Christmas time in Mexico, was always a very special experience for me. My family would gather at my grandmas home on Christmas Eve and we would line up table after table of delicious food. Our feast would begin at about 9 p.m. and we would all sit and enjoy every dish presented to us. At about 11 p.m. we would start caroling or as we call it in Mexico, posadas. Posadas are a type of caroling that re-play the experience that Mother Mary and Joseph went through as they asked for a place to stay before giving birth to baby Jesus. At exactly midnight, we would do a lullaby for baby Jesus then place him to sleep in the nativity set. Soon after, we would gather to break a piñata filled with candy and fruits (including sugar canes) that even the adults would get a chance to hit while blindfolded. Lastly, we would start a bonfire and sit and talk until the morning hours. Later in that day, after we rested for a couple of hours, we would eat all of the left overs and reminisce about the night before.
Obviously, I am nostalgic about Christmas time in Mexico as everything was about being with family, keeping the traditions of posadas, and eating delicious food. Our family never worry about presents but only about what delicious meal to bring to our gatherings. Besides Tamales the second this that was always present during Christmas was a delicious soup called Pozole.
Pozole is a dried chile based soup with hominy*, topped with fresh cabbage, onions, cilantro, and lime juice. Traditionally, this soup is made with pork but today I present you with a delicious and easy vegetarian version of Pozole.
Yields approximately 4 servings
10 chiles Guajillo
2 puya peppers
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt
1.5 hydrating liquid from chiles
1/4 cup corn oil
1 29 oz can of cooked hominy (rinsed)
1/4 of small white onion
7 scallions (roughly chopped)
2 bay leaves
4 inch stick of fresh marjoram
2 “Not-Beef Buillon” cubes
5 cups water
- Remove all the stems from guajillo and puya chiles. Open up and remove all seeds and veins while cutting up into pieces with your hands.
- Boil about 1 quart of water and add the dried chiles. Hydrate for about 5-7 minutes and remove from heat.
- Place all chiles in blender and add garlic, cumin, black pepper, salt, and 1.5 cups of hydrating liquid from the chiles. Blend until very smooth.
- Once sauce is very smooth, strain in a fine mesh strainer to remove all chile skins.
- In a large pot add the corn oil and the sauce together. Turn on the heat to medium and stir, stir, and stir until everything is fully incorporated (approximately 5 minutes).
- Now you are ready to add all of the other ingredients: hominy, onion, scallions, bay leaves, marjoram, Buillon cubes, and water.
- Bring everything to a boil then lower heat. Cook everything under low heat for approximately 40 minutes.
A pozole is not ready until you serve it with shredded cabbage, chopped onions, cilantro, and TONS of lime. In my family we always add extra heat by serving it with my Salsa de Jitomate.
*Dried corn that has been hydrated in an alkili solution that removes the hull and germ, making it easier for our bodies to digest.
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