For the pozole:
1 pound dried hominy or 3 29-ounce cans hominy, drained and rinsed
1 head garlic, papery outer layers removed, but not entirely peeled (if using dried hominy)
2 whole chickens (about 3 pounds each), rinsed and cut into serving pieces, or a combination of 3 pounds chicken and 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt
1 white onion, peeled
5 fresh cilantro sprigs
1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
For the chile puree:
2 ancho chiles (about 1 ounce) rinsed, stemmed and seeded
3 guajillo chiles (about 1 ounce) rinsed, stemmed and seeded
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped white onion
3 garlic cloves
Pinch of ground cumin
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or more to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5-6 limes, halved
10 radishes, rinsed, halved and thinly sliced
1 head of romaine lettuce, rinsed, drained and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped white onion
Dried ground chile, such as piquín, ancho, chipotle or a Mexican mix
Crispy tostadas or tortilla chips, store-bought or homemade
Refried beans, store-bought or homemade (optional)
To make the pozole: If using dried hominy, place it in a large soup pot. Add water to the pot to cover the hominy by at least 3-inches. Add the head of garlic. Don’t add salt now or the hominy will toughen. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, for 4 to 5 hours, until hominy is tender and has begun to “bloom” or open up. Occasionally skim the foam from the top as the hominy cooks and make sure it doesn’t dry as it cooks, adding more hot water if need be. If using canned or pre-cooked hominy, start with step below.
Meanwhile, place the chicken (and pork, if using), in a large soup pot. Add water to cover the top layer of chicken by at least 2 inches. Add the onion, cilantro and the tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 35 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
In the soup pot, combine the cooked hominy and its broth (discard the garlic head), or the canned hominy and 2 cups water, with the shredded chicken and its broth. Taste for salt, add more if need be, and simmer all together for 10 minutes more.
To make the chile puree: Place the chiles in a 3-quart saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chiles have softened and rehydrated. Place the chiles, along with 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid, the onion, garlic, cumin, cloves and salt in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. If using a food processor, be sure to wrap a towel around the joint between the lid and the base to catch any escaping liquid. Pass the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing gently on the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in the 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the chile puree, bring to a boil and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and allowing it to thicken.
Add the red chile sauce to simmering pozole, let it cook for an additional 25 minutes, adjust the seasoning, and serve in soup bowls. Arrange the garnishes in smaller bowls on the table and let your guests customize their pozole. Or, if making ahead, let the pozole cool then cover and refrigerate, and reheat when you are ready to serve.
© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Pasta con Guajillo y Ajo
1 pound thin spaghetti or vermicelli
1/2 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
5 guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
Kosher or coarse sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated queso Cotija, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Romano, ricotta salata, or Pecorino Romano
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)
Bring salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and let it come to a boil again. Boil, uncovered, until pasta is al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes. Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
In a large skillet or casserole, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once it is hot, but not smoking, add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Stir in the rosemary, oregano, thyme and marjoram, and cook for 30 to 40 seconds. Add the guajillo chiles and cook, continuing to stir, for another 20 to 30 seconds. You want them to gently brown, but not burn.
Add the pasta to the skillet and toss well. Pour in the reserved pasta water, toss and cook for another couple minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with freshly grated cheese and chopped parsley.
© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
When I was in high school in Mexico City, Tecamacharlie’s was one of the most popular meeting spots. The name came from Tecamachalco, the neighborhood where it sits tucked away in a corner, and the chain of Restaurants it belongs to, Anderson’s Carlos & Charlies. There, my friends and I would meet some Friday afternoons after school, to have a late and long lunch or comida and embrace the weekend.
Even before school started those Friday mornings, there would be one thing in my mind: Tecamacharlie’s top notch Caldo de Camarón. A rich and thick soupy broth made with dried and salted shrimp, and seasoned with a base of Guajillo chile sauce.
A soup so flavorful and filling, it was served as a courtesy as soon as you finally sat down in that incredibly busy and loud place. The waiters brought it out of the kitchen still simmering, served in a little caballito, the little glass shots used to serve Tequila.
There were plump limes already quartered at the table, waiting to be squeezed into the soup before you drank it in one gulp. If you were lucky, the bottom of the shot had a shrimp, and maybe a couple pieces of potato and carrot. Then you could stick your fork or finger in there, to eat those little treasures that tasted like adventures at the sea port. Far away from the City.
Continue reading Where to Find Caldo de Camarón? Make Your Own…