Friday, February 25, 2011

A Warm Welcome Back

Wow.  I cannot believe how long it's been since I posted.  September 9, 2010, how far away you seem.

The main reason I stopped posting was that work got really busy in the fall.  Then ... I got lazy.  What can you do?  Nonetheless, I'm back, and I come bearing delicious pork stew. now sends me a daily email after I spent the end of last year entering some sort of sweepstakes in hopes of winning the magical $15k that would free me from debt.  Guess how that turned out?  Nonetheless, I never unsubscribed, and every once in a while I get a recipe that catches my eye.

Usually I am interested in a recipe that utilizes ingredients I have sitting around that I'd like to use.  This was not one of those times.  I had to stop at the grocery store on my way home and pick up canned fire-roasted tomatoes, a 1.5 lb. pork tenderloin, and a couple of cans of hominy.

Hominy.  What a cool thing.  I'd been wanting to try it for a while, and I'm really glad I did.  I found it in Shaw's "international" aisle, but it's probably in the regular canned vegetable aisle as well.  I just love my Goya products and use any excuse I can to peruse their merchandise.

According to Wikipedia, hominy is "dried maize kernels which have been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization."  Uh huh.  To me, hominy is puffed up corn that tastes like tortillas.  So, so good.

The one substitute I made when following the recipe was to use cabbage instead of bell pepper.  I'd had a head of cabbage sitting in my refrigerator since my last Boston Organics delivery two weeks ago, and I figured that if I cut it into 1/2-inch cubes similar to how I would prepare the bell pepper, it would serve a similar role.  Luckily, I was right.  I think that if and when I make this again, I will still use the cabbage instead of the pepper.  I also added more chicken broth than called for (I used a whole box) because the cabbage adds more bulk than one pepper would.

My friend Karen and I loved this soup - it made for a fabulous accompaniment to our Grey's Anatomy viewing party (don't judge).

(original photo)
2  tbs  ancho chile powder
2  tsp  dried oregano
1 1/2  tsp  smoked paprika
1  tsp ground cumin
1/2  tsp  salt
1 1/2  lbs  pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1  tbs  canola oil, divided
2  cups  chopped onion
1/2 head green cabbage, outer leaves and core removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1  tbs  minced garlic
1 quart  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2  (14.5 oz) cans hominy, drained
1  (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; set 1 1/2 teaspoons spice mixture aside. Add pork to remaining spice mixture in bowl, tossing well to coat.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove pork from pan; set aside. Add onion, cabbage, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Return pork to pan. Add reserved 1 1/2 teaspoons spice mixture, broth, hominy, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread.

- M