I’ve been working all week long in the bookstore (Omnivore Books on Food), while Celia, the owner is away in Paris (so jealous!), and find myself spending the entire day pouring through cookbooks and food memoirs, only to find myself hungry and a little exhausted by the time I get home for dinner.

While I don’t subscribe to the 30 minute meal mentality,  I am enamored by recipes that take no more than 15 minutes to put together, and then cook on the stove for an hour or more with little to no fuss – enough time for really rich flavors to develop, and delicious aromas to perfume the house. I’ve been on a bit of a Mexican kick for the past few weeks, reading through our selection here in the shop, and came up with this Pozole – drawn from many sources and adapted for my own kitchen.

This is one of those great recipes where you need a big pot and a cutting board and really nothing else. It’s really a pantry recipe, and it’s basis is the hominy, which is made from maize but almost has the consistency of potato. Add the growers trinity (three sisters): beans, corn, and squash, and you have a delicious stew. They say what grows together goes together, and its certainly evident in this dish.

I get this started the moment I walk in the door, and then have a good amount of time to wind down, organize myself, read my email, and check in with my friends and family before dinner.

An Easy Pozole
serves 4


– 1 29 oz can white hominy
– 1 15 oz can white kidney beans (cannellini beans)
– A corn cob, kernels stripped, cob in the pot as well
– a 1/2 pound of green beans or romano beans, cut into 1 inch strips
– 4 or 5 pattypan squash, cubed
– Ham steak, cubed (the 1 inch thick prepackaged variety works fine)
– 1 onion, chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, smushed with your hand, or the flat of a heavy knife
– 1/2 teaspoon of dry marjoram (or a large sprig of fresh)
– 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano (or a large sprig of fresh)
– a teaspoon of chopped chile (or red pepper flakes)
– 3/4-1 Tbs. Cumin
– salt and pepper to season


Add everything to a big pot, cover with water, to about an inch over everything, gently bring to a boil on medium high heat, and then turn heat down to medium low, cover loosely leaving the lid just a tiny bit ajar, and simmer an hour or more,  stirring every once in a while, until you are too hungry to wait any longer. Take out the corn cob, and serve.

Serve with Lime and Cilantro, for garnish, and some warm tortillas for dipping.

Consider this a recipe that you can easily adjust based on what you have in the kitchen or on hand. I’d keep the onion and spices the same, but feel free to vary the amount of squash (any type of summer squash would do), and the types of beans, etc. You can pop in more vegetables if you’d like, such as chopped red pepper, tomato, or even leafy greens. You can also kick up the heat by adding more pepper – it’s really good hot!