Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ingredient No. 3!

   What, it's already March?! How did that happen? I understand that February is a little bit shorter than other months, but come on.... we just celebrated Valentine's Day not so long ago! Anyways, I'm a little behind with my "new ingredient a month" project (since I still live in February!), but I'm gonna make it up now. This month's ingredient might not be "exotic", it's something that many of you use every single day, but for some reason I've never cooked with it. Tomatillos - green vegetables that resemble unripe tomato in a husk. I think they are actually called "Mexican husk tomatoes".


   When I was searching for some interesting recipes, I saw a lot of tomatillo salsas and sauces, but I wanted something more than that, something different (not that there is anything wrong with salsa!). And then I found it: Green Pozole, made with chicken, tomatillos (duh!), hominy and herbs - it sounded delicious, it looked delicious... and it turned out delicious! 


* 1 lb tomatillos
* 2 lbs chicken thighs
* 2 (15 oz) can hominy
* 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
* 4 garlic cloves, sliced
* 4 oz sunflower seeds
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 cup fresh cilantro
* 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
* 1 tbsp vegetable oil
* lime
* salt

Garnish (optional)

* red onion, sliced
* radishes, sliced
* cilantro


1. Bring about 8 cups of water to a boil.  Add 1/2 chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves, bay leaves, and some salt. Cover the pot, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

2. Add the whole chicken thighs and cook gently (uncovered) for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool a little. Strain the broth and set it aside for later.

3. In a food processor or grinder, grind sunflower seeds until they form fine powder. Set aside.

4. In a pot, heat 3 cups water with remaining 1/2 onion, tomatillos, cilantro and oregano. Cook covered for 10 minutes, until veggies are tender. Discard the cooking liquid and place the cooked veggies into a standing blender, add remaining garlic and blend everything until smooth.

5. In a Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil, add the pureed veggies (be careful as it will splatter) and cook the sauce uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the ground sunflower seeds and 1 cup of the broth reserved from cooking the chicken, stir and cook another 5 minutes.

6. Shred the chicken and add it to the sauce together with the hominy and the remaining broth (add as much as you like - depending on the thickness you want to achieve). Season with salt to taste and simmer everything for additional 5-10 minutes.

7. Serve in a bowl with sliced radishes, red onions and lime juice (you can also add avocado).

   What a cool dish! I am definitely going to make it more often (especially that my boys loved it too). It's super filling and hardy, but light and fresh at the same time. The bright and crunchy garnishes make it even "fresher". You can garnish it with all the things I mention or you can just mix and match, but if my two year old loved all of them (even the red onion!!!) you should definitely give it a try!


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