It has been several years since I've written about pozole, the hominy-based Mexican soup that has long been a Halloween tradition.
It is time to revisit it, as it is one of the most delicious fall feasts around. You can find it in restaurants, but it is rare to come across a version that tops homemade pozole. And even though the ingredient list seems long, it's not at all difficult to make.
It doesn't have to be Halloween to enjoy pozole, though I do find fall the best time to indulge, in part because fresh chiles are so wonderful at this time of year and in part because it warms us up on cold fall nights.
Don't serve too much before the pozole. I once made the mistake of making queso fundido as an appetizer — grated cheese topped with chorizo, serranos and cilantro, melted in the oven and served with warm tortillas — and had so much pozole left over we were eating it for months (it freezes well). Good chips and salsa are plenty as a starter.
For dessert, I recommend bowls of pomegranate arils doused with a bit of rose water, orange flower water or sparkling wine. If that seems too lean, top the pomegranates with a big scoop of dulce de leche ice cream.
To drink? Bohemia, ice cold, or a dry sparkling wine, such as an inexpensive Spanish cava or your favorite local bubbly.
I've always preferred the green side of things when it comes to Mexican food, but if you prefer red, you'll find my recipe for Pozole Rojo at “Eat This Now” at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com, along with some other favorite Halloween recipes. In this version, there are no green chiles, but it is easy to add them. Just consult the variation at the end of this recipe.
Pozole Blanco with a Variation for Pozole Verde
Makes 12 servings
For the pozole: