Kennett, Missouri allows food ideas to come from many directions of society. We live in the Midwest, South, Southwest, and Cajun, Creole areas where foods are different and different tasting. To meet this challenge one has to blend tastes or just be hard nose and stay with what you grew up eating. Let's look at this blending idea.
This dish combines the traditional Mexican delicious dish of posole with the spicy flavors of Louisiana for a perfect blend of both cultures' cuisines. When on holiday in Northern Louisiana in the month of September, 2011 I tried many different dishes and this dish stuck out as truly different.
Of course all good dishes start out with a good seasoning mix and this recipe has the following ingredients. So combine the following for the mix:
2 bay leaves
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 teaspoons red chili powder or cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Now combine the following ingredients for the vegetable mix:
1 cup chopped celery (2 large stalks)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
Now round up the following ingredients and we will be ready to prepare this great dish:
3 tablespoons margarine or unsalted butter
8 ounces kielbasa (Polish sausage), cut into ½ inch pieces
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Now the kicker: 2 cups of Newman's Own Sock-It-To-Me Sockarooni Spaghetti Sauce or your favorite. I love Paul Newman's products.
One or two 13 ¾- to 14 1/2ounce cans of chicken broth
One 29-ounce can white hominy, drained (look for Mexican-style or para posole)
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
Sour cream for garnish
Grated Monterey Jack cheese for garnish.
Melt the margarine in a heavy 5-quart Dutch oven (not nonstick) over medium heat. Add the kielbasa and sauté until the pieces begin to brown, about 3 minutes.
Add the chicken and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the seasoning mix, vegetable mix, and garlic, and sauté until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the sauce, 1 cup of the chicken broth, hominy, and black bean. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add more chicken broth if the mixture seems too thick.
To serve the 10, remove the bay leaves. Spoon the posole into large bowls, top with a dollop of sour cream, and sprinkle with the cheese. Serve with warm thick flour tortillas (not the type for rolling) or rice.
Larry Eiker is a Kennett resident who enjoys traveling all over the world and experiencing great food, while bringing some of those ideas back home to the Bootheel to share with others.