Pork Posole Rojo

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Pork Posole Rojo

Posole is one of my favorite comfort foods, and this posole rojo has become a standard in our household. Unless you're feeding a crowd, this recipe makes enough for a hearty supply of leftovers to tuck into the freezer for a day when you need a quick and satisfying meal. 

The simplicity of dried chilies, onions, and garlic pureed to spice up a pork broth is absolutely magical. Every time I make this I'm impressed by the complex flavors brought to life from such a short list of ingredients. This is the type of cooking that creates a bounty of food from just a few things - proving that classic simple dishes of the people are the workhorses of our dinner tables. 

I mentioned this dish being a great option for stashing leftovers in the freezer. Life is rather hectic around our home right now, with our move back to Michigan just one short week away and plenty of things left on the to do list! As the dreaded process of packing up the kitchen looms, I couldn't be happier to have a freezer stocked with meals like this one for our final week in town. While I'll be sad to see our favorite kitchen tools packed up into boxes, I am SO glad that we'll be able to eat well this final week simply heating up leftovers. 

Sometimes, my planning amazes me! 

It's a bittersweet time, as moving always seems to be. We couldn't be more excited to return to northern Michigan, the place that brings so much joy to our life together. To buy a home and settle into a space in a way that just doesn't happen when you're renting. To be reunited with my other true love, Lake Michigan. But of course, we're leaving behind some pretty amazing things here in Portland - incredible people we've gotten to know, so much amazing food, and the ever-impressing wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. This is a pretty darn special corner of the world! 

So here you are, the very last recipe from my tiny Portland kitchen. It's been real living with a mini stove/oven/fridge in a small but powerful space... but I sure am excited for life in a bigger kitchen! 

Posole Rojo 

1 rack pork ribs (spare ribs or baby back will work great) 

1 1/2 cups dry hominy OR 2 cans canned hominy 

2 quarts pork broth (chicken or vegetable broth will also work) 

5 dried ancho chiles, seeds and stem removed

5 dried guajillo chiles, seeds and stem removed

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 large onion, diced 

8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 

1 Tbsp oregano, finely chopped

salt to taste 

cilantro, radish, and lime to garnish

  • If using dry hominy, soak overnight before beginning. 
  • Place ribs, dry hominy (hold off if you're using canned), and broth in a large pot.  Gently simmer for 2-3 hours, until a rich broth has formed, the pork is tender, and the hominy is cooked. 
  • As the broth nears finishing, soak the chiles in boiling water for 30 minutes. While they're soaking, sauté the onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp of oil until lightly browned. In a blender or food processor, puree the chiles, onions, and garlic with just as much of the chili liquid as needed for it to be smooth. 
  • Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan, then add the pureed pepper mixture. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly. 
  • Remove the ribs from the broth and strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve or a coffee filter if needed. Cut the meat off the bone and into small pieces. 
  • Combine broth, pepper mixture, hominy (add the canned hominy now if using!), pork, and oregano in a large pot and let simmer for about 5 minutes until everything is hot. Salt to taste. 
  • Serve topped with cilantro, radish slices, and a squeeze of lime. 

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Espresso Brownie Hearts with Hazelnuts & Sea Salt

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Espresso Brownie Hearts with Hazelnuts & Sea Salt

Let's be real, guys. Brownies make everything amazing. Dense. Fudgy, Chocolatey. Happiness. I hadn't made brownies in quite some time, so they seemed like the perfect treat for Valentine's Day this year. Plus, when you take a heart shaped cookie cutter to brownies, they instantly become festive! 

I added a hefty serving of super finely ground coffee to the batter and topped these beauties with some chopped hazelnuts and a little flake salt. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it's basically pure heaven! 

So here's a little something to make and share with your loved ones this Valentine's / Galentine's Day. I promise, nobody is going to be upset when you show up with brownies. And the best thing about cutting them into hearts is all the little scrap pieces you get to devour in the process! 

I started with my classic brownie recipe, which to me is the perfect balance between fudgy and cakey. They're mostly fudgy, but with the slightest bit of lift so they're not too rich. Then I just added in some super finely ground coffee (okay, a lot of it) and sprinkled hazelnuts and flake salt on top. Dressing up brownies is easy, and oh so satisfying! 

Plate one of these beautiful hearts with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dash of cocoa powder to treat yourself to a decadent treat - Hello Valentine's Day! 

Espresso Brownies with Hazelnuts & Sea Salt

Notes: I listed a range of coffee to add to these brownies, because everyone has a different preference. I love them with the full 3 Tbsp, rich and roasty, but use a smaller amount if you aren't coffee obsessed. 

4oz unsweetened chocolate 

4oz semi-sweet chocolate (about 60% cacao is great!)

