August 08, 2010

Smoky Posole with Queso Fresco

By Sarah Doyle

There are few things as endearing as a hearty bowl of spicy pozole on an crisp fall night. I like to garnish mine with a blanket of crumbled queso blanco and smattering of earthy cilantro. While traditional posole calls for pork, this is a vegetarian version with the option to add chicken.

-1 lb tomatillos
-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (canned)
-1 tablespoon sugar
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 1/2 cups diced Spanish onion
-4 medium garlic cloves, minced
-2 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1 quart vegetable stock
-1 29-ounce can hominy, drained and rinsed
-1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
-*1 pound light and dark cooked chicken meat, chopped (optional)
-1-2 tsp salt (to taste)

-1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
-1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
-1/2 avocado, sliced
-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
-Warm corn tortillas

Bring a two-quart saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add tomatillos and cook until soft, about five minutes. Drain. In a blender, process tomatillos, chipotle chiles, and sugar in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add cumin and oregano; sauté one minute. Add pureed tomatillos, stock, hominy, tomatoes, and chipotle peppers. Bring pozole to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes, uncovered, until thick and chunky. Stir in chicken and simmer 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt.

Divide pozole between four bowls and garnish with queso fresco, scallions, avocado, and cilantro. Serve with corn tortillas

Serves 4-6.

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