Tag Archives: Mexican Slow Cooker

Chicken Pozole Verde

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Today finds me rather upset with myself, seeing as it’s another Sunday Supper, but one I’m unable to officially participate in. Last weekend I made and photographed this lovely recipe, specifically for today’s Sunday Supper, and then thanks to a high-octane work trip for my other job, completely forgot to sign up in time. Go me…

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But, since I have the purty pictures and all, I thought I would still share today’s Slow Cooker menu. (That’s the #SS theme today – Slow Cookers. And one of my favorite things in my kitchen, which ensures some extra bummed-out-ness for me that I’m not technically participating. Oh well, life happens, doesn’t it?)

So let’s talk about the ingredient that makes pozole a pozole: hominy. I couldn’t stand, and this cannot possibly be overstated, could not stand hominy as a child. Now, one of the running themes on this blog is my triumph over childhood picky eating, and my triumph is probably at least in part due to the fact that my parents simply didn’t tolerate the behavior. I had to eat what was on my plate, and if I dug in my heels and refused, I went to bed hungry.

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Picky eater that I was, the first time I was served hominy, of course I was highly skeptical. It was a peculiar looking veggie with (to me at least) a highly repulsive smell. Of course I voiced my objections and of course they were met with a nonchalant, “eat it anyway.” So I took a bite, and literally chucked my up, right at the dinner table. It tasted that gross to me. From that point on, hominy was placed in a special category all its own – my parents never again told me to “eat it anyway.”

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So then I grew up, and became a grown-up who still vividly recalled that fateful hominy incident, but also a grown-up who learned about pozole. A Mexican soup/stew that always looks delicious, but isn’t pozole without the addition of hominy. What to do?

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Solution: dried hominy. I gave it a try and found it to have blessedly little in common with its canned cousin. It doesn’t smell bad and tastes wonderful. Of course it is more time consuming, but unsurprisingly well worth it to me personally. I’m giving directions for using dried, but if canned doesn’t bother you, then of course feel free. I hope y’all enjoy it!

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{One Year Ago: Date and Prosciutto Doughnuts}
{Two Years Ago: Jalapeno Poppers}

Source: adapted from The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider

Ingredients:
SOUP:
12 oz. dried hominy
2 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
1 medium onion, peeled and halved, with root end intact
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock
5 cups water
4 sprigs cilantro
SALSA VERDE:
½ cup raw pepitas, roasted
6-8 tomatillos, husked and washed
1 cup diced white onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
2 serrano chiles, stemmed
1 small bunch fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for serving
Chopped Hass avocado, for serving

Directions:
Place the hominy in a large bowl and cover with water by about 4 inches. Set aside at room temperature at least 4 hours, and up to overnight.
In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the chicken, garlic, onion, salt, cumin, chicken stock, and water. Drain the hominy well and add it to the slow cooker. Let it cook on LOW for 4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through but not falling apart. Remove the chicken and let cool. Add the cilantro sprigs to the slow cooker. Discard the chicken bones and skin and shred the meat into pieces. Store in a food storage container in the refrigerator.
After you have removed the chicken and added the cilantro, let the soup cook for another 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the Salsa Verde. Place the tomatillos in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and place in a blender, along with the pepitas, onion, garlic clove, serranos, and cilantro. Add ½ cup broth from the slow cooker and puree, scraping down the sides as needed, until very smooth. Pour the salsa into the empty pot you used for the tomatillos and cook over medium to medium-low heat until the sauce is thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir the salsa into the soup and let it go at least another 3 hours, or until the hominy is done. You know the hominy is done when it bursts and is very tender with a soft chew to it. Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Add the shredded chicken into the slow cooker for about 30 minutes to warm back through, then ladle into bowls. Serve with lime wedges and avocado.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

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It probably goes without saying that refried beans were a large part of my diet growing up, what with all the Tex-Mex I indulged in. But what might surprise you is that I don’t have many memories of eating them at home. It was usually restaurant and Taco Bell fare.

After moving to New York and discovering the scarcity of Tex-Mex restaurants, I learned to make the cuisine at home. But the refried beans portion of the meal usually came from a can, I’m sorry to say.

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I did attempt them from scratch once, a few years ago, but it qualifies as a Bona Fide Kitchen Disaster, as hours of soaking and boiling the beans left them still crunchy and inedible, and marked probably the first (and hopefully last) time I ever ate enchiladas without a side of refried beans. That little incident drove me right back to the canned stuff.

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Fortunately, I have since discovered the magical awesomeness of cooking dried beans in the slow cooker. So now I will never need the canned stuff again! Okay, I probably shouldn’t make such a bold statement – we all get in a pinch sometimes. But I’m so happy to have this method available, because these refried beans are the real deal, y’all!

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Your family and/or guests will swear you had them flown in from the best restaurant in Mexico. Or maybe San Antonio. They are so amazing and do not remotely compare to the canned stuff. And speaking of guests, I served these at a dinner party last weekend which is why I have no pictures of the prep or raw ingredients. My apologies. But they are too good not to share.

If you enjoy Mexican and/or Tex-Mex food, I highly urge you to try these. It’s very easy, and the recipe makes a ton, so you can eat off them all week. Black beans can be subbed in for pinto beans if you prefer.

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Source: slightly adapted from The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider

Ingredients:
1 lb. dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
7 ½ cups water
1 ½ tsp chile de arbol powder or crushed chile flakes
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbs lard or canola oil
¼ cup finely diced white onion
1 small garlic clove, minced

Directions:
Combine the beans, water, chile de arbol, salt, and black pepper in your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the beans are very tender. When the beans are done, shut off the heat.
In a large skillet, heat the lard over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Remove skillet from the heat. Add 1 cup of the beans and their liquid to the skillet. Mash to a smooth paste with a potato masher. Return the skillet to the heat and continue to add the remaining beans, 1 cup at a time, mashing them until smooth after each addition and adding liquid as needed. When all the beans are mashed, add any remaining cooking liquid necessary to thin to the proper consistency. The beans should be thick but not stiff. Serve hot, sprinkled with Cotija cheese, Monterey jack cheese, scallions, raw minced white onions, cilantro, or plain, whatever you want.