4oz unsalted butter 

1 1/4 cup sugar 

2 tsp vanilla extract 

3 eggs

1 cup flour 

3 Tbsp cocoa powder 

1/2 tsp salt 

1-3 Tbsp very finely ground coffee or espresso

3/4 cups roughly chopped hazelnuts

flake salt to garnish  

  • Prepare a quarter sheet pan (or a 9x13 if you don't have one) by making a parchment paper sling, covering the bottom and coming up two of the sides with a little extra so you can lift the brownies out of the pan. Cover the parchment with oil, using spray or a brush. 
  • In a double boiler (or a bowl over a pot with a little water in the bottom!), melt the chocolate and the butter together, stirring occasionally. 
  • While the chocolate is melting, measure out the rest of the ingredients. Put the sugar and vanilla in one bowl, and the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and espresso in another bowl. 
  • Once the chocolate is melted, pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or use the bowl it's already in and a whisk!). Add the sugar and vanilla to the chocolate and mix on a medium-high speed until the sugar starts to dissolve and the mixture gets shiny.
  • Add the eggs and mix until combined. 
  • Add the flour mixture and use a spatula to stir it into the chocolate until just combined. 
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread it out as evenly as you possibly can. Sprinkle the hazelnuts and a little flake salt on top.  
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. 
  • Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, then lift them out and set them on the counter or a cutting board. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut the brownies into hearts. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

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Almond Raspberry Bakewell Tart

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Almond Raspberry Bakewell Tart

Years and years ago, my parents were staying at a small Bed and Breakfast in England when they were served this classic English tart. My dear mother is not one to love sweet things at breakfast but she absolutely fell in love with this delightful almondy raspberryy tart! So much so that she actually asked for the recipe (much to my appreciation!). The recipe looked a lot like the jotted down notes I tend to make in my trusty notebook while I'm putting something together. A list of ingredients separated by quick notes, with no real instruction on how the ingredients are supposed to come together. It's the nightmare of many, but feels right at home in my little world. 

So, ages ago, my mom first tackled the recipe to serve as a Christmas morning treat and it became an instant classic. While I hardly ever make this dish, it is definitely my favorite addition to a filling brunch and the perfect answer to a slow morning with nothing more than a cup of coffee and a little sweet treat. 

All that said, this is definitely not just a breakfast tart - it's sure to be a showstopper served as actual dessert as well... it just never seems to last that long around here! 

Making the crust can start with a pastry cutter, but generally needs to end with your hands in the bowl, pressing the flour and butter together into a beautifully tender pastry. 

I have to say here, getting my hands into a bowl of flour, no matter how small or how large, always brings a serious dose of joy into my world. Things have been pretty darn scary out there in our country these past few weeks (okay months, if we're being honest). I'm doing everything I can to fight back against intolerance, but that incredible pressure also means it is endlessly important to find time for self care. And my self care comes in the form of baked goods. Lots and lots of baked goods! 

Once that crust is ready, we press it into the pan, brown it nicely, then coat it with a nice layer of raspberry jam. It's a classic combination, but one can never really go wrong when it comes to mixing the flavors of raspberry and almond. Pure heaven every time. 

Then, of course, we have the filling. An almond frangipane packed with eggs, almond flour, and both vanilla and almond extract from my friends over at Sonoma Syrup Co.. High quality extracts make all the difference when it comes to flavor, especially making something with simple ingredients like this tart. I've sung the praises of their vanilla "crush" over and over again, and their almond extract is just as good - perfectly balanced and packed with flavor! 

Here we have it! The gorgeous tart in all of it's glory! I highly recommend this one for any occasion that calls for something sweet - a special brunch, a quiet breakfast at home, dessert with friends and family, or any old Tuesday that calls for a little pick-me-up. 

Get baking, friends! 

Bakewell Tart 

Notes: You'll notice all the measurements are by weight, which I don't normally do here. Weighing your ingredients really is the best way to accurately make a recipe, and these amounts don't divide out to clean measurements so I decided to leave them. If you need, there are plenty of charts online to convert the weights into measurements. The filling calls for ground almonds - this is as simple as putting almonds into your blender or food processor and grinding until fine. Don't go too far, or you'll get almond butter! 

crust: 

175g white flour 

38g semolina flour 

25g sugar (preferably caster sugar)

1/4 tsp baking powder 

pinch salt 

150g cold butter, cubed

filling: 

3 eggs 

2 egg yolks

100g ground almonds or almond flour

90g sugar

1 tsp almond extract 

2 tsp vanilla extract 

raspberry jam

  • Prepare a tart pan or springform pan by cutting a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom and buttering the sides of the pan. 
  • We'll start with the crust, of course. Sift or whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, semolina, sugar, baking powder, salt) in a medium bowl. Add the butter and start to cut it in with a pastry cutter. Eventually, you'll want to use your fingers to quickly press the flour and butter together. It will be a little crumbly, but it'll be just fine! You just need it mixed enough that it holds together when squeezed. 
  • Pour the crust mixture into your prepared pan, and gently press it into place. I like to just cover the bottom of the pan, but you can also cover the sides if you wish. Place the pan on a baking sheet to more easily move it in and out of the oven. 
  • Bake the crust at 375 for 12-18 minutes, until it is just lightly golden brown. 
  • While the crust is baking, get the filling ready. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, ground almonds, sugar, and extracts. 
  • When the crust is ready, pull it from the oven and gently spread a layer of raspberry jam over the crust. You can go thin or thick - it's up to you! Then give the filling one last whisk and pour it over the top. 
  • Return the tart to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. 
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve if you wish! 

 

Disclaimer: I have received free product or money from businesses highlighted in this article - which helps me keep this blog alive. I take great pride in the advice I share here on Toot Sweet, and would never recommend a product to you that I'm not over-the-moon excited about, or that I wouldn't purchase for use in my own kitchen. 

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