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Tomatillo and Green Chile Posole

(recipe, Jessica Harlan & Kelley Sparwasser)

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When I was growing up, my mother prepared posole every Christmas Eve — a tradition in her native Santa Fe, New Mexico. My brother and I never ate it, thinking it too spicy, so it wasn’t until I became an adult that I appreciated the complex flavors of this dish. This variation on traditional posole is inspired by a version my friend Elizabeth once made with tomatillos and canned green chiles rather than pork, giving it a fresh tartness that nicely complements the mellowness of the hominy. Vegetarians can, of course, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.


  1. 6 tomatillos
  2. 2 canned green chiles, roughly chopped
  3. 1 lime, divided
  4. Pinch of kosher salt
  5. 2 tsp. canola oil
  6. 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  7. 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  8. 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  9. 4 cans (15 ounces each) hominy, drained
  10. 1 cup white quinoa, rinsed
  11. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  12. ¼ tsp. chipotle powder or chipotle seasoning
  13. Diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, and red chile sauce, for toppings (optional)


  1. Place the tomatillos and chiles in the jar of a blender. Blend until puréed. Juice half the lime and add the juice to the blender. Add the salt and pulse to combine. Reserve.
  2. In a large heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock or broth, hominy, quinoa, cumin, chipotle, and puréed tomatillo mixture. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 to 12 minutes, until the quinoa is tender.
  3. Ladle ½ cup of the stew into the blender (there’s no need to wash the blender first). Pulse to purée the mixture into a thick liquid. Pour the blended liquid back into the stew and stir to combine and thicken. Simmer, uncovered, until the stew is hot and the broth is slightly thickened, 10 to 20 minutes. Cut the remaining lime half into wedges and serve alongside the bowls of hot posole along with avocado, cilantro, and chile sauce as toppings, if desired.