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Air Date Saturday August 17 at 4pm on 5.1


Santa Fe Native Food Historian and Chef Lois Ellen Frank celebrates the magic eight and the indigenous foodscape.


Three Sister’s Hominy Corn Harvest Stew

© By Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

Posole when eaten alone is a simple, rustic stew common throughout many Native communities and made in a variety of different ways. The word posole is the Spanish word for a hominy stew. Made from dried hominy corn, vegetables, spices, and dried red chile, this stew is usually cooked in large quantities. Posole can be found in three colors of corn, white, blue, and red with white being the most common. It is usually sold dried in the Mexican food section of your grocery store. Posole is customarily eaten all throughout the year and when a hearty meal in cold weather is welcome. This is one of my favorite versions of the stew.

2 cups dried hominy corn, (white, blue, or red)
6 quarts water
Olive oil spray
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 zucchini squash, diced or cut into half moon wedges
2 yellow squash, diced or cut into half moon wedges
4 tomatoes, diced
4 dried New Mexico red chile pods, seeded, stemmed and torn into 12 pieces
2 teaspoons New Mexico red chile powder (mild)
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable broth or water
4 cups water from cooked posole
1 ½ -teaspoon azafran (Native American saffron)
2 cups cooked Anasazi beans, tepary beans or any other bean
2 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped (or dried Sonoran Oregano)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons salt

Soak the dried hominy overnight in 1 quart of water.

Place the hominy corn in a large pot and add the remaining 5 quarts of water. The water should cover the hominy by at least 3-inches, if it does not add a little more water.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 2 to 3 hours until the kernels burst and are puffy and tender, when tasted. You can also slow cook the hominy corn overnight (6 to 8 hours) in a slow cooker or crock-pot without soaking. For this method, bring hominy corn and water to a boil on high, and then turn to low and let cook for 6 to 8 hours (overnight) until done. The next morning, drain the hominy corn, keeping the hominy corn water, and set aside. You should have approximately 4 cups of water left after draining the hominy corn. Note: white corn tends to puff the most.

In a separate 6-quart pot, spray a little olive oil spray to coat the bottom of the pan in medium to high heat. Sauté the onion until clear, for approximately 2 to 3 minutes stirring to prevent burning. Add the garlic, zucchini squash, yellow squash, and tomatoes, and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add the posole, red chile pods, red chile powder, bay leaves, vegetable broth or water, water from the cooked posole, and azafran. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the cooked Anasazi beans, oregano, thyme, and salt, and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes. For a thicker stew, I remove several cups of the stew and blend, returning to the stew pot once blended.

Serve hot in large soup bowls as a main course with warm bread.

Serves 6 to 8 as a main course


Quinoa with Summer Sweet Corn, Mushrooms, and Sweet Onions Stuffed inside a New Mexico Green Chile

© By Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

Quinoa Stuffed Chiles

Olive Oil cooking spray
2 cups brown crimini & Shitake mushrooms
2 teaspoons garlic, roasted and finely chopped
1 small to medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
2 cups baby spinach, washed and cleaned (lightly packed)
2 cups cooked white quinoa (approximately 1 cup dried)
1 teaspoon New Mexico Red chile powder (mild)
½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
10 roasted, peeled, seeded New Mexico Green Chile

Guajillo Chile & Tomato Sauce

Olive oil cooking spray
1 cup canned tomatoes
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped (small to medium)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 Guajillo Chiles, toasted, seeds and stem removed and broken into pieces.
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, (pepitas)
1 ½ cups water
Salt to taste

To make the stuffed chiles, roast, peel and seed the chiles, keeping them whole for stuffing. Set aside.

Heat a large cast iron skillet, lighted sprayed with olive oil. Heat over medium to high heat and sauté the onions about 4 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for another 4 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté for another 2 minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt. Combine the sautéed mixture with cooked quinoa, New Mexico red chile powder, salt, and pepper. Mix together. Remove from the heat.

Slice the chiles lengthwise, spread them open on a work surface and generously stuff each chile with the quinoa mixture. Place the stuffed chiles on a lightly sprayed baking pan to prevent the chiles from sticking with the open- side down and set aside.

To make the Guajillo chile and tomato sauce, toast the guajillo chiles in a 350-degree oven for approximately 2 minutes until the chiles are completely dry. Do not over toast or they will burn.

In a skillet or cast iron pan, spray the pan with the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic over medium to high heat for approximately 4 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the canned tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place the toasted guajillo chiles and the toasted pumpkin seeds in a powerful blender and blend on high for 2 to 3 minutes until completely blended and smooth. Add the sautéed onion, garlic, and tomatoes and water and blend again.

Pass through a strainer to remove any unblended chiles and/or seeds.

Return to a saucepan and heat on low until the sauce has reduced to your desired consistency.

Makes approximately 2 cups of sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the stuffed chiles in the baking dish in the oven and heat until hot, about 15 to 20 minutes minutes. Serve immediately with the guajillo chile sauce.

Serves 6 or 12 as an appetizer


Corn Pudding with Mixed Berry Fruit Compote or Native American Parfait

© By Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

For the Mixed Berry and Apple Fruit Compote

2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples (approximately 4 apples)
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
2 cups or 1 lb. bag frozen Mixed Berry Medley, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and Bing cherries, fresh or frozen, unsweetened
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon Agave syrup (optional)
½ cup chopped pecans (toasted)
fresh mint for garnish (optional)

For the Corn Mush

1 cup finely ground blue or white corn meal (untoasted or toasted)
1 ½ cups cold water
2 cups boiling water
4 Tablespoons Agave syrup

In a medium-sized saucepan combine chopped apples and apple juice concentrate. Bring to a boil, stir then add the mixed berry medley. Bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat and simmer on low heat, uncovered for about 25 minutes, or until fruit is tender when pierced with a fork. Mash lightly. Add the unsweetened applesauce, and mix well. It should be thick but not too thick. If it is not sweet enough, add 1 Tablespoon of the agave syrup.

In a small saucepan over medium to high heat, heat the water until it boils. In a separate bowl mix together the cold water and corn meal stirring constantly with a whisk until there are not lumps. Slowly add the ground corn meal mixture into the saucepan of boiling water mixing the corn meal with the boiling water to prevent any lumps from forming. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture has a nice thick consistency. Continue to cook for approximately another 3 minutes, on low, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns smooth and is thick like pudding. Add the agave syrup and mix well.

Remove from heat. In glass dishes or hard plastic cups add a little of the warm corn meal pudding (several tablespoons to coat the bottom of your glass or cup) as your first layer. Next add the same amount of the mixed berry fruit compote. Add another layer of the blue corn pudding, followed by another layer of the mixed berry compote.

I like to serve this in layers with the mixed berry fruit compote for a dish that is the Native American version of a parfait that I call a Native American parfait. Top with chopped nuts or your favorite granola and garnish with fresh mint. This dish can be eaten warm or chilled as served cold.

Serves 6 to 8 depending on the size of your dishes

Note: If the only applesauce available is sweetened, adding the berries is a good way to dilute and make it a healthier dish.