For as well as my muesli-for-roommates scheme worked, I should have sent a couple hundred bags over to Blago to see if I could bring my radical breakfast agenda to the US Senate.
<digress> You would think the genius who came up with http://blagosblunders.blogspot.com would have updated at some point in the last week. Blogs are serious business. </digress>
That’s right, I got the place. Starting in January I’ll be a member of the elite- a resident of urban Sacramento. Sacramento gets a bad rap from people that fancy themselves culturally attuned, from Stephen Colbert to my friend Louis when he waxed poetic about the diminishing returns of eastward travel on I-80 east, “anything past Vallejo is a no-go.” Doesn’t even rhyme, really.
Well no muesli for those guys. There’s a lot to love about “The Paris of the Central Valley.” I’m speaking, of course, about a year round farmer’s market, a wonderfully bikeable grid layout, The Beat and of course a bitchin’ historical reenactment scene. Also, in a vast departure from say, Ithaca or Boston, I can feel my hands 12 months out of the year. Pretty, pretty good.
It’s also good to be back near my two biggest culinary influences- that is to say my mom and Mexicans. After having a four burrito binge week upon my arrival my mom took it upon herself to make some posole, or pozole, or sopa de pata, or whatever you want to call it. Heavy on the garlic, and chunky al mejor with pork and hominy, this is a breakfast soup that wakes you up real proper.
As part of my “Desayuno del Mundo” series, I’ve been trying to get down on some international breakfasts. I think that my only contribution so far has been “Huevos Rancheros,” and that is of questionable authenticity. Posole, however, es autentico; its not always served at breakfast but what is? Breakfast for dinner has become a mainstay of my life and I’m not going to hold posole to any different standard.
This is pretty complicated. On the sliding scale between “eating raw oats” and “hollandaise sauce” this is about a 7. For all the trouble, however, your yield is delicious and bountiful. This makes six huge bowls and stores really well, freezed or fridged.
1 head of garlic peeled and sliced thin (hold on to two cloves)
10 cups water
6 cups veggie stock
3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cubed
2 tsp Mexican oregano
hot green peppers*
2 cups of boiling hot water
1/2 large white onion
2 big (24 or larger) cans of hominy
You’re going to need a big pot. Not that one, bigger.
This recipe does two different things and puts them together at the end. Posole recipes that I read are awful at conveying that you are making basically pork broth and a chili paste and then tossing them together. That’s the gist of what you’re doing.
First thing is to season and brown your meat. Salt both sides and using your big pot, let them sizzle on high heat for a minute or two on each side. Put your stock and water in and simmer with the garlic, pork and oregano for an hour and a half.
While thats going, seed and stem the jalapenos and green peppers. Remember, the seeds are the heat, so if you want it more spicy, leave some in. I wouldn’t, seeds are nasty. But you could hypothetically. Pour the boiling water in a bowl with the peppers and soak them for 20 minutes or so. Put the chile goop, that chopped onion and two pinches of salt in a blend and whiz it until pureed.
Almost there. Take the pork pieces out of the broth and shred it by pulling apart with forks. Throw the shredded pork, the rinsed hominy, and the chile goop and simmer it for another half hour. You shouldn’t need too much salt but season it to taste.
Have some now, and fridge some for the morning. In the morning, heat it up and serve with a heavily toasted english muffin with melted pepperjack cheese.
I’m coming to realize that I put up a lot of recipes involving piglet meat. I’m thinking about going vegetarian for the month of January. It’ll require me to be a little more creative, and hopefully get me back into some of my nicer clothes.
Happy Holidays from my little corner of the blogosphere.