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September 9, 2011 18:00 pm | | HOME | BLOG HOME | ARCHIVES |
Pati Jinich

Red pozole, or Pozole Rojo, Jalisco style, has been my favorite pozole of all time. It is bold and gorgeous in every possible way. I am so attached to it, we even served it at our wedding.

For decades now, I’ve refused to replace it with another… And then, I tried a unique green version, Pozole Verde, Guerrero style. It has not surpassed my Pozole Rojo, but it is attempting to tie with it at my table. And that is a lot to say.

Treasured all around Mexico, pozole has many variations, mainly green, red and white. Each distinct and beautiful, and coincidentally, represent the colors of the Mexican flag. Since September is the month of Mexican independence and The Day of El Grito is just around the corner, there is no excuse not to find an excuse to celebrate! And in my mental Mexican dictionary, pozole equals celebration.

Pozole has been made for centuries, and according to Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, a Spanish missionary, Moctezuma -greatest Aztec Emperor of all times-, would honor the God of the Sun by eating and serving it. I don’t know though, what color it was!

What makes a pozole red or green is the seasoning sauce added to the stew. If there is no sauce, it is a white pozole. Though there are many kinds of green pozole, they all use green ingredients, and this one has: tomatillosepazote (or cilantro if you can’t find it), pumpkin seeds and jalapeños.

greeningre.jpg
Making that green seasoning sauce is simple. Tomatillos, garlic and chile simmer in water until the color of the tomatillos changes from bright, happy and loud to a mellow green. The texture goes from firm, to very mushy, but not coming apart.

The toasted pumpkin seeds are ground, they are pureed with that cooked tomatillo mix and white onion. The pumpkin seeds give the sauce a nutty, velvety base. Then the sauce is taken a step further and simmered until it is seasoned, thickened and its flavors have concentrated. It must be powerful, as it will dilute in the pozole. See? The spoon on the left has the green sauce before it is seasoned.

sauce.jpgWhat is common about any pozole is not only the many garnishes that dress it at the end, but also the very large corn known here as hominy, and in Mexico as maí­z cacahuacintle, also known as maí­z mote and giant corn. It gives pozole its signature mealy bite.

Cooking hominy is simple, but takes a while, so it is available already cooked in cans or refrigerated bags if you do not feel like preparing it. This is how it looks when you buy it at the stores before cooking.

hominyingredients.jpg

But I love to cook it at home. It is as simple as throwing it in a pot, covering it in water and waiting for it to “bloom”.  Literally, when it opens up at the top, you know it’s ready.

cookedhominy.jpg
Just like when cooking beans, add salt after they are cooked, or they will toughen up.Then in a big pot, combine the cooked hominy, the shredded chicken that was simmered in a simple broth (complete recipe below) as much green pozole sauce as you want, and a leafy stem of epazote, which will have anywhere from 5 to 10 leaves. If you don’t find epazote, add like 5 sprigs of cilantro. I personally add all the sauce. Then, you want to let all the ingredients cook together for about 20 minutes.

Once it is ready: dress it up! Radishes, lettuce, white onion, ground dried chile, oregano and quartered limes to squeeze juice on top, are placed at the table for you to choose. Tostadas to be munched on the side. And, in particular for the green pozole, green avocado and chicharrones (crispy pork rind), are often too, which gives it an extra crunch. If you find some, add it on!

garnishesweb.jpg
Whatever you choose, do squeeze fresh lime juice onto it.

Pozole is so popular in Mexico that there are pozolerí­as, restaurants that only serve pozole. That would be like a restaurant in the US that only served chicken noodle soup! How is that possible? Take a bite into this one-stop meal. You’ll see.

soup2.jpg
P.S. Pozole tastes even better reheated. Great excuse for making the soup ahead of time. Also, watch out for this recipe: It serves a hungry party of 12.

Green PozolePozole Verde

Serves: 12 to 15

Pozole Verde" alt="Green PozolePozole Verde" />

Ingredients

White Pozole:

1 pound dried hominy (the same as giant white corn or maiz mote pelado), rinsed)

1 head garlic

2 whole chickens, or about 6 pounds, cut up in serving pieces, rinsed (combine with pork butt or shoulder if desired)

1 onion

Couple fresh cilantro sprigs

1 tablespoon kosher or course sea salt, or to taste


Green Pozole Sauce:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed

1 to 2 jalapeños, stemmed

1 fresh large leafy stem of epazote, or 5 sprigs cilantro

3 garlic cloves

1/3 cup onion, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoon vegetable oil


Garnishes:

5 to 6 limes, cut in half

10 radishes, rinsed, halved and thinly sliced

1 head of romaine lettuce, rinsed, drained and thinly sliced

4 tablespoons onion, finely chopped

1 avocado, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and dried

piquí­n chile, or a Mexican mix of dried chiles, ground

Dried oregano, crumbled

Tostadas or totopos

To Prepare

Place the hominy in a large soup pot with cold water at least 3 inches on top. Take off the dried skin layers from the head of garlic and add it into the pot. Do not add salt, because the hominy will toughen. Bring to a boil, then gently simmer over low medium heat uncovered for 3 hours or until hominy is tender and has begun to "bloom" or open up. Alternatively, you can buy precooked hominy and continue from this point.

