You can turn out ten great frozen lunches by stewing up a stew every two weeks. Make a big pot of food on the weekend and freeze individual portions to eat during the week. The fresh, enticing flavors of your pure, homemade food will shock your colleagues as they contrast them with the slightly chemical, off smell scents of so called diet or supermarket frozen food.
My beans and greens (Blog #3 – White Bean Stew) are a great candidate for freezing.
Another great choice, New Mexican Posole. Dozens of great and equally authentic
looking Posole recipes are on the Internet. My version uses chicos, New Mexican green chiles (smoked and peeled), pork loin and chicken stock.
I get frozen Green Sandia Chiles (available from New Mexican Connection email@example.com). I got my Chicos there as well.
You can also make posole with hominy, which is much cheaper and easier to find. Hominy are corn kernels that have been “nixtamalized”, either traditionally by soaking in lye-water or commercially today in a calcium product. Nixtamalization strips away the corn’s outer skin, and it’s bran and germ. I buy prepared Hominy from Rancho Gordo.
Chicos are a whole grain product made by smoking whole ears of corn in their husks and then drying them. The kernels are then pried out by hand, a tedious process. Chicos have a delightful smoky flavor unlike that of any other corn product.
Ingredient for Posole
- 1 lb dried chicos (soaked overnight in water).
- 1 lb frozen Green Sandia Chiles (thawed to room temperature)
- 1 large onion (coarsely shopped)
- 1 head of garlic (peeled and chopped)
- ½ to 1 lb of pork loin (cut into small pieces) I like to use 1/2 lb, but the dish can take
more meat for a heartier dinner.
- 6 to 8 cups of chicken stock
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 bunch of cilantro (Chopped and optional)
- Chile preparation:
- The chiles look like a mess. Start with peeling off the roasted skins and lining them up on a plate.
- Once the skins are all off, take the plate to a sink and strip off the seeds with your fingers. Avoid the temptation is using running water, because you’ll be losing flavor.
- Coarsely chop up the chiles
- Saute the onions and garlic in a large, heavy saucepan.
- When the onion are getting transparent, add the pork and cook briefly.
- Add the soaked chicos and reserve the soaking water.
- Add the chopped green chiles and cilantro.
- Cover with chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
- Season with salk and pepper.
- Simmer gently until the meat is very done. (this is a dish that is hard to overcook and that holds its essential character after being frozen).
I divided the stew into nine individual containers. I could easily have used ten. I like the glass pyrex dishes. They avoid freezing and heating food in plastic.