I get so busy and wrapped up in my own holiday traditions and special foods, I have to remind myself this is a special season, as well, in much of the world. In some countries Christmas and Chanukah are the focal points of the season, in other countries it may be New Years or Twelfth Night. The delicious, traditional foods enjoyed in other global celebrations are well-worth borrowing for our own plates.
Mexico, for instance, bursts at the seams with rich culinary traditions beginning in early December and lasting well into January. And the food, oh the food, enjoyed during this season is sublime!
Freshly made tamales with chili sauces, sweet fritters and breads, tortas de camaron (shrimp cakes with mole sauce), bacalao (codfish cooked in chilis) are just a few traditional Mexican specialties served at this time of the year.
Though I’m craving any and all of these dishes, I don’t have time for much fuss. This greatly abbreviated pozole (pronounced “poh-SOH-leh”), also served during the holiday season, is easy and delicious.
Traditionally, this rich, hearty and earthy hominy stew was made with a pig’s had. I particularly love the pork pozoles with their mahagony stock and rich, slow-cooked flavor. Most regions in Mexico have their own version of pozole, so do many homes in our neighborhoods as well. I’m making a chicken posole flavored with tomatillo, onion, and green chilis. In fact, the tomatilla salsa I purchased does alot of the the work combining all three of these ingredients.
To save time, substitute a shredded rotisserie chicken for the chicken breasts. Pozole is typically served with thinly sliced radishes, shredded lettuce, finely chopped onion, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips and lime wedges passed on the side. Toasted pumpkin seeds would provide a pleasant crunch! Pick your favorites.