My husband (to be known from now on as F) and I both like food and cooking very much. We both have restaurant backgrounds and enjoy many international cuisines. Cooking has become therapeutic for me in the last few years, especially as I have experimented and learned how to make a number of things I like without recipes or much effort. I especially like to cook from as close to scratch as possible. Chopping tomatoes, cooking noodles, mincing garlic, baking bread — it’s all quite a stress-release for me. Last week, I found the best time for internal processing was coming home after class around 7:00 and making a simple dinner.
Anyway, I spent all of yesterday frying my brain and saved today mostly for hanging out with F. Last weekend we were watching a cooking program on Galavision and saw a chef making a seafood pozole, which led us to drool at the base of our television. Pozole is a hearty Mexican soup normally made with pork and hominy in a spicy broth. It’s a great dish for the condiment lover, as you typically have a whole array of items to add to the relatively simple stew – lettuce, onion, hot sauce, radish, lime, cilantro, cheese, etc.
So, today we decided to attempt the seafood pozole. First we boiled two fish heads, crap leg pieces that we got on the cheap at the fish market, a few bell peppers, two chopped leeks, carrots, bay leaves, thyme and some lemongrass (because we had it) for the stock. We added a little of my one of my favorite things – Better than Bullion – to enhance the stock. It turned out pretty great despite the random ingredients.
The fish head is watching you. Hehe.
Anyway, next we made a strong, spicy Mexican-style sauce to flavor the soup. It’s basically three types of dried chiles (pasilla, guajillo and morita/chipotle), boiled to reconstitute, then blended with a couple cloves of garlic, salt, oregano and a little vinegar. It’s best to remove the seeds before you blend, unless you want it SUPER spicy.
Then, we prepped all the other stuff and set the table.
When the broth was ready, we strained all the stuff out and removed the crab leg pieces so we could eat them separately. They tasted delicious with the flavor of the herbs and leek. We sauteed the clams, mussels, squid and shrimp for a few minutes with minced garlic and fresh oregano, then added the broth and a bit of the spicy chile paste to the pot, along with the hominy, which comes already cooked in a can, and just needs to be heated.
The white puffy-looking things are the hominy. I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten an “American” dish, or anything non-Mexican really, that had these. They look a little odd but are a pretty innocuous starch – kind of like having mini-dumplings or pasta in a soup.
Finally, we put it all together. If you don’t enjoy seafood, this is definitely not going to be up your alley, but overall this pozole was fresh, flavorful and very delicious.