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Pozolé (or Posolé) is a traditional Hispanic stew version of Native American hominy. Hominy is corn that has had the hull and germ removed, by soaking in either slaked lime or lye. It is then parched and dried and used in many different recipes, including the ground version called grits, popular in the Southern U.S. Dried hominy must be soaked and rinsed several times to remove the lime, but thankfully there is the more common canned and ready-to-use version for this recipe.

This Pozolé was a hit at our Bargain BBQ Reds tasting and was sensational with the fruitiest reds and really good with the other reds that were under 13% alcohol. Pozolé is easy, colorful, flavorful, and economical, and may be used as a main course or as a complex and tasty side dish for simple grilled or roasted meats or fish. The *garnish medley is important to the panoply of flavors and make the difference between a merely savory, interesting dish and a really exciting taste-fest. Takes about 90 minutes to prepare, but is best made a day ahead and refrigerated, allowing the flavors to marry.

• 1-2 green Serrano (or Jalapeño) peppers
• 3 medium size sweet bell peppers (more colors=more visual appeal)
• 1 large Bermuda (or Maui) onion
• 2 to 4 cloves fresh garlic
• 2 Tbs. olive oil
• 1/2 to 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or pork shoulder (or a combination)
• 1 Tbs. ground cumin
• 2 - 10.5 oz. cans chicken broth
• salt & pepper to taste
• 2 - 20 oz. cans Hominy (one white, one yellow, if available) with liquid

(prepare all just prior to serving)
• medium thin-sliced radishes (2-3 radishes per serving)
• chopped avocado (1 whole per 3-4 servings)
• plucked fresh cilantro leaves (10-15 per serving)
• lime wedges (2-3 per serving)

Using tongs to hold the stem, char the Serrano pepper skins over an open flame (on your gas stove, a candle, a portable butane torch, or if all else fails, flick your Bic!). Allow it to cool and chop medium fine. Remove and discard the stems, seeds, and cores of the sweet bell peppers and slice into 1-inch by 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 to 2 cups). Peel, remove and discard the ends of the onion and slice into pieces 1-inch by 1/4-inch or smaller. Crush the garlic cloves, remove and discard the peels, and coarsely chop. In a Dutch oven or deep frying pan, over medium-high heat, sauté the peppers. onion, and garlic in 1 Tsp. olive oil for three or four minutes, stirring every few seconds, until onions are translucent and just beginning to brown. Remove all to Pyrex or heat-resistant bowl.

Cut meat into bite-size, 1/2-inch cubes and sauté, in the same pan in the remaining olive oil, turning or stirring to brown all sides. Add cumin and chicken broth and stir. Add peppers and onion mixture and the liquid only from the Hominy. Bring to boil (stir every minute or so), lowering heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the Hominy and continue simmering another 20 minutes. Add water or more chicken broth if necessary to maintain soupy stew consistency. Don't overcook or allow to mush-up. Approximately eight servings as a main course in large soup bowls with the garnishes floated on top. Squeeze one lime wedge over each portion and have more ready to pass.

Steam (or nuke 15 seconds on high) and roll flour tortillas to accompany. As a side dish, it can circle or share a plate with slices of roast, pieces of chicken, chops, a steak or a fish fillet. Leftovers may be frozen. Besides fruity reds, Pozolé also works well with fruity whites, such as Rieslings, Gewürztraminers, Chenin Blancs, and Sauvignon Blancs. Avoid wines over 12% alcohol.

by Jim LaMar
(originally inspired by Roy Harland)

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