Squash Posole


My massive collection of winter squash has been looking a bit soggy of late. Combined with the dreary weather, this seemed as good an excuse as any to make a warm winter stew. And since squash takes so long to cook, and since I couldn’t be bothered to plan ahead, this seemed like a good job for the pressure cooker. And since I was going to be using the pressure cooker anyway, why not add some dried hominy, better known as posole?

Next time I’ll take pictures of my sad, limp squash and the interesting grains for a better before and after. Today after will have to suffice. I based this on a recipe very loosely adapted from Annie Sommerville’s Fields of Greens. Her version includes mushrooms, summer squash, and canned hominy or fresh corn. Mine does not, but it’s dirt cheap and will get you through the winter.

The Goods:

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 pint jar tomatoes (if using commercial, use 28 oz can)
2 cups posole, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
1 T cumin
dash of paprika
dried pepper (your choice)
handful of cilantro, chopped

The Action:

Start heating up a medium-sized pressure cooker on a large burner. Add the oil and sauté the onion for a few minutes. Add the salt, cumin, paprika, and the garlic and cook about a minute more. Add the squash, posole, tomatoes with their juice, pepper, and about 4 cups of water. Stir to mix, cover, and secure the pressure cooker lid. Cook at 15 pounds of pressure for 18 minutes. Let the pressure fall naturally.

When I took off the lid, this is what I saw:


Notice how the lovely and tender morsels of squash hold their shape? See the pretty kernals of corn? Beautiful, no?

Ah, but then I added the cilantro and stirred. Soon it looked like this:


Mmmm. Squash porridge. Gelatinous, but delicious.

Ok, Jilly (or are you Doris?), your turn!

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6 comments to Squash Posole

  • Andrew

    What the author neglected to mention was the addition of sprinkled goat cheese on top, a thought which occurred to the author after about two bites. The goat cheese promptly insinuated itself in all its melted glory into the main goo and totally made the dish. It also cooled off some of the spicy kick, which for some of us, is a good thing. Quite tasty.

  • jgolden08

    I believe that all butternut squash belongs in the epicurious recipe for butternut squash and hazelnut lasagne–with smoked mozarella substituted for the plain mozarella. I have pressure-cooker phobia and would never own one. Perhaps I was traumatized by an old I Love Lucy with exploding pots.

  • dorisandjilly

    Fear of exploding pressure cookers is greatly overstated! They are instead one of the finest cooking tools ever invented. In fact, a proposed alternate name for this blog was Pressure Cooker Proselytizer–but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of other posts extolling their wonders. We may even get around to a video tutorial one of these days.

  • localkitchen

    I thought that I had used the Last Fresh Pumpkin from last season’s CSA in my heirloom bean mole’ recipe, but a friend just gave me two of her last-season’s-CSA pumpkins, so I guess a few more squash recipes are upcoming. I may have to give this one a go.

    I definitely have PCP (pressure-cooker-phobia) and don’t own one so I’ll have to go the old fashioned route. And I don’t have any hominy, so maybe quinoa or barley. And I’ve used up the last of my home-canned tomatoes, so maybe I’ll skip that part…. and make a completely different recipe.

    OK, I’ll shut up now. But yours does look delicious! 🙂

  • dorisandjilly

    Alas, I didn’t finish my remaining CSA squash in time, and I finally had to toss a rotten acorn squash to the compost pile this weekend. 🙁 Pumpkin/squash with quinoa sounds delicious, but the posole is definitely worth seeking out. Your regular grocery store may or may not have it, depending on the number of immigrants in your local community, but there’s a chance it might be stocked with other Goya products. Any Mexican grocery would have it. It’s got this great texture: thick and sturdy enough to be satisfying, but not crunchy.

    Looking forward to seeing what you do!

  • localkitchen

    I shall have to search it out; I just picked up the Heirloom Beans cookbook from Rancho Gordo (www.ranchogordo.com), which is excellent, BTW, and he’s got a couple of posole recipes as well.

    I’ve been meaning to search out some masa harina, anyway, so I guess a trip to the Mexican markets in Port Chester is in order.

    I had bad luck with storing pumpkins last year, but this year I read a tip somewhere to spread a little olive oil over the skins prior to storing. It has natural anti-bacterial properties that inhibit mold growth on the skin. Seemed to work pretty well for me as my pumpkin was still in good shape in mid-March.

    I’ll definitely come back and update once I’ve whipped something up!