Easy Weeknight Posole

IMG_20171014_003218_701

Oh Posole, how yummy art thou? I remember the first time I tried Posole, it was immediate love for this dish!

A friend had invited me over to show me how to make this wonderful soup from his home country.  I am always open to learning new recipes and absolutely love Mexican food so, of course, I said yes!

I was never much of a fan of hominy but after sampling this dish my mind was changed. I had never had a soup quite like this! A warm flavorful broth perfectly seasoned with an earthy chili base, onions, garlic and aromatic spices then topped with a bit crisp cabbage, fresh cilantro, cheese and crumbled crunchy corn tortilla. And the squeeze of fresh lime sent it over the top!

IMG_20171013_231115155

Since this is one of those dishes that can typically take a good portion of the day to make, I decided to create a quicker version, without sacrificing taste, so that it could be enjoyed more often.

I make up a batch of Mexican Adobo Sauce to keep on hand and use this for the chili base of this soup. I also keep packages of pulled pork and pulled chicken in the freezer for quick meals, like this soup. For pork recipe Taco Tuesday! and chicken Crock-Pot Roasted Chicken check out these links.

Rotisserie chicken or pork carnitas from your local grocery store will work as well. Be careful with the salt though, you probably will need to omit the salt from this recipe or season to taste once recipe is ready to serve.

Buen Provecho!

Easy Weeknight Posole:

  • 1 small onion, julienne
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked pulled pork or chicken
  • 1 cup Homemade Mexican adobo sauce (Mexican Adobo Sauce)
  • 4 cups good quality chicken broth
  • 1-25 ounce can hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Toppings:

  • chopped cabbage
  • fresh cilantro, torn
  • cojita cheese, crumbled (or your favorite cheese)
  • crunchy tortilla strips, or crumbled tortilla chips
  • fresh lime wedges

In a pan, over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until tender and translucent. do not brown. Add cooked pork/chicken and adobo sauce, cook about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, hominy and seasonings, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring as needed.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with cabbage, cilantro, cheese and tortilla strips. Squeeze with fresh lime wedge.

Yum!

IMG_20171014_003106_923

Smokey Pimento Cheese with Fresh Basil Topped with Oven Dried Tomatoes, Field Greens and Crispy Bacon

IMG_20170615_232605_346

Summer is finally almost here. With the promise of warm sunny days, many folks are planning summer road trips, camping and picnics.

As a child, anytime we would take a road trip, there was always a picnic basket packed with Pimento Cheese Sandwiches, a jar of sweet pickles or olives and some kind of fruit.

We would load the car up early in the morning and head out towards our destination. There always seemed to be a park on the way with a picnic area right at about lunch time.

Mom would always lay out a tablecloth on the picnic table and then unload the basket of sandwiches, pickles, fruit, iced tea or kool-aid and some cookies or other sweet treat.

To this day, Pimento Cheese always reminds me of summertime road trips and picnics.

On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, I found some interesting cheeses that I thought would create a fun and unique twist on the traditional Pimento Cheese.

IMG_20170613_214824354

For the Pimento Cheese:

  • 1 cup grated smoked mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated rosemary asiago cheese
  • 1 2-ounce jar of diced pimentos
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise

Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined.

For the Oven Dried Tomatoes:

  • 10 ounce package of san marzano tomatoes or other plum tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, Minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

IMG_20170614_210422865

Wash and slice tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place tomatoes in a bowl and toss with oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper to coat. Place tomatoes in a single layer, skin side down on a sheet pan.

IMG_20170614_212335903

Roast in a 325 degree oven for about 1 hour 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

IMG_20170614_224652499

For The Sandwiches:

  • Good crusty rustic Italian bread
  • Smokey Pimento Cheese
  • Oven Dried Tomatoes
  • Crisp cooked bacon
  • Mixed field greens

Spread a good amount of Pimento Cheese onto bread

 

Top with oven dried tomatoes

IMG_20170615_225404091

Then some of the field greens and bacon

IMG_20170615_225538992

Top with another slice of bread that has been spread with a bit of mayonnaise.IMG_20170615_225926848

Enjoy!

Taco Tuesday (Hawaiian Fusion): Kalua Pork with Roasted Pineapple Salsa

IMG_20170613_001126631

Hawaiian Taco’s? Heck yeah!

Mom used to make some delicious Kalua Pork growing up.  She would smother the pork in rock salt and add some liquid smoke and cook on low all day. The smell coming from the oven was divine!

When it was done, falling off the bone, she would shred it and drizzle with soy sauce. I would steal bites while she was doing this. Kalua Pork is one of those things that you could just stand in the kitchen and pick with your fingers. I’m sure she had to slap my little hands away to get it to the table.

Once it got to the table she would serve it with plain steamed rice and salad or coleslaw. Yum!

In this recipe, I used Hawaiian pink salt along with the liquid smoke and wrapped the pork in Ti leaves before sealing it into a tight foil package.

IMG_20170612_151347544

The Ti leaves add a nice floral note to the pork. If you can’t find Ti leaves, banana leaves can be used. You can find them at your local Asian grocery.

IMG_20170612_150238130

I decided that I would go non-traditional and make taco’s with my Kalua Pork. And to keep with the Hawaiian theme I made a roasted pineapple salsa to go with it.

The warm succulent pork doused with a bit of soy sauce, topped with the roasted pineapple salsa and then wrapped in a warm corn tortilla was a delicious alternative to the traditional  pork carnitas tacos. Add a bit of cheese and shredded cabbage for extra yumminess!

To make the Kalua Pork:

  • Pork shoulder blade roast bone-in about 4 lbs
  • Hawaiian Alaea salt 2-3 tablespoons
  • liquid smoke 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ti leaves about 3
  • 2 cups water
  • foil
  • Soy sauce

Lay out foil on counter. wash Ti leaves and pat dry. Cut out the hard stem and and discard then lay leaves out on top of foil.IMG_20170612_151736836

Rinse pork and pat dry. cut little slits in pork with knife. Rub pork with the salt all over and into the slits. Rub liquid smoke into pork. Place on top of Ti leaves fat side up. Wrap Ti leaves around pork. Hold leaves into place and wrap tightly with the foil.

IMG_20170612_151921125

Place in a roasting pan with the 2 cups water. Place in a 300 degree oven and cook for about 8 hours. Remove from over and let stand for about 15 minutes. Open package and remove pork to a large platter. Shred pork with 2 forks. Pour juices from inside foil over pork for extra flavor and juiciness. Then drizzle with a bit of soy sauce. Yum!

Serve pork in warm tortillas with roasted pineapple salsa, cheese and finely shredded cabbage.

For the Roasted Pineapple Salsa:

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1 fresno chili pepper,  stem and seeds removed, chopped ( or red jalapeno)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Place all ingredients except oil salt and pepper on a sheet pan. toss with a bit of olive oil to coat and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

IMG_20170612_210514629

Place in 425 degree over 20-25 minutes. Stirring halfway through. Cool. Place in food processor and pulse just until pureed.

IMG_20170612_223327611

Place in a bowl and add:

  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/8 red onion, finely mined
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice

Stir to combine, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on tacos and with warm crispy tortilla chips. Yum!

IMG_20170612_224153805