Cold weather is here. It’s the time for comfort food to warm spirit and the body. I’ve made posole with nixtamal, a slaked corn that eventually becomes hominy. I like the firmer texture of nixtamal, but it is an acquired taste for most people. I also have made a green chile and potato soup enriched with butter and cream based on a recipe from a now defunct El Paso restaurant. And what would the winter holiday season in El Paso be without tamales? I’ve already enjoyed red pork, chicken and green chile and cheese and green chile tamales. I’d debating crashing the party when my niece and her sisters spend an afternoon making tamales. It is a lot of work and many hands make it a lot of fun. FYI, the masa used in making tamales and corn tortillas is ground nixtamal!
After all these rich and comforting cold weather treats, I needed to get out a recipe I’ve made before and make a lighter version of posole. Posole is the Spanish name for what is called hominy in English. It is also the name for a stew made using hominy. There are pork and red chile posoles and chicken and green chile posoles. They are traditionally garnished with oregano and chopped onion, grated cheese and, sometimes, crunchy fried narrow strips of corn tortilla. My lighter posole uses seafood and tomatillos, serrano peppers and hominy for a very different green posole. The original recipe calls for chunks of cod. I like to add a few shrimp to the broth for color and flavor. As with anything delicious, there’s some prep involving chopping, but it is worth the effort in the end.
Green Posole with Cod and Cilantro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced, divided
- 8 medium tomatillos (about 1¼ pounds), husks removed, rinsed
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems, plus more for serving
- 1 pound cod fillet
- (optional: 1 dozen shelled, raw shrimp)
- 1 15-ounce can white hominy, rinsed
- 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
- 3 small radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
- Lime wedges (for serving)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Cook shallots, garlic, and half of chiles, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, 6–8 minutes.
Meanwhile, purée tomatillos in a blender until smooth.
Add half of tomatillo purée to pot and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup cilantro to remaining purée in blender and blend until smooth; set aside.
Add cod, shrimp if using, hominy, clam juice, and 1 cup water to pot. Bring to a simmer and gently cook over medium-low until cod is opaque throughout and beginning to flake, 8–10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in reserved raw tomatillo-cilantro purée, breaking cod into large chunks; season with salt and pepper.
Divide stew among bowls and garnish with radishes, cilantro, and remaining chile slices. Serve with lime wedges.