Mexican Independence Day, the day that Hidalgo and Allende stirred Mexicans into war against Spanish rule with the Grito de Dolores, and that is re-enacted throughout Mexican villages and towns and cities.
Latin America Focus has some wonderful photos of this year’s celebration in Mexico City, and one day I’d love to be there to experience it for myself. Normally the UOB Mexican Society will have a party to celebrate, which we went to last Friday at the usual Mexican House. We tasted so many regional dishes and took our own rajas con crema, we laughed, ate and danced all night, and even had a little gritito ourselves. Our marking of this date at home last week was a bit more subdued.
Knowing from My First Pozole that it takes about three and a half hours to make, I found a few ways to speed this up for a Tuesday night after work. Firstly, using smaller chunks of pork and chicken to get the meat cooked and ready to shred in under an hour, then buying the hominy maize ready-cooked in a tin rather than dried and requiring an overnight soak and hour’s simmering. The broth is seasoned with onion and garlic, peppercorn, bay leaves and salt. Bring it all together with toppings of chopped radish, red onion and lettuce, season again with chili powder and serve with a side of hard-shell tortillas / tostaditas covered with cream and grated mozzarella.
My recipe is a simplified version of Thomanisa Miers’s in Wahaca: Mexican Cooking at Home (I actually found this version in the Guardian newspaper). Our maíz blanco came from www.mexgrocer.co.uk, 800 grams for £3.20, the meat came from the market at less than £1.00 per item, the Old El Paso shells were £1.49 for eight, then everything else is basic store cupboard ingredients. We actually had a lot left over, so I’d say we cooked enough for six people, so a really yummy recipe for about £1.45 per head.
The verdict : one second helping, two empty bowls and one very happy Mexican.