Cooking, food, recipes, Tall & Handsome

Posole…OH…OH…OH…OH…!, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Those of you who know me know I consider myself a newlywed…well, still kinda, sorta. Tall & Handsome and I have been married for a little over three years now. I intend on making him a topic of a blog in the near future because he’s a remarkable guy. I’ll tell you this much now, because it goes hand-in-hand with this blog. My Reggie Bear (boy he’s going to love that! ) is a native born gringo New Mexican. You already know he’s tall and handsome, but he’s also educated, smart, funny, kind hearted…and he started graying prematurely…he was in high school when he got his first gray hair. Think John O’Hurley of Dancing With the Stars and Spam-a-Lot. Oh, and there’s one other thing…girls, the man can cook!!

We had an unconventional courtship, yes we met via the computer…but, not how you might think. I had been through the throes of a painful divorce after I caught my ex in an affair with one of his co-workers. The ex opted to leave and marry the other woman. (When I asked if we could go to counseling, he said, “If I stay, I’ll just keep being unfaithful”.) I opted to try to salvage my life and move on. It was hard at first and it took time…and some counseling. One day my son suggested I learn to play a MMORP game he played. He said, “Mom, it’ll take your mind off of things.” I thought, sure why not…I was all about trying new experiences…I even considered learning how to fly a small plane at the time, but since the ex took all the money…that was out of the question;) .

So, I started playing the game, and one day, I meet this fellow player. We struck up a conversation, found out we were in similar circumstances and became friends. I was in Alabama and he was in New Mexico, so, my friends and family were concerned…but, Bev is smart and had learned certain things over the years.

My dad is an extremely brilliant man…and THE protector of his girls…even at our age. He’s retired from two careers, mechanical engineering/project management and after that he was the pastor of a small church from which he retired again. Daddy will never really retire…even after having 6-bypass cardiac surgery in Sept. 2006. He is still “blowing and going”. Daddy is doing CAD and part-time engineering work again. But, Daddy was concerned I might get “ahold” (a Southernism?) of an axe murder via the internet.

I can say this, if my Tall & Handsome is an axe murder, he is the most patient one in the history of mankind;). I had my business to finish and take care of and so did he. We talked and communicated over the net and talked on the phone for almost a year (yes, he knew I had a pure southern accent, yall :)). He traded some emails with my Dad…mostly theological…and then, we met…face to face. The time had come.

Of course, he had to come and meet me first on home territory…and meet the folks and my son, who was just coming home from a tour of duty in the Middle East (this was about a year after Sept. 11). I left work a little early (the gals at work were crazy curious and worried) and I drove to the Birmingham International Airport (is that an oxymoron?) to pick him up. I was talking to him on the cell phone as I drove up to the airport, and I must admit, I WAS becoming just a tad anxious. I didn’t need a cell phone to recognize him. Huba…huba…huba… There he was walking towards me…tall, cowboy hat, and bright blue eyes under that hat, tight blue jeans, western cut jacket and boots… I walked toward him and he reached down, put his arms around me, tilted his head and kissed me under that cowboy hat in front of the Birmingham International Airport. I felt like I was in a movie…

As I’ve said, my guy is kind hearted and he was raised right…he has a southern mom…a Texas gal who was big on etiquette. That’s a refreshing change for me…a guy with manners! When he arrived he had brought gifts for each of us that reflected his home state…part of the Land of Enchantment…New Mexico.

I’m not quite sure what he expected of my culinary skills. (I can tell you this…since we’ve been married he’s told me I’m the only wife he’s had who can really cook🙂. I’m a Southern gal…I declare! What would you expect ? ) So, he had brought with him some ingredients to cook for me. The man wooed me with his cooking…mouthwatering, southwestern cooking…fajitas, breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros. Then his visit was over, I went back to work and he had to go back to NM for a while.

Well, it’s a few years down the road now, we’re married and Tall and Handsome has discovered Bev can cook! 🙂 (He loves my homemade Pecan Pie.) I’ve discovered I married a closet chef…he really should have been a professional chef…he would have been in heaven. If I want to spoil him…I get him a new kitchen gadget…and he loves it when we cook together.

The first holiday season Reggie spent with my family, he wanted to add a touch of southwestern tradition to our southern tradition. He brought two dishes that year, Posole and Pumpkin Cheesecake. They were both a hit…my dad and son especially liked the Posole because they like flavorful, spicy food.

Well, in the shuffle of life, the recipe for Posole he used got lost. Never fear, Bev to the rescue. Reggie’s says one of my strong suites is research…I have a knack for the tedious. So, I did a little research, found various recipes. I studied and “Bevized” them…yeah, I tinker, dabble, and adjust a lot of recipes…I’ve not met many recipes I can’t improve or at least “Bevize”. (I’ve also got a couple of secret ingredients I might share some time.) New Mexicans love green chilies…when you order food there, they ask you, “Red or green?” If you were to answer, “Christmas on the side”…well, then, you really understand the heart and soul of New Mexicans and their chilies. (By the way, that means you want both.) Their chili of choice is Hatch and if they are an ex-pat New Mexican, they have been known to order their Hatch chilies and have them shipped in from New Mexico. They will put green chilies on ANYTHING…and I’m not kidding…hamburgers, meatloaf, pizza, eggs…invent it and they will do it.

Ok, ok…I know, you’re asking what IS Posole? Posole is a pork and green chili stew. In New Mexico and some Hispanic cultures Posole is served during the holiday season. I have added it to my holiday tradition now, but we eat it year round. Serve it with warm flour tortillas (we butter ours with light butter), and garnish with red enchilada sauce.

So…here is my Posole recipe…Reggie says he would serve it in any respectable New Mexican home…and that’s good enough for me! If you try it…let me know what you think. Enjoy!

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All rights reserved.

Bev’s Posole

Pork, Green Chili and Hominy Stew

For the Pork:

1½ – 2 pounds lean pork loin, trim any fat away

Juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

The day before, cube pork and add juice of limes, oregano, and onion and garlic powder. Mix well and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion

2-3 cloves minced garlic

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon ground cloves

Cayenne pepper (optional) can use up to ½ teaspoon. I add a couple of dashes… more will make it hotter! (Because of my Sjogren’s I make ours mild)

4 cups chicken broth (I use Swanson’s canned or boxed)

2 4 oz. cans chopped green chilies

1 large and 1 small can white hominy (Posole), drained and rinsed

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

In large pot, heat oil until hot. Sauté onion until it begins to brown. Add minced garlic, black pepper, cumin, cloves and cayenne pepper. Stir and cook for 1 minute allowing spices to ripen and toast. Next add chicken broth, pork with the marinade, the hominy, additional spices and the green chilies. Adjust heat to simmer. Cover and cook until pork is cooked and tender.

Serve with warm tortillas* and red enchilada sauce drizzled over a bowl of hot Posole before serving.

*Reggie is usually in charge of heating the tortillas. He does it between layers of paper towels in the microwave and then takes them out and butters them with Land of Lakes “butter” that is 60% canola oil. Yum-yum

Enjoy!! 🙂

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All rights reserved.

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