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Sometimes a girl just has to rely on pre-fab food to get the meal going. I’m pretty sure this recipe developed on an afternoon one winter when building from scratch was not in the cards.
When we first moved here I heard the phrase, “If can, can. If no can, no can,” in reference to being able to meet an obligation or not. It was a “get out of jail free card” of sorts; and that’s exactly how I feel about canned ingredients.
In some past life I’ll bet I hailed from a brisk clime where soup was a daily staple. The temperature outside does not alter my appetite for this one-pot meal. That said, I’m grateful our Kauai nights are cooling and there’s a genuine fall nip in the air. I can make soup and post it here without friends teasing me about how I must not share the same timezone with them.
This stewy soup is a lazy and flavorful way to make posole: canned goods, a crockpot and a field trip away from home.
“Posole” translates as “hominy.” Hominy looks like a giant white corn kernel, with no resemblance to corn in texture. Hominy has a satisfying chewiness between the teeth and a mild and earthy corniness on the tongue.
My first posole was with my sister Sue when she lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the 90s. Slow simmered chunks of pork, green chile and hominy; there are not many recipes that can rise to such heights with only three primary ingredients. Add to that a flurry of bright, crisp garnish for stirring in at the table, and you have not only a visually beautiful meal, but one that is comforting and playful.
This version uses fried tofu in lieu of pork and a canned enchilada sauce in place of the hatch chiles of New Mexico. By all means use my Salsa Verde in place of using a canned green sauce. It’s uncooked so comes together in minutes in a blender when you have all the ingredients on hand.
But trust me, this cheater style of cooking totally delivers.
Vegetarian Crockpot Posole
1 large can Las Palmas green enchilada sauce
1 small can diced jalepeno
1 large can hominy, with half of the water
2 tablespoons coconut oil or oil of choice
1 pound tofu
1 tablespoon each of ground cumin, Mexican oregano, chile powder
1 onion, sliced
1-2 cups vegetable stock, depending on how thick you like it. I like thicker so only put a scant cup.
Red chiles, as many as your palate can take. I add three to the pot.
Recommended garnish: Cilantro, lemon wedges, avocado, Napa cabbage, radishes, more onion, diced this time; raw jalepeno
Open the cans and dump directly into the crockpot on high. Add the spices.
Fry diced tofu in coconut oil or oil of choice. Add to canned goods. Add the optional chiles.
Sauté the sliced onion. Toss that in too.
Add a bit of stock, cover and cook on high for about an hour, but then turn to low. Go run some errands or go to the beach. When you return 3-4 hours later, turn off the crockpot and chop up garnish.