Posole (or Pozole) is a traditional Mexican stew or soup. It’s a typical dish in various states, including Jalisco, the place where my father was born. The key ingredients that make this dish are hominy — a type of maize kernel that is also known as grits (when it is mushed), chili peppers, and meat — usually pork or chicken.
Some traditions say that, long ago, the Aztecs would only eat this dish on special occasions and would use the meat of sacrificed human beings until cannibalism was banned. Although the traditions may be wacky, the dish has been a favorite since I was a young boy.
When I became vegetarian, this was among one of the easiest dishes to transfer over — word has it that there are several vegetarian and vegan substitutes. And there should be, it’s an easy dish to make.
Typically, here’s how the dish looks:
It’s normally topped with cabbage or lettuce, radishes, and a hint of lime. When we ate it at home, we also included tostadas for an added crunch.
My version of Posole is designed to be more of an appetizer. Using agar-agar, I gelatinized the broth to make it look like a spaghetti noodle. The “noodle” tastes exactly like the broth. After cooking the Posole in the traditional way, I made a homemade chip, placed a spoonful of hominy and FriChik cooked in the Posole broth, cut a small and thin slice of lime, and plated it. If the lime rind is thin enough, it adds necessary punch to the one-bite appetizer.
I’m proud of my presentation and originality on this one. And I’m happy that after many attempts to cook with this technique, I can finally say that I have created an original dish.