What would you have if everyone ate beignets and posole? Peace and Hominy! Peace and Hominy in the world!
Before you start groaning, keep in mind that my son made this joke up after I put a bowl of vegetarian posole in front of him.
But when I think about it, he was right. When I cook or bake I am usually looking to create peace and hominy…I mean harmony. Peace and harmony between my kids. Peace and harmony between ingredients. Peace and harmony between the pots and pans I use (and will have to wash). Peace and harmony between the clock and getting dinner to the table (a battle, my wife will testify, that I always lose).
I often walk a tightrope between what I think will be fun to cook and what my kids want or will eat. But I am not a fool. I hedge my bets and usually look before I leap. I want to see how far I have to fall and if I will need a safety net—even if it sometimes means having to reach into the freezer.
Which leads me to beignets. Beignets, typically, are fried dough sprinkled with confectionary sugar, but not these. I like getting my hands in flour, but I am not looking for ways to push sugar on my family; they know where to find it without my help. Ever since I saw the recipe for savory cheese beignets that I found in Vegetarian Times Fast and Easy: Great Food You Can Make In Minutes, I had been looking for the right moment to make them. When I looked at the clock and at my two—don’t mess with me dad, we’re hungry and you better feed us soon—kids, I knew the moment had arrived. I also looked at my wife, who amazingly had a similar look, but hers said what are we going to do about it (at least that’s what I thought her look said). “Posole,” I whispered. She didn’t need to speak, her raised eyebrows did all the talking. “And, why, love of my life, pray tell, why will they want to eat posole?” “Cheese beignets,” I replied to her eyebrows, as I showed her the photo of beignets. “Oh,” her eyebrows said as my answer pulled them back down to earth. “Cheese beignets,” my kids responded after they saw the photo. “Yum.”
I’ve made the cheese beignets twice. The first time using cheddar, the second, feta. The recipe calls for ½ inch of oil to fry the beignets; I’m not a fan of frying so I cut back on the amount of oil that I used. They tasted great, and the next day we all enjoyed warming them in the toaster-oven and snacking on leftovers.
The posole tastes better when you rev up the heat. I didn’t add chipotles the second time I made it and there was a noticeable difference. Still, it was warm and satisfying—a feeling that shouldn’t be underestimated—and my kids ate it.
Set the timer, and grab a can opener and a spoon.
Posole (from Lorna Sass’ Short-Cut Vegetarian: Great Taste in No Time)
1 (14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies or 1 (14.5-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with chipotles, coarsely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can white hominy (posole), drained and rinsed
1¾ cups cooked black, pinto, or red kidney beans or 1 (15-ounce) can beans, drained (rinsed, if nonorganic)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (no need to defrost)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or cayenne (optional)
Salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally until the flavors are mingled and the ingredients are good and hot. About five minutes.
Peace and hominy. The world could certainly use it on these dark and cold December days.