nequesale

In case you’re wondering why I’ve been posting more, I’m on staycation! I do have to go to the dentist this Friday, though, and will be back to work next week, so I’m not sure how many more posts I’ll be able to make before then. But it’s been great!

So far during my staycation, we played tour guides for Ben’s friends, a family from Chicago, visiting us for a week. I went to the Zoo, the Aquarium, the Space Needle, Discovery Park, Alki Beach, walked Green Lake a couple of times, watched a couple of first run movies, went to a pie store and ate cherry pie in the afternoon (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, naturally!), made a couple of desserts, and also a bread pudding, and just got to hang out with Ben, stay up late, and drink some adult beverages almost every night, and sleep in, most days!

And best of all, there’s no 3-hour commute by bus every day, to and from work. I’m definitely going to dread that part.

But let’s not think about that. I came here to tell you about nequesale!

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The first time Ben made this, I thought it was pozole. It’s nequesale. Neck-a-whaaat?! Neck-ah-SAH-le. (I’ve seen it spelled “nequezale” online as well, but I’m going with the “s” simply because one of the sources online was from a book by Patricia Gonzalez. No relation, btw.)

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Ben’s mother used to make this all the time when he was growing up, although in doing some research online, other recipes include tomatoes, use chile ancho instead of guajillo, and some preliminary roasting is involved. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of online presence, and I’ve not heard of this soup before Ben. Then again, I hardly knew any Mexican recipes before Ben!

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This is fairly easy to prepare, and tastes amazing. You do want to make sure and discard the guajillo seeds, because they get bitter after awhile. Ben was talking to his mom today and said that she also adds sugar, but didn’t say how much or what type of sugar. Also, I thought the cream was how it was served, because Ben added it the first time he made this for me, although it’s actually not something he had growing up with this soup. I like how it adds a visual and flavor contrast, but feel free to leave it out.

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Also, the first time he made this for me, he used about 2 cups instead of 4 cups of corn kernels for the soup, and so it had a more intense color and clearer broth. If you think you might like the broth a little bit less viscous and more clear, don’t add as much corn as I did here. I like it both ways. This recipe can be adapted easily as a slow cooker dish.

Here’s a picture of it with less corn in the broth:

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear Discovery Park claiming that I haven’t discovered it enough! On second thought, this might be more a watching-streaming-videos-while cuddling-with-the-cat kinda day! And with a bowl of nequesale, of course! 🙂

Nequesale

ingredients

10 medium sized dried guajillo chiles, tops, stems, and seeds removed

8 dried chiles de arbol, tops, stems, and seeds removed

4 cups of yellow corn kernels, frozen or canned. (If frozen, thaw it first. If canned, drain the liquid first.)

6 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 small onion, quartered

2 pounds of pork butt, or pork shoulder, cut into pieces about 2-inch cubed

2 cobs of corn, cut into pieces about 2-inches in thickness

about 1 ounce of fresh epazote leaves, including the stems (Can find fresh epazote in Mexican stores, if not, use dried.)

Crema Mexicana (Mexican sour cream)

method

Cut the tops off from the dried chiles, guajillo and arbol, and turn them over to remove the seeds. Discard the tops, stems, and seeds. Place the chiles in a sauce pan or small kettle with about 2-3 cups of water. Heat until boiling for a few minutes, then place the chiles in a blender with about one cup of the water that was used to boil, discarding the rest of the water. (Careful not to load the blender with boiling hot contents, you may break your blender). Blend on high for about a couple of minutes or so, until pureed. Put through a sieve and discard the larger pieces of chiles. The result should be nice and smooth. Set aside.

In another blender of processor (or after washing and drying your blender container) blend the corn (kernels, not the cobs) with the onion and garlic until smooth. Set aside.

In a 3-quart pot, heat about 2 Tablespoons of oil on medium high heat until pot is very hot, then add the pork and brown on each side for a minute or so. When meat is browned but not cooked all the way, mostly not pink, add the corn mixture and the chiles, the cut cobs of corn and the epazote, epazote stems and all. All at once. Stir and wait until boiling, then turn down to medium and let simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn down to medium-low to low and simmer for about 15-20 more minutes more until ready to serve. Serve with crema, and/or corn tortillas, if desired.

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