Baby, it’s actually cold outside! You know what that means…it is time for a something warm and totally satisfying. A tradition around these parts, as I am sure it is in many others, is a warm bowl of Menudo. Some, though prefer Pozole, which is basically the same thing with one difference…well, that I am aware of anyway. What is that difference? Menudo is traditionally made with pansita, or tripe, whereas Pozole calls for meaty meat itself. Both have hominy. Both are cooked in a similar way for the most part. Both call for fresh made corn tortillas and lemon 🙂 Sometimes Pozole is cooked and served with a clear broth (which is just
wrong strange) and Menudo is a red broth. There are some pretty die-hard Menudo fans out there, and I don’t just mean the band 😉 Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love Menudo but sometimes, the pansita grosses me out. You know what I’m talking about. There are some pieces that just don’t make the cut for me and I scoot those aside if not cast them out of my bowl altogether. I want the meaty pansita pieces. For that reason, I decided to give Pozole a shot…and let me tell you, it was given all thumbs up in this house! One of the things I love to do with these types of comfort foods is roast the garlic, if garlic is called for. This is super duper easy and adds loads of flavor. Definitely a game changer!
The way I roast garlic is in the notes section of the recipe. Let me tell you, your kitchen will smell uh-mazing!! Unless you hate garlic, then nevermind. But seriously, this roasted garlic mixed into mashed potatoes is like – Whoa! I don’t think I want to make boring ole mashed potatoes ever again 🙂 To save time, I do it a day or so in advance and then just store in the fridge until I need it. I bought a container of bay leaves to keep on hand and I noticed that the sizes of each leaf varies in the container so I have to adjust as needed. For example, I like to use a large bay leaf in my stews and soups because they add so much flavor but when that’s not an option – because the bay leaf people fail to put them in the bottle 😉 – then I will use two smaller ones. Bay Leaves should always…always…be removed from the dish before serving because they are no fun to eat/chew and would probably hurt swallowing, as they are dry and hard. So, always remove them.
I tend to confuse Corriander seeds with peppercorns for some reason. They are two completely different spices, but look similar so always be careful to grab the correct one before you add it to your recipe. It can – and will – change what you are making! Corriander is actually Cilantro in dried seed form. To toast it, I heat up a small pan and add the seeds to it. Stir frequently and within a matter of minutes, you will notice a nice aroma coming from them. That is when they are ready. See! Nothing to it…well aside from keeping an eye on them so as to avoid burning them 😉 (between you and I, some of these little suckers “tanned” a bit longer than they should’ve but I still used them :0)
Toppings are optional and vary greatly depending on preference. In the picture above, you will see lemon, cilantro and queso fresco. I listed other options in the notes section of the recipe so feel free to use whatever you like. I know things and traditions vary from area to area and if there is something specific you like to add, give me a heads up. I would love to try it out too 🙂