There was a period of time, during my teen years, when I lived with a Mexican- American foster family. During that time, we ate traditional homemade Mexican food: mole, menudo and, one of my favorites, pozole. The result of this experience is that now I am extremely picky about my Mexican food and know how authentic Mexican food is supposed to taste. Jen Fisch, one of the founders of Swirl Nation and one of my best friends, got me a trial account with Blue Apron, which delivers farm-fresh ingredients and recipes to prepare home-cooked meals. A few months into receiving dishes, pozole was on the menu as an option. I was intrigued, wondering if it would taste as good as I remembered and read over the ingredients and instructions. They seemed fairly close to what I remembered as a teen and I wanted to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised how flavorful and fresh it tasted. Now, it was not by any means authentic Mexican pozole, but it was extremely tasty and easy to make! Definitely a great dinner dish for the family during colder weather seasons.
BLUE APRON'S PORK AND TOMATILLO POZOLE WITH HOMINY, AVOCADO AND RADISHES
Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup with its origins in Aztec cuisine. Though there are many variations, all of them center on hominy, a special preparation of maize. Our interpretation is inspired by the delightfully rich, slightly tangy versions of the dish commonly associated with the Mexican Pacific coastal state of Guerrero. Tomatillos (a tomato relative with papery skins) and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are some of the region’s hallmarks. Their delectable tartness and crunch, along with the cooling creaminess of avocado, complete this hearty dish.
8 Ounces Ground Pork
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Ounces Radishes
1 Red Onion
1 Large Bunch Cilantro
3 Tablespoons Pepitas
1. PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the lime. Peel and thinly slice the garlic and onion. Remove and discard the papery husks of the tomatillos; medium dice the tomatillos. Drain and rinse the hominy. Pit, peel and medium dice the avocado; toss with the juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the radishes; cut the radishes into matchsticks. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems.
2. BROWN THE PORK
In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground pork; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and just cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and set aside, leaving any drippings and browned bits (or fond) in the pot.
3. COOK THE AROMATICS & TOMATILLOS
Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pot of reserved fond. Heat on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic, onion and all but a pinch of the spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomatillos. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking apart the tomatoes with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the tomatillos have softened and begun to thicken into a sauce.
4. FINISH THE SOUP
Add 2 cups of water to the pot of aromatics and tomatillos. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Add the hominy and browned pork; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer 7 to 9 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice of 1 lime wedge; season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. TOAST THE PEPITAS
While the soup simmers, in a small pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepitas and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. (Be careful, as the pepitas may pop as they cook.) Remove from heat.
6. FINISH AND PLATE YOUR DISH
Divide the finished soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the avocado, radishes, cilantro and toasted pepitas. Serve with the remaining lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!