In the meantime, place chicken in a large soup pot and cover with at least 1 inch of water above. Add white onion, cilantro and a tablespoon of salt and bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until chicken is cooked and tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and the bones, and shred the meat into bite size pieces.

Meanwhile, make the green pozole sauce. Place tomatillos, garlic and chile in a medium 3-quart saucepan. Cover with water and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer; cook until the tomatillos have changed color from a bright to a dull green and are soft but not breaking apart, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the cooked vegetables and set aside.

In a blender, add toasted pumpkin seeds and chop until finely ground. Then add the cooked tomatillos, jalapeños and garlic, onion, salt and reserved liquid. Puree until smooth. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium high heat until hot. Add the tomatillo sauce from the blender. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 to 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, so it will thicken, season and deepen its color.

When the hominy is ready, incorporate the shredded chicken and its cooking broth. Add the green pozole sauce and the epazote or cilantro. Let it cook for 30 minutes more. Check for seasoning - at this point I always add more salt - and serve.

You may present the Pozole in a big soup pot and place the garnishes in smaller bowls on the side. Each person can serve Pozole in their individual soup bowls, and then add as many garnishes to their soup as they would like. I do, however, recommend that some fresh lime juice be squeezed into it! Tostadas or totopos are eaten on the side.

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Comments

Yum!! Pati. My mouth is watering. I am going grocery shopping today and plan on making the white Pozole tomorrow.

I hope you enjoy Beth!



Thank you Pat for bringing these authentic recipes to our table. since my parents have passed, I regret that I did not practice cooking these dishes that my mom used to make all the time.

It is my pleasure to share these recipes! :)



Yum!! I am a vegetarian now, but I grew up eating all these wonderful dishes. I am usually able to figure a substitute for meat, but not sure what I could use for the pozole dish. Any suggestions? I would really love to try a vegetarian pozole… Thanks! :)

Hola Sabrina, there are many vegetarian pozoles. It is simple to transform this pozole into a vegetarian dish. Just use a lot of vegetables instead of the chicken and substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth. I hope you enjoy! :)



This is a fine recipe and very similar to the one I make at home. I’ve always preferred pozole verde but it is impossible to find in local restaurants. The only difference for me is to use half pork and half chicken – pork only pozoles seem a bit heavy to me. Lots of lime juice really makes a difference!
BTW for my last batch I made the hominy from scratch – that was too much work! The refrigerated bags of nixtamalized corn taste great, not surprisingly better than canned hominy.
I’m so looking forward to your cookbook!
Mike in SoCal


Pati, pozole is my absolute favorite food in the world. This past weekend I made it for my birthday dinner and checked your site probably a day before I started cooking to see if you had a recipe. I completely missed this one! I can’t wait to try it. Usually I make mine white and have a red chile sauce on the side. I have a question about preparing the hominy. Last week three friends (bless them) and I spent about 2 hours removing the tips from each and every kernel (the party was for 50 people … LOTS of poole). I noticed that this version still has the tips. I’d always done it because I was told it will help the hominy open and let the flavors seep in. But if it doesn’t matter than this would save me lots of time. So, am I just wasting time by removing the tips?


Dear Pati
We made this recipe tonight and oh my… it is sooo delicious!!!! Thank you so much !!


Gracias Pati!! You are the best! I’m not sure if you remember me but this is Kanani from Hawaii. I wrote to you previously and asked if you had a delicious pozole recipe to share with us. I can’t wait to try it!! I hope my Joaquin likes it, I know I will!! Aloha!


Ahh Pati! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I agree with you that the dried pozole is the best; it is a little chewier than the canned. I have had “green” pozole with a clear broth, so i think i will leave out the pumpkin seeds, except for that, as you describe it is how it is served in Mexican households everywhere. I am sooo looking forward to buying your book! Con amor, Joyce


Patti – all your recipes make my mouth water. I lived in Guadaljara, Mexico and we used to go to a restaurant that served empanadas with a creamed style corn filling, maybe pimento and they were a little spicy. They were so good. Do you do anything like that? Thx.
Carol Garcia

Hi Carol
Yes, I love those empanadas! I have a post for empanadas with picadillo here http://patismexicantable.com/2010/08/empanadas.html . I will look into posting soon about more empanadas :)



Hola Pati! Can you also please post your recipe for red pozole- estilo Jalisco? I would love to try it.
Gracias!

