Last year Mike and I visted Strip T's in Watertown MA. No, this is not a strip joint in a shady area of Boston. Get your mind out of the gutter. Strip T's is an amazing and tiny, 10ish small table restaurant. I believe a father and son started the joint and it is somewhat family operated? My facts might be slightly off, don't judge me. The menu changes weekly and is full of your local farm to table deliciousness. The restaurant also does amazing take out sandwiches. Hands down I'd say its the best meal Mike and I have enjoyed together in the 6+ years I've lived in Boston. Where am I going with this story you may ask? Well as our first course Mike and I split this amazing- fill your soul with goodness bowl of posole/pozole (spell it however you like it). The watier really talked it up, said a family friend had been cooking it in the back all day. Mike was skeptical. He hates soup. Well, I should say he hates hot fatty broth. So choosing this special app of the night was a real stretch for him. But aren't we glad we did. It was EPIC! So many delicious flavors that brougth me back to my grad school days living in AZ. So so so so gooooood!
I knew going into this recipe this week I would def. not be able to recreate Strip T's masterpiece, but I wanted to try something similar. Overall, I think it was pretty darn successful. Give it a try for yourself, you might just like it 🙂 (Note, ours was super spicey. Dial down the jalapenos if you don't like the heat)
Some terms you may not have come across living in New England
Posole/Pozole- A hearty mexican stew usually made with hominy and pork and either has a red or green color depending on your chilies. Sometimes you will see it made with chicken, beef, seafood or beans.
Hominy- is simply dried maize kernels which have been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization. What is nixtamalization? - refers to a process for the preparation of maize (corn), or other grain, in which the grain is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater and hulled. 🙂 Use google if you want more info 🙂 Its tasty stuff. Just trust me.
Tomatillos- aka "little tomato" about the size of a cherry tomato. Found inside a brown husk (if buying fresh). Tomatillos are closely related to tomatoes, but unlike tomatoes, they are valued for their tart rather than sweet flavor. You can buy them in a can or fresh in your produce section.
Now on with the goods!
Ingredients:Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins: 1-2 tbsp chopped jalapeno, seeds removed 1 large egg 1/3 cup 1% milk 1tsp chili powder 1 container of cornbread mix ( I used Jiffy 8.5oz mix)
Pulled Chicken Posole: 8-10 tomatillos (I used them from a can) 1 overflowing cup of hominy (drainied if using from can) 2 cups low sodium chicken stock 2 (approx 6 ounce breasts of chicken) 1 cup onion, diced 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tsp black pepper 1tsp cumin 1tsp oregano 1/2 to 1 jalapeno, diced and seeds removed (we used a full one, without seeds removed. Whooooo buddy it had some heat, just an fyi. Adjust to your liking) 1 tbsp lime juice 1 tbsp olive oil 1/4 cup radishes, sliced thinly Preheat oven to 400 degrees Lets make the cornbread muffins first
1)Slice/dice your jalapenos, remove seeds. Set aside enough for your posole (however much you have decided to sweat out tonight) Picture two makes for much easier removal of seeds and I recommend.
2)In a bowl whisk together milk, egg, chili powder and jalapenos. Fold in cornbread mix. It will still be lumpy. Don't try to mash out the lumps. Not worth your time.
3)Pour batter into 4 (8oz) ramakins or into a standard muffin tin. Make sure you grease your pan prior to adding batter 😉 Place aside until you are about 15-20 minutes out from eating. Bake for approx 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes. Remove from tin or ramakins.
Now lets make some posole!
1) In a food procesor or blender pulse together tomatillos, jalapenos (whatever you have set aside after your muffins), cilantro, black pepper, cumin and oregano.
2)In a dutch oven heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium heat. Saute onions for approx 4 min. Add garlic and con't to saute for 30 seconds or so. In a seperate pan cook chicken. I coated my chicken in salt and pepper before cooking. Cook 5 minutes on each side and then finish chicken in the oven for an additional 6-7 minutes. Oven times will vary.
3) Pull chicken apart with two forks. Set aside. Meanwhile, add cilantro/jalapeno mixture to dutch oven. Pour in hominy. Bring to a boil. Add chicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for approx 10-20 minutes. Or till your so hungry you can't stand it anymore 🙂 Pour in lime juice at the last minute. Divide into 4 seperate bowls.
Don't forget to take your muffins out of the oven! Top posole with radishes, squeeze of lime juice, some cilantro and enjoy. We also threw in chunks of the cornbread which was pretty tasty.
Approx 4oo calories and 10 grams of fat per serving (posole and cornbread)
Recipe adapted from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-corn-bread-muffins-50400000134169/