Posts Tagged With: posole

Corn to posole

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Do you love posole? Amy here today making posole from dry, untreated corn. What corn to use for posole? Flour corn varieties are good, as they have a large starch content. Also dent corn varieties, which contain some starch, dry unevenly on the cob and form an indentation in the top of the kernel. The dent corn I’m using today is sometimes called field corn, and it may have been grown to feed to livestock. I sometimes get dry corn, purple or white, from the bulk bins at the Mexican store. Use what you can find or grow and see what happens! This corn was a gift of completely unknown origin from my friend Lori.

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The ratio is 1 cup dry corn, 3 cups water and 1 tablespoon lime. Not lime, the citrus fruit, it is specially treated limestone. The best source for culinary calcium hydroxide is called cal sold with Mexican spices, or called pickling lime sold with canning supplies to keep pickles crisp. It is becoming rare since modern pickle recipes are more cautious of botulism growing in the less acidic environment. If necessary, type S (slaked) construction lime for concrete and mortar works, but you have to add more of it.

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Place all in a non reactive pan, simmer for a few minutes and then remove from the heat. If you are making posole, it is not critical if the corn starts to cook a bit. If the corn will be ground into tamales or tortillas, it will be gummy and not stick together well if cooked.

As soon as the corn is in the lime water, it turns bright yellow!

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Then let it soak overnight. I decided to boil some corn in plain water to compare the results.

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The next morning: On the right, the limed corn is much darker yellow color than the corn boiled and soaked overnight in fresh water, on the left. On the right the lime water, formerly white, is now yellow from the seed coats of the corn. The water in the pot on the left remains clear.

Drain the lime water and send to the sewer, not your plants! It is very alkaline and will harm the soil and plants.

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The lime turns the seed coats into slime. Now rinse, rub, rinse, rub, rinse.

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Now the rinsed, limed treated corn in the colander is a lighter yellow than the plain water boiled corn in my hand.

This is called nixtamal, and can be ground into masa for tamales or tortillas, or cooked into posole. I will make masa in another post.

You can purchase nixtamal ready to rinse at most grocery stores. After rinsing, it freezes beautifully. I have purchased it dry, whole or ground, but never dried it myself. I use it dry in the Mano Y Metate Mole powders to give body to the sauce.

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When the corn rinsing water is clear, boil in fresh salted water. Add chopped onion and a few cloves of garlic. Cooking times vary wildly depending on the batch, but at least an hour, until tender and the kernels burst open.

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The same corn after identical soaking and cooking times: the treated corn on the right blossomed to toothsome tenderness and has the characteristic posole aroma. I see some residual seed coat, but I do not notice when eating. On the left, the fresh water soaked and cooked corn has a few kernels that blossomed some, but is overall texture is hard with seed coats remaining in my mouth after chewing. It does not smell like posole.

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This reason alone would justify the nixtamal-ization process, but it also makes it more nutritious. The niacin present in corn becomes more available, the amino acid balance improves and the lime adds a digestible source of calcium.

To the pot you can add little red chile, green chile, cubes of pork, beef tripe, pinto beans, or sliced carrots. I added Mano Y Metate Pipian Picante Powder. Garnish with shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, cilantro, white or green onion or lime wedges.

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Categories: Cooking, heirloom crops, heirloom grains, Sonoran Native, Southwest Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Soup Weather: Adobo Mixed Veggie Stew

013 Hello, this is Amy. I always love a bowl of hot soup, but especially when evenings are cool. We’ve been camping in the yard this week with our new dog, Leila and eating lots of soup. I have many basic templates and here is one of the easiest. Adobo powder really brings together the disparate characters in the veggie drawer. The entire CSA share in one big pot!A1 tin

Adobo refers to many different things around the world. It comes from the word adobar, to marinate. Made into a sauce (especially with vinegar) or used dry, it does make an excellent marinade. Mano Y Metate Adobo is made with Santa Cruz Chili, hot. This is very special chile from Tumacacori, Arizona. That bright red color! I pair that with a little chile ancho for depth. Sesame seed and organic corn tortilla meal give the finished soup or sauce some body. Cumin and Mexican oregano are two of the standout spices, with cloves and Mexican cinnamon in the background. Five flavors: spicy chile, the little bit of ancho has a hint of bitter, plenty of salt and evaporated cane juice for balance. All that’s missing is sour from a lime wedge squeezed into the bowl.

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To make a soup, put a tin of Adobo powder and a few tablespoons of oil in a soup pot.

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Cook over medium heat until it turns a shade darker in color and smells fragrant.

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I have listed below some of the specific vegetables I used simply because I love them. Use what you have and love. Fresh or leftover meat is a great addition. Every single ingredient in this recipe is optional.

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Add the longer cooking veggies and stir to prevent sticking. Before it burns, add a quart of water or broth. When making Adobo into a sauce, I insist upon using broth. However, for this soup water works fine.

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Add the quicker cooking veggies as inspired, including precooked posole or beans, if using. I cook the posole and beans separately to ensure that they cook thoroughly but not at the expense of overcooking the tender veggies.

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When everything is tender, salt to taste. Garnish with lime wedges, avocado, thinly sliced white or green onion and cilantro.

Ingredients:

Mano Y Metate Adobo Powder
Cooking oil, like mild olive
Water or broth
Summer squash (zucchini, patty pan)
Winter squash (Delicata)
Potatoes (Red LaSoda, Yukon Gold, Purple)
Sweet Potato (Beauregard)
Sweet peppers (various colors and shapes)
Chiles (roasted and peeled, or diced and sautéed in oil first)
Tomatillo
Onion (red)
Garlic
Blue posole (heirloom dry posole available from NS/S or Flor de Mayo. The Savor Sisters promise at least one post soon about traditional posole.)
White Tepary Beans
Salt
Lime wedges, green onion, avocado and cilantro for garnish

Mac and Leila

Mac and Leila

Categories: Cooking, herbs, Southwest Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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