Let me start by just ripping the Band-Aid off: I’m moving to Colorado in August. Hubs and I made the decision a few months ago to take the plunge, removing the “wouldn’t-it-be-cool-if” from the equation and just making it happen. Next, let me answer your question: Yes, I’ll still be the Flyer Foodie. We’re entering a new phase, y’all: “Flyer Foodie goes west”! I’m not sure what I’ll be doing out there; more yoga, less office, more writing, less stressing, maybe stacking clementines at Whole Foods on the side. Who knows? I think Sam Cooke said it best: It’s been a long, long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come. Oh yes, it will.
Last month, we ventured out to Colorado to check out some towns, hike some trails, meet up with some friends, listen to some Irish music, drool over some scenery, do a little motorcycle riding, eat some serious food and, uh, buy a new car while we’re at it. In one week I had a Patagonia jacket, a new pair of hiking shoes and a Subaru. I think I have passed inspection to become an official Coloradan already.
During our trip, we ventured to the simultaneously-awesome-and-sleepy town of Durango to stay with an old friend of mine, Tess. Tess and her husband, Evan, made the move from Fayetteville to Colorado about five years ago, and haven’t looked back. They told us their adventures of living out of their truck while trying to find a place to live, finding odd jobs to make ends meet and scrounging for connections to make a new life for themselves in an unfamiliar town. Their stories left us both hopeful and scared &%@#less; but if their current gig of house-sitting a 4,500 square foot, err, “cabin” in the foothills of Durango is any indication of an Arkansan’s destiny in Colorado, I can rest assured on my future laurels. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed.
While we were at Evan and Tess’ bodacious abode, Tess took on the role of Queen of the Kitchen, whipping up fabulous meals out of nowhere and in the blink of an eye. As a houseguest, my excessive worry about being a burden and my self-sufficient tendencies led me to say things like, “Oh, you don’t have to do that!”, or “Don’t worry about us, we’re fine!”, or “Really, we should just go out!” Evan finally took me aside and said with a knowing smile, “She’s going to do it no matter what you say. Just let her.” Duly noted. I’ll shut up now.
One of the meals Tess created during our stay was a mind-blowing pot of pork posole, complete with tender chunks of pork roast, real-deal dried hominy and Hatch chiles from New Mexico that Tess roasted, skinned and froze herself (yeah, she’s THAT good). As the snow came down outside, we sat at the table and lapped up our bowls of soup, eking out the last drops with country wheat bread from the local bakery. I made a mental note to myself then and there that I would recreate this moment for y’all in my next column.
So here we are! We’re in the hills of the Ozarks, there’s no snow on the ground, and we’re a 12-hour drive from Hatch chile territory – but I’ve done my darndest to recreate the recipe. I have to stress here that while the base of posole is nothing to shake a stick at, the real magic of the dish lies within the garnishes. The soup’s base of pork, green chiles and hominy is taken to the next level with the introduction of things like radishes, cilantro, lime, parsley, jalapenos and green onion added just before serving. Get creative here; there’s no limit to what you can add to spice up the flavor! Make it your own, and imagine the snowy San Juan Mountains while you’re enjoying your bowl. I know I will. Enjoy!
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2 lb. pork loin, cut into 1 1/2” cubes
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 onion, quartered
1 Tbs. peppercorns
10 c. water
2 16 oz. cans of hominy, drained and rinsed
6 large roasted green chiles, seeded, rinsed, patted dry and chopped
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
chopped cilantro, green onion, jalapeno, radishes and lime wedges for serving
In a large pot, combine the pork, garlic, onion, peppercorns and water together and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the pork is tender, about two hours.
Transfer the pork to a large bowl and roughly shred it with two forks. Using a mesh sieve, strain the broth into the same bowl. Discard the garlic, onion and peppercorns. Return the pork and broth back to the pot. Stir in the hominy, green chiles, oregano and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Serve along with the cilantro, green onion, jalapeno, radishes and lime.
* If the above slideshow doesn’t load, you can view all the photos from this recipe on Flickr.
Laura is a regular contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. She was born and raised in Fayetteville. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and avid cook. For more of Laura’s contributions, see her Flyer Foodie author page. For more cooking, recipes, and other food-related inspiration, visit Flyer Foodie on Facebook.