pozole stew

mexican pozole :  image by viktor kis


Pozole (also spelled posole) is a Mexican soup. The soup is made with a special type of corn which has been slaked (soaked) in a solution of lime (cal). The traditional corn that is used is called maiz blanco or "cacahuazintle" [kaw-kaw-WAH-SEEN-til]. This is a very large-kerneled white corn grown in Mexico.

The process described below prepares the corn for the pozole. This preparation soften the corn and additionally makes the product more digestible and thus more nutritious. Once you've prepared the corn then use it in your favorite recipe.

Article by: Barbara Bowman

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Prepare Dried Corn For Pozole

Makes: 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds

i n g r e d i e n t s
2 pounds (5 1/2 cups) dried white "cacahuazintle" corn
2 1/2 tablespoons "cal" slaked lime

d i r e c t i o n s

Clean the corn
Place the corn in a colander and rinse under cold water.
corncolander.jpg (14729 bytes)

Prepare the lime mixture

Add 2 quarts of water to a large (at least 4 quart) noncorrosive pan.  Place the pan over high heat and add the lime (cal) and stir until it is dissolved.

cal.jpg (11809 bytes)
slaked lime (cal)

Boil the corn
Add the corn into the lime water, stirring gently.  Use a slotted spoon and remove any kernels that float to the top of the water.  Allow the water to boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow the corn to soak for about an hour. 

**Note: Read your recipe before you discard the water your corn is boiled in as it may be used in the recipe.

Wash the corn
This step is very important. If you don't rinse and clean the corn properly your dough will be yellow and taste like lime. 
Pour the corn into a colander and place it under cold running water.  Use both your hands and rub the corn between your hands to loosen any hulls still attached to the corn.  

Washing the slaked corn

Continue until the corn is all white (except the tips).  Drain the corn well. This cleaned, prepared corn is what is called "Nixtamal" or "Nixtamalado".

Close-up of damp, cleaned field corn for masa
nixtamal - cleaned, damp corn

Pictured above you can see the little brown "heads" (pedicels) left on the corn.  If you want the kernels to open (flower) then you need to "de-head" the kernels.   De-heading simply means to pick off those little germ heads. This rather time-consuming step is optional and does not affect the flavor of the pozole, just the appearance. If you don't have a strong thumbnail to flick off the heads then you can use a small, sharp paring knife for the task.

The corn is now ready to proceed with your favorite pozole recipe.

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Nixtamal (Hominy) Nutrition

1 cup
Total fat (g)1.452
Saturated fat (g)0
Monounsaturated fat (g)0
Polyunsaturated fat (g)0
Dietary fiber (g)4.125
Protein (g)2.442
Carbohydrate (g)23.529
Cholesterol (mg)0