This corn kernel reminds me of Calvin on school picture day.
I didn't really dwell on this when it happened, but my Christmas Eve pozole didn't really turn out very well, and of course I made enough of it to fill a VW bug. Here's a picture of it.
I mean, it was edible, but not addictive: I could never really seem to get it to taste like anything (despite copious applications of salt, cumin, chiles, etc), the accompaniments were the only thing that gave it any life. And the texture of the corn itself was a bit too firm and chewy, although I cooked the living daylights out of it, like 6 or 8 hours' worth. Maybe even twice that.
So since it was my first time cooking with hominy, I didn't really have any idea what I did wrong. And of course it sucks to have a compact car full of mediocre stew sitting around over the holidays, so I just kind of swept it under the rug, figuratively speaking.
Tonight, though, was the Me. vs. Pozole rematch, and I was trying a very different strategy. In December, I used prepared nixtamal from the refrigerated foods section in a Mexican grocery store. It seemed like the authentic thing to do at the time.
Ah, how wrong we can be sometimes. Based on tonight's results, it seems that this quest for authenticity was the fatal flaw with which I shot myself in the foot. Y'see, son, it seems that there are different styles of hominy: Rancho Gordo's dried posole, which is apparently prepared Native American-style instead of Mexican-style, has a really enjoyable toothiness and a very corny flavor, and that's what I used tonight for a pozole de camarón, shrimp pozole with red chiles.
The recipe is from Stephan Pyles, who got it from Diana Kennedy, who picked it up from a Señora Rafaela Villaseñor in Guerrero, who used to make this pozole during Lent. My variations on the recipe were to leave out dried shrimp and to substitute a small quantity of butter for a small quantity of olive oil (3 tbsp), because, well....shrimp, corn, and chiles? They prefer butter.
It came out very very good, recipe and pictures to follow.