Monday, January 31, 2011

Holy Pozole

One morning a few weeks ago I saw this recipe on the Today Show and knew immediately: I must make that.

It was concocted by Michael Lomonaco, whom Wikipedia tells me is best known for being chef/director of the restaurant Windows on the World, located atop the north tower of the World Trade Center. It was obviously destroyed in 2001, and many of the employees were killed.

Well, that's morbid! But the good news is that Lomonaco is still here, with a very successful restaurant he opened in 2006 called Porter House New York.

And the morning he was on the Today Show, he was showing Matt Lauer how you can make some very tasty, low calorie soups. Matt was oohing and aahing about how great everything smelled, and then when I saw Lomonaco dump a heap of hominy into the Turkey Pozole with Green Chilies, I was like hells yes.

I shall make it, and it shall be mine.

And I did. And it was good.

I've made the pozole twice. It's spicy and savory and simply delicious.

You start out with some turkey, salt & peppered. I found this turkey already cut into strips, but it's easy enough to just buy some turkey breast and chop it up, which is how I made this dish the first time, and how I think I prefer to eat it.

When the meat is browned, you remove it from the pot.

Then you throw an onion, a red pepper and half a jalapeno into the pot. The first time I made this, I used the whole jalapeno, and I honestly liked it better with the whole jalapeno in there. If you're a wimp, then by all means do not use the whole jalapeno.

Once all that junk is browned, you throw the turkey back in the pot, then you throw in some cumin, chili powder, garlic, green chilies and crushed tomatoes.

Then you pour in the chicken broth and a couple cups of water.

It's a pantry essential!!

Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for an hour. I know. AN HOUR. It's like forever when you're starving your ass off. But so worth it.

Here it is with all that junk in it, pre-boil. Sorry for the lousy photo quality.

AND THEN. When it's been simmering for an hour and you've been rolling around on the floor clutching your stomach from the hunger pains, THEN you throw in the hominy.

I couldn't even remember when the last time was that I ate hominy; I only knew that I loved it and needed to have it.

If you don't understand what hominy is, I'm afraid I will be little help to you. I can tell you it's corn -- I am ninety five percent sure of that. How they get it to taste like crack, I don't know. The only other times I've eaten hominy is when trying my grandmother's menudo. I don't eat the tripe -- yeck -- but the hominy with that crack menudo broth is so good.

ANYWAY. You pour your hominy in, and you simmer for another 15 minutes. I know. Hang in there. Soon it will be in your belly.

And then you hire a monkey to take pictures of you ladling the soup into bowls.

 It's so hard to find good help these days.

Also, I could use some hand lotion.

You should sprinkle some cilantro and chopped scallions and dollop a little sour cream on there, especially if you're a wimp. The sour cream will help cut the spiciness.

It's so, so good on a rainy evening, or any evening, really. Reminiscent of chili, but spicier than my chili usually turns out, and the turkey is a really nice element. And let's not forget the hominy. It simply would not be as delicious as it is without the hominy.

So, to make this, you can visit this link to the Today Show page where they have the recipe, but if you make that recipe you should invite eight people over for dinner because it will make a helluva lot of pozole. My halved version makes about six servings, at what I estimate to be 281 calories per serving, which means you can totally have seconds. (That's not counting the sour cream, silly)

Here's my halved recipe, with my suggestions added in. I'm a little bossy.

Michael Lomonaco's Turkey Pozole with Green Chilies

- 1 pound turkey meat cut into 1 inch cubes (optimally get 1.25 lb turkey breast)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped, if you're a wimp. Otherwise use the whole pepper.
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Ancho chili powder (I used regular chili powder, works just fine)
- 1 Tablespoon peeled, chopped garlic
-1 7.5 ounce can chopped green chilies
- 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 quart (aka 4 cups) chicken broth
- 1 14 ounce can golden or white hominy

For garnish: roughly chopped cilantro & scallions, plus sour cream

Pour the oil into a large, heavy bottomed pot and heat over medium heat.

Season the turkey with salt & pepper. Add to the pot and saute until well browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the turkey to a bowl and set aside.

Add the onions, red pepper and jalapeno to the pot and brown until golden (I found this takes about 15 min but I imagine results vary). When the onions begin to caramelize, return the turkey to the pot, sprinkle with the cumin & chili powder, stir in the garlic, green chilies & tomatoes.

Add the chicken broth, plus 2 cups water, stir & bring to a boil over high heat. Then lower heat and let simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour.

Add the hominy. Continue to cook until the turkey is tender, about 15 min.

Taste and adjust the seasonings and serve with cilantro, scallions and sour cream as a topping.



  1. In a bazillion years I never would have thought to make pozole with turkey, but this looks delicious. I have also been known to dice white onion and radishes (that's right!) for the topping. Soo good! I'm gonna try this recipe!!

  2. I'm so in a soup mood with all of this cold. Will be making this immediately!

  3. Yum! Homina, homina, homina. Heehee.

  4. When we were little we ate hominy because we thought they were teeth and how cool is it to eat teeth?

  5. Wow! Yummy! Interesting! I might try this one at home. I'm not really good in cooking particularly on soup but will give it a try. Thanks for sharing a wonderful soup..hehehe..kudos!