Pozole Verde With Clams 4.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Oct 27, 2015

The roots of this dish, which has become a signature at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen in Santa Monica, Calif., begin with Jeremy Fox's tryout for executive chef. The restaurant owner liked it that much; the green sauce was added later, inspired by a restaurant "family" meal.

Make Ahead: The dried hominy needs to soak in cool water for 8 to 16 hours or in very hot (not boiling) water for 2 to 3 hours. The green sauce can be made and refrigerated a day in advance. The tortilla strips can be fried a day or two in advance and held at room temperature.

Where to Buy: The chef prefers Rancho Gordo dried hominy, which is available via RanchoGordo.com.


Servings:
4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • For the hominy
  • 1 pound dried hominy, preferably Rancho Gordo (see headnote; may substitute 2 cups canned, drained hominy)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half horizontally
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 16 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • For the green sauce and clams
  • 1 1/2 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into chunks (1 packed cup; may substitute green bell pepper)
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and cut crosswise into thin slices (reserve the green parts for garnish)
  • Pinch kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 pounds littleneck or Manila clams
  • 2 or 3 lemons, cut in half
  • For assembly
  • Vegetable oil
  • Four 6-inch fresh corn tortillas
  • 4 red radishes or 8 French breakfast radishes, trimmed and cut into very thin slices

Directions

For the hominy: Place the dried hominy in a deep mixing bowl or pot; cover with 8 inches of cool water and soak for 8 to 16 hours (at room temperature). Drain the hominy into a large colander; rinse under cool running water, then drain. (If you're using canned hominy, skip this step as well as the cooking step with onion and celery.)

Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Once it’s very hot, add the onion, cut side down, and the celery; cook for a few minutes or just long enough to char them. Remove from the heat.

Transfer the hominy to a large soup pot. Add the 16 cups of water, salt and the charred celery and onion. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium; cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the hominy is tender. Turn off the heat and let the hominy cool in the liquid. Discard the onion and celery. You'll use 2 cups for this recipe; the rest can be reserved or frozen for another use.

For the green sauce and clams: Combine the poblano and jalapeño peppers, the vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and garlic in a blender. Puree until smooth, then stop to add the cilantro; puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a container; cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 1 day).

Melt the butter in a deep, wide saute pan over medium heat. Stir in the sliced white parts of the scallions and a pinch of salt, then add the white wine and 2 cups of the cooked hominy. Cook just until bubbling, then add the clams. Cover and cook for about 4 minutes or until the clams have opened. Add the green sauce, then squeeze in fresh lemon juice (to taste), stirring to incorporate. Turn off the heat. Taste, and season with salt, as needed.

For assembly: Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels.

Heat about 1 inch of the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, cut the tortillas into 1/4-inch-wide strips that are about 2 inches long. Working in small handfuls, add the tortilla strips to the oil and fry for about 20 seconds or until they are light brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Divide the clam-hominy mixture among wide, shallow bowls. Top with the scallion greens, radish slices and tortilla strips. Serve warm.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from Jeremy Fox, executive chef at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar in Santa Monica, Calif.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.