Hola Veronica, I have a delicious red pozole recipe and will be sure to post it soon! :)



May i leave the chicken pieces whole?

Yes, Linda you can leave the pieces whole!



Hola paty! I really enjoy everything about you.It makes me feel so proud:)thanks for you great recipes!just wanna add:I grew up in Guerrero and I think it has the best pozole in the world(my moms,ji,ji)on thursdays is a must we have it on the flag colors and every single one is delish,the red one is the most popular:)


Hi Parti,
I just discovered your show on PBS. Your stories and passion for your food reminds me of my next-door neighbors who are from Mexico. This particular recipe reminds me of them. Once a month, my neighbor Rosa would make a giant pot of Pozole for lunch. Family, friends and neighbors would cram into their tiny bungalow to feast on her soup, catch up on the news of the neighborhood, or have a good lauph with family. Thanks for reminding me that I’m about due for my Posole fix!

Happy I could remind you Heidi…Enjoy!



hi pati!!love your show,big fan,i would like to know what kind of music you like to listen to,if at all,while your cooking,thanks randy.

Hola Randy, I like all different types of music, but lately I’ve been into country :)



As a college student with a kitchen narrower than my arm span, I accept the challenge to recreate your Pozole Verde.
But I do have a question. Is it possible to replace the maiz in the recipe with another grain? I know that it would have to be a larger grain so the pozole still has the same consistency. What do you think?
I hadn’t realized how healthful pozole is. There is no source of added fats except the two tablespoons in the green sauce, and that isn’t much for 12-15 servings. I am trying to make an archive of go-to recipes that are traditionally Mexican and also healthful. I will definitely add this one to the list and practice it until I get it right. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!

@ Samantha Bustillo:D I had a neighbor who would make it with garbanzo beans AKA chick peas,and it was good a little diferent but still:)She claimed that was healthier so She can enjoy more of it;)

Great idea Itzy! One of my favorite things about cooking is taking a recipe or dish and making it your own.




I never knew there were 3 types of Pozole, wow! My uncle would make it all the time and I absolutely loved it. But the old fart passed and never passed the recipe on to anyone. :-(
Give me some cord tortillas, onion, cilantro and Pozole and I am a happy girl.


what is the differences between green and white pozole ?

In most cases, any “color” pozole, such as green or red, adds either a green sauce (with Poblanos, cilantro…) or red sauce (with dried chiles like guajillo and sometimes tomatos) to finish cooking in the soup. When it is “white” it is the hominy broth combined with the meat broth that may have been used.



Hello Pati,
I really love this dish, and really all of the dishes you have listed here! I have many hispanic friends who love to come over and eat often they complain that I don’t make many hispanic dishes and now that I have found your site I can incorporate their heritage and introduce my family to another way of enjoying food. Keep up the good work!! And again thanks so very much!

Hola Renee, Let me know what recipes you try — and what your latin friends think!



Perfect for mi daughter’s quinceanera!
Pati your the best, can’t wait for your cookbook!

Gracias, Claudia!



can you use hominy in a can instead of of dried


I AM VERY INTRESTED IN THIS DISH THIS WHOULD BE MY FIRST TIME MAKING IT. IM NERVOUS IS IT EASIER W/ CHICKEN ONLY? ANY ADVISE

Hola Veronica, I think you’ll do a great job making this dish! Go for it!! It would be simplest with only chicken because you only have to worry about one meat.



Hola Pati, a mi familia le encanto el pozole! Gracias por la receta. Mi pregunta es la siguiente, podrias far una receta para hacer enchiladas Jaliciences con papa y zanahoria porfa!

¡Si! A mi también me encantan esas enchiladas. Trataré de incluirlas pronto.



Pati,

I just served chili with pork and cannellini beans with canned pozole, and it was delicious.

I can’t wait until I have time to follow your recipe.

I watch you on CreateTV all the time, and I really appreciate how accessible your recipes are.

I think you are sparkly and fabulous.

Best,
Bryna

Thank you so much, Bryna!! Please let me know how the pozole turns out, when you get around to trying my recipe…



Hola Patti,
I love your great recipes, Its about time we had a mexican food cooking show. Im anxoius to get your cook book and try all your delicious recipes. Im Mexican American and my husband is Mecican from Gto.
so this really helps me learn to cook all the foods he grew up with. I have made your Coffee flan. It came out perfect my first try. And Chilaquilles OMG!! Soo good. Im gana be busy in my kitchen cooking trying out all your recipes.Thank you Patti .. Love the show!

