I am a huge fan of posole. A Mexican stew made with hominy, chilis and pork. It is spicy and hearty and wonderful. The best posole I have ever eaten is found in Santa Fe, New Mexico at a little place called The Shed. You should be warned, posole is often very, very spicy. This is especially true at The Shed. One of the three main ingredients in posole is pork. So what is a vegetarian to do? My mother-in-law saw hominy in the grocery store the other day and wondered if I still made posole. After some thought and a little research I adapted posole and I think this recipe is an excellent vegetarian adaptation.
2-4 (or more) dried Arbol chilies
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes (the fire roasted variety provide the best flavor)
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (again, go with fire roasted if you can find them)
1 28 ounce can hominy, drained and rinsed
8 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
juice of 2 limes
Soak the dried chilis in a small amount of boiling water – just enough water to cover them – for about 20 minutes. Then puree (or finely chop).
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until the onion becomes translucent. Add the oregano and salt and cook for another minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, hominy, mushrooms, lime juice and chilis. Simmer for at least an hour over low heat. Long simmering means the flavors will be deeper.
You can adjust the spice by adding fewer or more chilis. We like it spicy. The Arbol chilis are small but they pack a lot of heat so add them a little at a time.
The mushrooms give the posole the heartiness you would normally get with the pork.
Serve with tortillas, tamales and a good beer!