Chat Leftovers: A posole problem

December 24, 2013

’Twas the day before Christmas, and — we’re chatting early! This week and next, our Free Range chat has been bumped ahead a day. Join us at noon in the usual place, and bring your culinary questions, whether or not they have anything to do with holidays. Here’s one from last week’s chat:

I’m wondering if there are different types of dried posole. The last time I cooked some, even after five hours of gentle — and not so gentle — boiling, some of the dried posole still had inedible hulls, making it hard to enjoy the soup. I have used dried posole before but never had this problem. Should I be looking for a certain kind of dried posole, or a certain brand? Posole is a wonderful, warming soup, and I’d like to make it again this season. Also, I have a good recipe that uses canned Hatch chilies, but if you have a recipe for one using dried chilies, I would love to have it.

For an answer, we enlisted the invaluable aid of Washington chef Pati Jinich, who has been busy shooting her series “Pati’s Mexican Table,” which airs on WETA. The new season launches in January. Here’s what she had to say:

Hominy, or maiz pozolero, can be very hard. Sometimes it has to do with age. In any case: Soak it in warm water for a couple hours — if you can, overnight — to speed up the process. And, yep! Five hours of cooking doesn’t sound foreign.

I have a great recipe for pozole rojo that uses dried chilies in my cookbook, and it is my favorite of all time; please do get it! I also have a recipe for Green Pozole, which uses fresh poblano chilies, on my blog here.

Thanks, Pati! And happy holidays to all.

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