Hola Shelly, I’m so happy you found the show. I’m glad you are enjoying my recipes — and I hope your husband is, too! All my best to the both of you.



Hi Patti!

This is probably going to be a very stupid question, but after the hominy is cooked, do you drain off the liquid the hominy was cooked in, or is that incorporated into the soup. The recipe doesn’t specify if you drain the hominy before you add it to the chicken broth.

Thanks for your help!

Hola Collin – Yes, you want to drain the hominy. No question is a stupid question! ;) Thank you for writing to me.



Hola Patty
thank you so much for all the delicious mexican recipes you are sharing with us, i’m not mexican but i love mexican food and it was hard for me to find good recepies but now thanks to you i can enjoy real mexican food. thank you once again
Ana

Thank you, Ana!!



Just made this recipe tonight and as usual it was great just like your other recipes i have tried. The kids and the hubby enjoyed every last bite. Your the best!!!!
Thanks Pati


This is really a terrific recipe. I am a lover of Pozole, red and green , and will order it whenever I spy it on a menu in Mexico during my winter months stay I had decided to make it for the first time and invited friends to share it. I checked with our weekly maid in case she had sage words of advice and said she never makes it, neither does h er mother, only her Abuela makes it ! Undaunted I gave it a shot, followed the recipe exactly and was thrilled with the results. Very clear easy to follow instructions and the result is definitely worth it.

Thank you, Helen!! I’m so glad you went ahead and tried the recipe.



Hola Patty, en tu receta de pozole verde porque no cambiar los chiles poblano por chjles ancho el sabor es igual gracias patty todas tus recetas estan muy buenas sigue con tu programa.

Hola George,
Buena idea, pero en vez de verde, te queda más bien rojo ; )



My first time trying this one out for my boyfriend I hope it comes out well

Good luck!



This posole sounds wonderful-but do you have a smaller version? I hate to make this much for just one. Does it freeze well?

Hola Diana, I hope you try it! You can reduce the amounts of all the ingredients by half to make a smaller batch. It keeps well, and I think even tastes better when re-heated. You can keep in the freezer in a tightly sealed container for about a month (thaw before re-heating).



This is a delicious recipe, I have made it twice! Thank you for sharing!!!

Gracías!



I was thinking about making half the amount for New Year’s but I dont want it to be so spicy for my gringo husband. Should I only use about half a jalapeno? Also do you have a recipe for bunelos? My mom when she was alive use to make them evry New Year’s.

Hola Raquel, Take all the seeds and the stem out of the jalapeno to make it less hot — half a jalapeno would be fine if you want minimal heat. Here’s my buñuelos recipe: http://www.patismexicantable.com/2011/12/bunelos_worth_it_all_the_way/



Hola Patti,
Como de costumbre (mi padre era de Mexico) en mi familia siempre servimos pozole rojo en new year, y a veces menudo, pero esta vez me voy a atrever a servir pozole verde :) gracias por tus ideas.
P.S. I love YOUR SHOW and all your recipes!

Happy New Year!

Gracías!



Hi Pati,

I know this is an old post, but I was hoping to find your recipe for Pozole Rojo. You mentioned in the comments to another person who commented that you would be posting your recipe for the red version. I searched your site but I can’t find it. Would you consider posting it soon? Like you, my favorite has always been Rojo and I would LOVE to try your recipe! Thank you and Happy New Year!

Hola Julie, My Pozole Rojo recipe is in my cookbook! Also, coming soon in Season 3 of my show. ;)

Thank you!!




Querida Pati,
Would this recipe taste as good if the pumpkin seeds were omitted?
Alicia

Absolutely.

Thank You for your quick reply. I also want to congratulate you on your PBS show and cookbook. You are beautiful, talented and an inspiration to all home cooks. I am so happy to see more Mexican chefs showcasing their talents. America needs to see the real food we Mexicans really eat. I am a 2nd generation Mexican American who enjoys cooking daily for my family. If you ever come to Chicago, mi Casa Es Su Casa.
Alicia




i enjoy your show so much. i am 81 years old and posole is my grandsons favorite food. i will now be able to make this for him. i love how you have your sons on the program. i want to buy your cook book if it is in the stores. vangie

Thanks Vangie, it is in the stores and also in Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Patis-Mexican-Table-Secrets-Cooking/dp/0547636474



hi patti i wonder if you could give me your red pozole that you had on your program a week or so?



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