Green Pozole with Zucchini, Chayote, and Mushrooms
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 pound tomatillos (about 6 medium), husked, thoroughly rinsed, and quartered
1 pound poblano chiles (4 or 5), seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped white onion
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and upper part of stems
1 garlic clove
1 cup water
3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
3 cups cooked hominy (one 29-ounce can) or cooked dried hominy
1 1/4 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), diced (4 cups)
1 1/4 pounds chayote squash (about 2), peeled and diced (4 cups)
8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned, and diced for garnish
2 limes, quartered
Chopped fresh cilantro Chopped white onion
4 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1. Heat a small skillet or comal over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and toast for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until they begin to brown and pop, like popcorn. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Toast the oregano in the same pan for 8 to 10 seconds, just until it goes from green to brown, stirring constantly and taking care not to burn. Immediately transfer to the bowl with the pumpkin seeds.
3. Place the tomatillos, chiles, onion, cilantro, and garlic in a blender, add the water, and puree until smooth.
4. In a large heavy pot or casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the green puree. It will sizzle, sear, and smoke, which is what you want! Add the salt and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken and darken in color and the flavors will intensify.
5. Meanwhile, place the toasted pumpkin seeds and oregano in the blender, along with 3 cups of the broth, and puree until completely smooth.
6. Stir the pumpkin seed mixture into the simmering green sauce and reduce the heat to medium. Cover partially, as the mixture will splutter, and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir from time to time to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot; it will be thicker and pastier on the bottom.
7. Add the remaining 5 cups broth and bring to a simmer. Add the hominy, cover partially, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, chayote, and mushrooms, cover partially, and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the soup is thick and olive green. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
8. Ladle the pozole into bowls and serve, passing the garnishes on the side.
Pati Jinich, Mexican Today Cookbook