles that I should try this time. Mostly ancho? A chipotle or two? Guajillo?

Guajillo and ancho--in a pretty much 2 to 1 combination--are the tradition here in the Central Highlands of Mexico.

 

Here's a tried-and-true recipe: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico_cook...make-pozol.html

 

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Could anyone give me a rough guideline for pozole made with chicken? I want to use my (sniff) last bag of RG red pozole. Is this enough for 16 people, if I have another dish or two on the side?

 

I looked at the recipes, of course, but I can't get tomatillos. I have two jars of tomatillo salsa but I would prefer to use them in something else. I have or can get all sorts of dried chiles. Fresh I can get things similar to serranos but no poblanos. I can get any sort of turkish italian or asian chile though. Cilantro, avocados, limes, creme fraiche etc. no problem.

 

It's a party for A's grad students, but on a Friday evening so it needs to be stuff I can get ready after I get home from work. One of the students is allergic to pork, hence the request. Another one really hates fish and seafood would be a bit too much of a gamble.

 

I need to make everything at least a day in advance.

 

Can I ask you guys about ideas for other dishes? I bought the store's homemade tortilla chips, oaxaca cheese and quesco fresco Also their flour tortillas. They look great. They were out of corn tortillas -- I could make them myself but it would have to be done a day in advance. Oh, and I also have their mexican chorizo. Was thinking chilaquiles.

 

Would the oaxaca cheese work for queso fundido?

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Can you get guajillo and ancho chiles? If you can, you can make the recipe here: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico_cook...make-pozol.html. You need to start two or three days in advance of your party, though.

 

Instead of using the pork in the recipe, use a very flavorful chicken broth, preferably one you make yourself. If I were doing it this way, I'd make the chicken broth using backs, necks, feet, and wings. Once the broth is ready, go ahead and add the other ingredients in the list, starting with the chiles guajillo and ending with the sea salt, and follow the recipe to the end. THEN add the chicken pieces you want to serve to your guests, cooking until tender.

 

One bag (about a half kilo, no?) of RG red pozole won't be enough for 16 people, though. It will take two of those bags at least.

 

You could make picadillo, using shredded beef instead of shredded pork. I think you can get everything over there.

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PICADILLO ESTILO MARU

 

To Prepare the Meat

2 pounds beef brisket or other stew meat (chambarete is what I use in Mexico) or 1 pound beef and 1 pound pork butt

1 small white onion, quartered

2 large cloves garlic

1 or 2 chiles serrano or jalapeño, split from the tip to near the stem end

1 Mexican or other bay leaf

1 Tbsp sal de grano (sea salt)

 

Cut the meat into large chunks, removing any excess fat. Place the meat into a large Dutch oven with the onion, garlic, chiles, bay leaf, and salt. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any foam that collects on the surface. Lower the heat and allow the water to simmer about 45 minutes, until the meat is just tender. Take the pot off the stove and let the meat cool in the broth. Remove the pieces of meat and finely shred them. Reserve the broth.

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To Prepare the Picadillo

 

4 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large white onion, diced

2 chiles serrano, minced

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crumbled

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

tiny pinch ground cloves

2 small Mexican bay leaves

3 heaping Tbsps raisins

3 Tbsp sliced green olives

2 carrots, small diced

1 fresh ripe Bartlett pear, peeled and diced

1 large tart apple, peeled and diced

1 large potato, peeled and diced (sometimes I use 2 potatoes)

3 large, very ripe tomatoes, rough chopped

sal de grano (sea salt) to taste OR 2 tsp Knorr Suiza tomato consomé powder (heresy, but I like the concentrated tomato flavor)

 

Warm the oil in a large, heavy skillet and sauté the onion, chiles, and garlic over medium heat until they turn a pale gold. Stir in the shredded meat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon, pepper, oregano, bay leaves, and cloves, then, stir in the raisins. Add the chopped pear, apple, carrot, olives, and potato, and mix well. Add the tomatoes and salt (or Knorr Suiza) to taste, and continue cooking over medium-high heat until most of the moisture has evaporated. Stir often so that the mixture doesn't stick. Add reserved broth if the mixture becomes too dry as it cooks. Let cool, cover, and set aside. The picadillo may be made a day in advance and allowed to rest, refrigerated, so that the flavors blend completely.

 

Serve this with regular white rice and corn tortillas...or flour tortillas, since that's what you could get.

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Yes, Oaxaca cheese will work for queso fundido. Cook your chorizo separately and stir it into the melted cheese.

 

If you have other questions, fire away.

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Sorry for not follwing up -- it's been a hectic week. The recipes I'd seen said 500 gr should yield 16 servings, but I didn't want to chance having too little food. Ended up making chili, which went over well anyway. I'll definitely be trying the pozole in the next week or two, for a smaller group.

 

Oh -- and I found poblanos! If someone in town starts selling tomatillos on a regular basis I really never need to move back to the US. ;)

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The other day I used up what I ordered a year ago. I forgot to presoak, but found that with the same 5-minute hard boil as for beans, it still cooked in the same 2.5 hours. :) After cooking (and cooking down the plain water), added roasted chicken stock and a little deglazing from a pork chop pan, a few tiny bits of chicken from the bones, and the last of a piece of ham steak (diced). Very good indeed. We added shredded cabbage, pickled jalapenos, hot sauces, etc. at the table.

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Would the oaxaca cheese work for queso fundido?

 

Here's my recipe for queso fundido with chorizo and mushrooms. I make this a lot for guests and have found that it works better to have the chorizo over on one side of the cheese rather than completely stirred in. I don't know who you're cooking for, but some of my guests don't care for chorizo. If it's over on one side (and I put the mushrooms on the other with the cheese in the middle), then everybody doesn't have to have it - at least not a lot of it anyway. Not to mention that it makes for a great presentation.

 

It looks terrific and is always a huge hit.

 

Queso Fundido

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