NAVAJO POSOLE AND ESTHER'S POBLANO CORN PUDDING MUFFINS

NAVAJO POSOLE

The term ''posole'' is used to describe both the major ingredient of this recipe - whole hominy - and the dish itself, a hearty stew. Hominy made from blue corn is preferred, but white and yellow varieties are also used.

2 cups blue posole (dried whole hominy)

1/2 cup mild fresh green chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped, or 1 4-ounce can

1 to 3 fresh or canned jalapenos, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato (about 3/4 cup)

2 to 3 pounds boneless pork roast

2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (optional)

Salt, to taste

Rinse posole in cold water until water runs clear. Soak it for several hours in cold water. Place posole with water to cover in a large pot or Dutch oven. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until posole pops, about 1 hour. Add chiles, jalapenos, onion, garlic, tomato, and pork. Simmer, covered, about 4 hours until meat is tender. Shred meat and return it to the pot. Season with oregano and salt. Simmer, covered for at least an hour.

Note: Frozen or canned posole is also available in some areas and may be substituted. If using either of these products, soaking is not necessary and cooking time may be reduced by about 1 hour.

Serves 4 to 6.

- From 'Spirit of the Harvest,' by Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

ESTHER'S POBLANO CORN PUDDING MUFFINS

5 eggs, separated

3/4 pound unsalted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 fresh poblano chile, diced (or one-half of a diced, fresh jalapeno or serrano chile)

3 cups corn kernels or 2 cups corn kernels and one cup grated zucchini

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons red chile powder

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups unbleached flour

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Separate egg whites from yolks; beat whites until stiff and set aside. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer, then add the poblano chile, corn, and egg yolks and mix just enough to incorporate. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. With the electric mixer set on low speed, alternate slowly by adding the milk and dry ingredients to the wet mixture until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites, one-third at a time. Pour the batter into well-buttered muffin tins and bake about 35 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 24 muffins.

- Adapted from recipe provided by Katharine Kagel, owner Cafe Pasqual's in Santa Fe, N.M.

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