Crema de Pana con Posole

  • ½ pound white hominy (maiz trillado blanco/posole)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 ham hock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups leek whites, sliced into 1/4 inch
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, from the heart
  • 10 ounce basket of white mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 8.75 cooked chestnuts (available at specialty stores in vacuum packs or cans)
  • 3 tablespoons sweet sherry
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • salt and fresh white ground pepper

Serves 8

Set the posole in a large saucepan with the water, the ham hock , and the bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to simmer for about one hour, or until it is tender.

While waiting for the posole, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, in a Dutch oven, and add the leek whites, the celery stalks, and garlic, stirring until well wilted. Stir in the chestnuts and the mushrooms, raise the heat, and when the mushrooms start to release their liquor, add the sweet sherry, and cook out until 2 teaspoons..

Pour in the chicken broth, and bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Allow the soup to cool for at least 30 minutes, then transfer to a blender or a food processor to puree completely. Process in batches to avoid getting burned. Can be made ahead up to this point.

Gently bring the soup back to the simmer and stir in the condensed evaporated milk. Drain the posole, and add to the soup. Discard the ham hock and the bay leaves. Adjust the seasonings.

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