Monday, June 20, 2011

I Think I Have Epazote....

Now playing: Bob Dylan - Blowin' In The Wind
via FoxyTunes

I had a rather large can of hominy, I think my daughter left to us after she moved. Also waiting in the cabinet was some epazote to try. I decided on making some Posole.

Epazote is an herb frequently used in South American cuisine. It is often added to beans, for the carminative properties it has. The herb is also used in soups, hence my dish choice. The flavour is said to be like anise, but much stronger. Some people have said that it tastes like kerosene, I didn't get that (probably because mine is dried). It is also served as a tea.

This herb is available at Mexican markets in fresh leaf form, or dried. I have dried at the moment. You can grow Epazote in your garden, although it can be very invasive. I think I'll pass on growing it myself, I have mint of all kinds that are fast spreading enough....The plants are annuals, they like full sun and will be ready to harvest in 45-65 days.

Epazote has been around in South American cuisine for a long time, the Aztecs also used it for medicinal purposes. Besides flatulence it can be used for such things as; amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, malaria, chorea, hysteria, catarrh, and asthma. It is also antihelminthic, antispasmodic, and an abortifacient. Too much epazote is poisonous, but that is a pretty large quantity.

Other names for Epazote are: Mexican Tea, Wormseed, Pigweed, West Indian Goosefoot, Hedge Mustard, Jerusalem Parsley and Pazote.

Chicken Posole with Prosciutto Shards

1 whole cooked chicken, cubed, or loosely shredded
2.5 quarts chicken stock
1/2 red onion, small diced and sweated
One large can of hominy, drained and rinsed
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp. dried oregano
3 tbsp. epazote
salt and pepper

Put 1/2 of the hominy and 1/2 of the stock in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a few handfuls of the chicken and blend until smooth again. Add all the ingredients into the sweated onion. Heat through and cook out the garlic. Adjust the seasoning.

Serve with all sorts of toppings. Pile it high! Above there is; cabbage, avocado, tomatoes, Queso Fresco, red onions, radishes, jalapeno, lime and cilantro (coriander leaves). I had a notion that jicama would be a nice addition, as well.

As you can probably see, mine was garnished with lovely prosciutto shards I made. This is a nod to the fact that posole is commonly a pork soup. Chicken versions are widely accepted, as well. Prosciutto shards made a wonderful addition!


“Do not move back and forth on your chair. Doing so gives the impression of constantly breaking, or trying to break, wind.”

Desiderius Erasmus (1466? - 1536)

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