Pozole is a traditional Mexican dish. The ingredients are truly emblematic of Mexico: white hominy (a type of large corn), chiles, tomatoes, Mexican herbs, avocado, lime. It is a festive dish as it is easy to make in large batches and is a crowd pleaser. It is common to have this during parties, brunches, comidas, when an important football match is on TV, and of course, at break of dawn at a wedding (to both fuel the party and help alleviate the morning after).
You can find several versions in Mexico: rojo (red), white (blanco), and verde (green). The latter comes from the coastal state of Guerrero. All are nourishing, delicious, and flavor bombs.
In honor of Cinco de Mayo - when we commemorate the triumph of the Mexican army over the French in Puebla (not Mexican Independence Day) - here is my vegan version of Pozole Verde, simplified for herbs and spices found in both Mexico and the US. Make sure you adjust the chiles for your heat tolerance.
If you’re not a vegetarian, add cooked shredded pork or chicken and use the liquid from cooking the meat instead of the vegetable stock. Toppings are key - don’t hold back - as well as an ice cold XX Lager. Provechito!
Pozole Verde Ingredients:
1 white onion, roughly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1-3 chiles serrano, deveined and seeded
2 poblano peppers, deveined and seeded, roughly chopped
650 grams / 1.5 lbs / ~12 green tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 large handfuls fresh cilantro
2.5 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoon powdered consome
1 20 oz can of white hominy, drained and rinsed (make it overnight with dried hominy if you have the time)
Vegetable oil (like canola or grapeseed)
Toppings: shredded lettuce or cabage, avocado, dried Mexican oregano, thinly sliced radishes, lime, fresh minced serrano pepper, cilantro leaves, crumbled cheese, Mexican crema / sour cream, fried / baked tortilla strips, tostadas.
Heat a teaspoon or two of oil in a cast iron and add sliced onion. Cook over medium high heat, stirring often, until translucent and slightly charred (~8 minutes). Reduce heat to medium, add garlic cloves and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat.
While onions cook, heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add raw pepitas and toast, stirring frequently so they don’t burn. Toast until pepitas crackle and puff up. Transfer to blender and blend to a fine powder, scraping down sides as needed. Remove from blender and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups water and cook tomatillos over high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer until tomatillos change to a darker green and are tender (but not falling apart), ~10 minutes. Transfer to blender with 1 cup of cooking liquid.
Blend cooked tomatillos, onion and garlic, serrano chiles, poblano peppers, vegetable consome powder, cilantro, a teaspoon or two of salt. You will likely have to work in batches. Blend until very smooth.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot and add 2/3 of tomatillo puree, leaving one third in blender. Cook over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce turns a deep green ~8-10 minutes. Add powdered pepitas, vegetable stock, hominy, season with salt and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, partially covered, ~15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more stock if needed to thin out. Add remainder tomatillo puree and cook until just heated through.
Scoop into bowls and add LOTS of toppings. Provecho!