Posole (the ingredient) is made and used everywhere there’s corn, and goes by a variety of names, the most common being hominy. It’s got a terrific, corny flavor, but also that distinctively bright, slightly sour taste you probably associate with tortillas.
Posole (the dish) is a soupy stew or hearty soup that takes time to cook, though this time can be reduced greatly if you soak the dried kernels first. The kernels are also sold precooked and canned as pozole or hominy.
- Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
- 1 cup dried hominy (preferably soaked as you would beans; see
- page 428) or about 3 cups cooked or drained canned hominy
- 1 cup dried pink or red beans or black-eyed peas, cooked (see
- page 435), or 3 cups drained canned beans
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram or oregano or 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon (or to taste) minced fresh chile (like jalapeño or Thai),
- or red chile flakes or cayenne to taste
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin, or to taste
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Lime wedges for garnish
- If you’re starting with dried hominy, put in a pot, cover generously with water, and cook until nearly tender, at least 1½ hours. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
- Put the hominy, beans, salt and pepper to taste, marjoram, chile, cumin, and onion in a saucepan that will hold them comfortably. Add water or some of the hominy-cooking liquid to cover by about an inch and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are quite tender, about 30 minutes, adding a little liquid if necessary; the mixture should be a bit soupy.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for a few minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and serve in bowls with lime wedges.
- SAMP AND PEAS Sometimes the hominy (called samp, or stampmielies, or stamp, or mealies, in some African dialects and by some African-Americans) here is crushed, which you can do before cooking (put it in a sturdy paper bag and go over it with a rolling pin) or afterward (mash it a bit or use an immersion or regular blender): Use black-eyed peas in place of the beans; omit the marjoram and cumin.