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Santa Barbara, CA, United States
I enjoy creating original wine-pairing recipes that are healthful and delicious. I work for Touring & Tasting a Santa Barbara based wine club and national magazine as Food Editor. However, I am not paid for this blog and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I received my Personal Chef Skills Competency Award from the SBCC's School Of Culinary Arts. In 2012, I started Inside Wine - Santa Barbara with pal Lila Brown which features wine tastings with winery owners and winemakers. I also serve on the Board of the Santa Barbara Culinary Arts group, which had Julia Child as one of the founding members and funds scholarships for SBCC culinary students in her name.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Posole and a crisis of morality

Mist had spread a sheen over Santa Barbara early Monday morning when I went for a brisk walk. Bright bits of confetti were caught in the cracks of the brick sidewalks, leftovers from the weekend, when the streets were throbbing with mariachi music and throngs of people munched Mexican food and smashed cascarones--confetti-filled eggs--on each other's head. I managed to crunch one on my 6' 5" boyfriend only with the help of a passerby, who unexpectedly grabbed his arm so I could grind the cascarone into his hair (retailation for the broken shells and paper littering mine). My assistant was laughingly rewarded by a retaliatory egg on his head--and so it goes during Fiesta. For three days, spirits are high. Tourists and locals alike crowd State Street for the equestrian parade Friday at noon. Hint from a local: the central part of State Street is jammed cheek by jowl--see the parade from where it begins on Cabrillo and not only will you be able to see, but you can usually find a fence or curb for a seat! Also, eat at the Our Lady Of Guadalupe Catholic Church on 227 N. Nopal for "comida autentica". They have music during Fiesta and great food, in fact, I'm ashamed to say that I "sinned" at that church against our warm bloodied friends. I don't eat pork for compassionate reasons, and went to the Church's Mercado with the purest of intentions--thinking of having a cheese tamale or bean burrito, but the smell of the posole was beckoning, and when its aroma reached me, I was a goner. Toothsome, nutty hominy, strings of flavorful pork in a luscious broth redolent of oregano--how could one not want some? I'm ashamed to say that it was so good that I went back again. My daughter joked (sarcastically) that at least my vegetarianism is for moral rather than health reasons, and so I was just breaking my moral code by eating posole. I'm not perfect--but at least I'm honest! I used to make posole prior to attempting to be vegetarian. It's simple to make:
Pork Posole:
2 lb. pork roast
2 Tbsp. oil
2 cloved of garlic, minced
1 onion, minced--in two parts
1 bay leaf
2 cans white hominy, drained
2 Tbsp. oregano--plus extra for garnish
1 tsp. chili powder--or more if you like it hot
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 to 1 lime, optional
chopped cilantro, optional
In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, then sear the pork roast on all sides. Add the garlic and 2/3 of the onion, and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover the roast with water, add the bay leaf and cover tightly. Simmer for at least an hour and a half, turning the meat now and then. The meat should be falling apart. Use a long handled fork to separate it into chunks. Add the oregano and hominy and simmer another half an hour with the lid off to reduce the broth. Season with chili, salt, pepper and lime. Sprinkle with the raw minced onion and cilantro if you like. Muy sabroso!

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