One of the silver linings of an enforced quarantine is cooking, of course. For the last few weeks (months? How long has it been?), there’s no need for recipes that promise dinner in a flash. Full days at home offer the pleasure of, say, tending a fire for a long smoke or a stovetop simmer. After cooking through a world tour of dried beans (black, pinto, lentils, cannellini!) I pulled out a bag of Rancho Gordo Hominy.
If you’ve only ever used canned hominy, friend, you are missing out. The canned variety has a gummy, slightly rubbery texture. Dried hominy that you cook flowers, like popcorn, when it’s fully cooked and gives the posole a rich corn flavor. Once the hominy is cooked, this recipe comes together with basic pantry ingredients, a cooked chicken (you can even use a store-bought rotisserie) and any mix of garnishes you please.
1 10-ounce bag of hominy (preferably Rancho Gordo)
1 onion, chopped
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium white onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, crushed and thinly sliced
6 ounce can tomato paste
3 tablespoons Texican or Wicked Winona
1 tablespoons Mexican oregano
8 cups chicken broth
Meat from one grill-roasted (or poached) chicken, shredded
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Any combination of thinly sliced cabbage and radishes, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, a pinch of Texican or Wicked Winona, crumbled queso fresco.
For the posole
Cook the hominy: Sort and rinse the corn, and then soak in water for at least four hours (or up to 10 hours). Drain the hominy and place it in a large pot, cover by 2 inches of fresh water, and add the onion and bay leaves. Bring the corn to a boil, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the hominy flowers like popcorn and are tender and chewy (but not falling apart), about four hours. Drain the hominy and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot (such as enamel-coated Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the garlic, tomato paste, Texican or Wicked Winona and oregano and continue to cook, stirring, until the ingredients are fragrant and warmed through.
Add the broth and cooked posole, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to maintain a low simmer for 30 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve in shallow bowls, garnished as desired.