Our winter here in California has been pretty mild (or nonexistent), to say the least, but finally in the past few days we've had some cold temps and rain. It's nice to feel like having some warm soups and stews during winter, don't you think? I've always loved posole, and we have lots of Mexican restaurants around here that serve it, but only on the weekends. This past weekend I missed it again, and I was disappointed because it's the perfect weather for it! So I tried my hand at making it at home.
Posole is a chile-based Mexican soup of pork and hominy, and to make it traditionally, you use real dried chile pods to create the red chile sauce (by roasting the dried pods, soaking in boiling water, then processing it all). And it has to have the red sauce. I really want to try making the red sauce from scratch some time, but this time I took the easy way out and used canned red chile sauce. It was super potent! Too bad I had to dilute it way down for the lightweights in the family, but if it were just for the adults, I would have used it straight. Even as it was, I was a little concerned that my kids would balk at the diluted version too. I first served my daughter the ingredients with only a little soup. She tasted it, pronounced the first few spoonfuls "delicious", then stopped and said "Mom, when it goes down my throat, I feel the hot spice down here." I waited for her to refuse the rest, but she finished the bowl and requested more for her bento. Wow, I was so happy!
This bento is MisterMan's version: a thermos of posole, a container of tortillas with car shapes, and another container of cooling carrots, peapods, strawberry, blood oranges and grapes. Are my kids finally becoming heat-tolerant? *crossing fingers* ^_^
Here's the method I used:
1 pound pork, cut into cubes (I used pork shoulder) 1-10oz can red chile sauce 1-30oz can white hominy, drained 1 onion, chopped 1-7oz can diced green chiles (I had to omit! But I love these) 1 celery stalk, chopped (not traditional) 1 carrot, chopped (not traditional) 2 cloves garlic, minced (or more if you like) 1 tsp ground cumin water
In a skillet over medium high heat, brown the cubed pork on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to crockpot. Stir in the red sauce, hominy, onion, green chiles, celery, carrot, garlic, cumin, and enough water to cover the meat. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until meat is tender. You can customize this recipe by using more meat, more hominy, and more red sauce if you like. If it's too hot, add more water. I love the soup to be very dark red. Serve hot in bowls with cilantro, onion, cabbage, radishes and lime on the side to be added into the bowl.
I am a former research scientist turned stay-at-home-mom of 2 who got started with bento in an effort to help my kids learn that eating healthy and nutritious foods can be fun and cute. I make a bento lunch for my 13yo (8th grader) son & my 9yo (4th grader) daughter every school day, and post the pictures on my sherimiya ♥ flickr photostream. Here in this blog is where I describe each bento, and you'll also get a peek inside our family adventures. Thanks for taking a look, and please let me know what you think ^-^!