Welcome and an explanation

I am sure some of you are wondering what my suggestive title means….it’s about cooking, get your mind out of the gutter! As many of my friends and family know, I love cooking, especially something new and meaningful to the community of which I am a part of. I had a most enjoyable New Year’s Eve at a close friend’s house. One of the guests brought Menudo, an amazingly delicious soup. Like most delicious things I try, I decided that I wanted to try to make menudo myself.

When trying new things, I try to avoid asking,”What’s in this?” because I don’t want the answer to keep me from eating it. While eating this amazing soup, I mistakenly called it Posole and was quickly corrected. I wondered out loud, “How is it different?” To which I received a matter-of-fact answer, “It has Tripe.” I didn’t know what tripe was, and I new better than to ask. As I researched recipes, ¬†discovered that tripe is stomach, intestines, insides. Sounds gross, but I promise it was delicious.

And here is where the title comes into play. Here I am with my hands full of cow stomach. Oh, and pig’s feet. So begins my first documented cooking adventure.

Should I eat the pig foot?

I am not a big recipe follower, I usually look at a bunch and then pick and choose what I follow. I first had to clean and cut the about 3lbs. of tripe into 1 inch squares, I boiled them for a couple minutes, drained them, and then combined them with a chopped onion, a pig’s foot, garlic, chili, and Mexican oregano. I then covered all that with water and set it to simmer on super-low heat for 3 hours, or until the tripe is tender.

The tripe, leg, onion, garlic, and spices simmering

Next, I began the process of making red chili sauce. To really understand New Mexico food, you need to understand the importance of the chili. Red or green? Chili sauces are more common than ketchup. I began by taking 24 dried red chilis and pulling the stems and shaking the seeds out of the chilis. I bought dried chilis at my local market.

Dried chilis

I soaked the chilies for about 3 minutes to soften them. Next, I put the chilies in a sauce pan with 72 oz of water. I brought that to a boil and then simmered for an additional 20 minutes. Next, I was supposed to food process the chilies and half of the water, however, I do not have a food processor. I have a machine that slices and dices, so I sliced and diced my chilies. I then took 4 tbsp of oil and 4 tbsp of flour and cooked together in a frying pan until it formed a paste. I mixed this with the processed chilies. Here is where I made my mistake! I added all the reserved water to the chili/paste mix….it became too watery. I tried boiling it down,but ultimately had to make more of the paste to thicken it up. The chili sauce has been simmering for a while. It’s definitely not the best red chili sauce, but it will serve it’s purposes.

Red chili sauce simmering (it's actually much darker than it appears)

The next step is to prepare the Hominy. I love home cooking, but soaking and pulling hulls off of corn…no thanks. I got the frozen stuff! I am simply boiling it in water, until it is tender and expands. Wait, I do add a little garlic to the mix…

Hominy up close and personal!

All I have to do now is combine the cooked tripe, the stock, the hominy, and the red chili sauce in the following proportions:

2 cups of tripe

2 cups of menudo stock

1.5 cups of posole (hominy)

1 cup of red chili sauce

2 cups of water (or so…)

Spices as needed

I still have about 20 minutes of simmering/sitting, I will post the final results and my findings.

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