Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mushroom-Butternut Squash Posole

I had such high hopes for this idea... Traditional posole is one of our family's favorite dishes, and I often make it with other additions such as squash, carrots, etc. While the leftovers actually were better than the stew was on day one, I would change the following recipe in a number of ways before making it again the same way.

  • 2 cups fresh posole (aka nixtamal or hominy corn)
  • 6 oz mushrooms, halved
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 6 cups broth
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin seed
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 dried red Anaheim or Guajillo chiles, rinsed with stems and seeds removed
  • Fresh cilantro

In blender, combine spices, garlic, and chiles with 1 cup warm broth. Puree until chiles and garlic are sufficiently chopped. Meanwhile, saute onions briefly to par-cook them. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir. Cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high heat 3-4 hours, until squash and posole are tender (posole will appear split and puffed). Garnish with cilantro. Serve with warm cornbread or tortillas.

If I were to attempt this dish again, I would probably make any number of the following changes:

-Chop mushrooms up smaller

-Use black or red beans (possibly in place of the posole, too)

-Use roasted red bell pepper in chile puree

-Add a dollop of barbecue sauce (I did this to the leftovers I had, which helped)

Note: If you can't find fresh posole, you can substitute the canned variety, but add it to the slow cooker 1 hour before it is finished or it will turn to mush. Also, in some areas, you can find uncooked posole/nixtamal corn (this is NOT the same as dried field corn); it may take slightly longer to cook than the fresh packaged posole, so I would suggest boiling it in the broth for 10-15 minutes separately before adding it to the slow cooker.

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