How to survive a New York Winter (Betty Fussell’s Quick Mexican Posole)

Coming back to school is always a little bit of a rude awakening. Monday was a ruder awakening than  usual, though. The plane got delayed leaving Seattle, it was one in the morning by the time I was finally walking up the jetway in Newark and I could see my breath. I could see my breath. Let me remind you, I spent most of December in Houston, where I went for a number of gorgeous runs in the 70F weather. I was home in Seattle where it frosted one night, was windy enough to nearly knock me off my horse and sprinkled us with sunshine for the rest of Christmas break. I was not prepared for New York.

You know what? When I went into work at o’dark-thirty (read: 5am), and it was 11F, real feel 3F, that was really cold. It was even colder, because I was only wearing scrubs, and scrubs are made of flimsy cotton. Pretty much the only thing I’ve thought about all week is what soups, stews and other hot food I could make to try to warm up my poor, freezing body. In surgeries, I’m dreaming about sausages bobbing gently in hot broth. During rounds, I’m contemplating crumbling herbs into a steaming pot. When I’m doing literature reviews, I’m actually revising recipes in my head. Hey, at least I can imagine being warm, right?

Betty Fussell's Quick Mexican Posole

Sister’s response, when she saw this photo, was as follows. “Oh my lands, you’re disgusting, T. You made that after a 12 hour shift that started at 5am? Oh my lands. How did you do that? I hate you. You make me feel like a bad person.” I told her she could see how easy it was to create this oregeno-scented, chili-flaked posole studded with sausage and swimming in chicken stock when this post published in the morning. Also, I reminded her that she’s the one that is at school on several prestigious scholarships, and she’s the one who works harder than Brother and I combined. In the meantime, I ate a big bowl for dinner, and now, at least my tummy is an appropriate temperature.

When I originally contemplated making this, I invited over a friend who does not do sweet peppers or spicy peppers, so I revised the recipe to leave those things out, substituting just a few chili flakes for a little heat. Next time, I’ll definitely try making it as written. I love this version, but a little spicy broth would go even father towards kicking in the New York winter’s teeth. I also upped the hominy because I like it a lot. Do not leave out the oregano, and please splurge on the fresh stuff – it really makes this soup.

Quick Mexican Posole
Adapted from Betty Fussell
Allow 1 hour. Serves 6. 

1 pound sausage, chopped (chorizo, Italian, chicken, pork, etc)
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped (can substitute 1 teaspoon dry)
1 1/1 teaspoons red chili flakes
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups canned hominy with liquid

In a kettle, fry the sausage until it’s cooked through and well browned. Remove to a plate. Add the onion and garlic to the kettle, along with the vegetable oil, and saute until the onion is just beginning to caramelize.  Toss in the oregano and saute a few minutes more. Add the chicken broth, chili flakes, hominy and reserved sausage to the kettle and bring to a slow boil. Simmer for thirty minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Every Friday, a group of women writers is blogging their way through 50 Women Game-Changers of Food – find more information, as well as a complete listing of who has participated and links to every recipe we’ve made so far, here. This is who is  joining this week.

Mary of One Perfect Bite | Joanne of Eats Well With Others | Val of More Than Burnt Toast | Susan of The Spice Garden | Heather of girlichef | Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney | Jeanette of Jeanette’s Healthy Living | Kathleen of Bakeaway with Me | Sue of The View from the Great Island | Linda of There and Back Again | Kathleen of Gonna Want Seconds | Barbara of Moveable Feasts  Linda of Ciao Chow Linda | Deborah of Taste and Tell | Nancy of My Picadillo | Mireya of My Healthing Eating Habits | Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen |  Annie of lovely things | Claudia of Journey of an Italian Cook

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13 Responses to How to survive a New York Winter (Betty Fussell’s Quick Mexican Posole)

  1. Posole is one of my favorite types of soups…I've never tried one that used sausage, but I'd be waiting with my extra-large spoon to try! Sounds great…and sustaining 😀

  2. bellini says:

    It does sound comforting for these frosty winter days. I hope you are not in a deep freeze for too long. The joys of winter.

  3. Mary says:

    What a fantastic soup for a winter day. I love posole and yours sounds fantastic. Have a wonderful day.Blessings…Mary

  4. Miranda says:

    Hey, you cook and eat when you can! This soup looks great.

  5. Claudia says:

    I'm going to make this when winter comes to Minnesota. Hard to believe NYC is having a colder winter than MN. I day dream about soups and stews also. I thought everybody did.

  6. Kathy says:

    This looks so warm and inviting!! Something comforting to come home to. Nothing like a good soup or stew!

  7. Jeanette says:

    I've yet to try hominy, but now you have me intrigued.

  8. annie says:

    This looks perfect for a cold night…I have never tried hominy either…if we ever get cold (even a little cold) weather here in southern California, I'm going to try this! Looks delicious!annie

  9. Barbara says:

    Great recipe and not too involved either! Looks like comfort food…love hominy.

  10. I am hoping that this dish with spicy sausage with hot pepper flakes helped warm you from the inside out to survive the NY winter experience. My husband loves hominy and I never know how to serve this interesting vegetable-now I know. Sounds yummy. Take Care, BAM

  11. Beth says:

    This looks delicious, and just the way to warm up after a cold awakening! Lucky you to enjoy such a beautiful December in Houston.

  12. I've never really much liked hominy, but looking over this recipe I think I'll give it another try.

  13. Alyce says:

    I'm a little late here, but couldn't not scroll down after starting your blog! I do live in Minnesota and I AM going to make this. Just an aside—are you really dreaming of cooking while you're at the hospital?? And do I guess right that you don't dream of the hospital while you're cooking? I know these are serious questions from a stranger, but it stuck out like a sore thumb as I read. Stay warm and keep cooking and healing.

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