Sunday, December 6, 2009

Squash Posole Pantry Scrounge

Trying to find ways to cook that involve minimal standing time in the kitchen and then minimizing cleanup time has been a challenge since many processed foods contain dairy (cow milk) products. Using the items available that do not contain dairy products, I have been able to conjure up a few interesting meals.

Last night I took some Boston butt roast (about 1.5 lbs) and popped it into the pressure cooker with tomatoes and water intending to make chili. While it was cooking, I changed my mind. Thinking of a recipe I have made a few times that uses squash, tomatoes and green beans with chipotle peppers, I started improvising. First considering the seven year old taste buds that were to eat this, the hot peppers were relegated to a condiment.

Next, I pulled out some frozen squash and defrosted it, then chopped an onion and caramelized it in olive oil. When the pork was tender I pulled it out of the tomatoes to cool, then added the squash, caramelized onions, chili powder (the, oh so chic, Sam’s Club variety), a couple of good shakes of smoked paprika, lots of black pepper and a bit of salt to the tomatoes. That cooked down a bit while I chopped the pork into bite sized pieces and then returned it to the pot. I added canned kidney and black beans (rinsed), and in a moment of inspiration tossed in a can of (drained) hominy. This was served in bowls with gas flame toasted tortillas (done right on the burner of the stove, as one of my former students who hailed from Michoacan, Mexico taught me-the best method I've found so far), a dollop of goat’s milk yogurt and red pepper for the adults. It ended up being a squash posole.

This meal dirtied a total of two pans, one cutting board, one sharp knife, one wooden spoon, four bowls, and four spoons.

It tastes even better for breakfast the next day!

Low Effort Squash Posole
Approx 6 servings
1.5 lbs Boston butt pork roast
1 can diced tomatoes, 15 oz
2 c water
1 pkg frozen cooked winter squash
1 onion, chopped
1 t cumin seed
1 T olive oil
2 t chili powder
½ t smoked paprika
1 t oregano
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1 can of black beans, 15 oz, rinsed and drained
1 can of kidney beans, 15 oz, rinsed and drained
Yogurt or sour cream to garnish
Your favorite hot pepper condiment
Cook pork, tomatoes and water for 45 minutes in the pressure cooker (until pork is tender). Meanwhile chop the onion, and caramelized with the olive oil with the cumin seed in a skillet. Drain and rinse the beans and drain the hominy. Have a cup of tea and read a book in the extra time. When the meat is tender, remove it to cool. To the pot add the onions, squash, spices, beans, salt and hominy. Chop the meat into bite sized pieces and return to the pot. Cook about ½ hour longer to develop flavor, get back to your tea and book. Immediately before serving toast tortillas directly on the burner of the stove (it works on both electric and gas stoves) and only takes a few seconds. Place into serving bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and hot pepper condiment of your choice.

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