I can tell that I’m missing my family when I keep pulling out comforting dishes with flavors that remind me of home. The approaching holidays make me miss them even more, as it has been far too long since we’ve been in a position to celebrate together. This year will be no different. Like many of you, we’re dialing back our spending, keeping things low-key for the holidays as well as in our day-to-day lives.

lunchtime

I took a personal day on Thursday, a day to recharge my batteries a bit, handle a few errands and to relax at home. We took the bus out to Pawtucket for part of the day, with a stop at LJ’s BBQ for lunch on the way back in, but before we headed out, I made us breakfast. It’s such a treat to have breakfast at home during the week, and since we had the last of a package of tortillas to use up, I made migas.

migas

They may not look like much, but they’re one of my favorite things in the world – little bits of tortilla, fried up with seasonings (I used a bit of leftover enchilada sauce I had made previously), and scrambled with eggs until the whole mess is soft and creamy and bound together. Give it a little hit of grated cheese, and you’ve got pure comfort on a plate.

browning

Dinner was my latest version of a pork and hominy stew, which I think might have been my favorite yet. We had a pork shoulder from Pat that Mike divided up to be used over a few meals, so we portioned out a bit for the stew, cutting it into chunks and letting the meat sit in a bit of a dry rub of chipotle powder, salt, cumin and Mexican Oregano from Rancho Gordo.

Also from Rancho Gordo, the hominy – this was my first time cooking with the dried kernels, and though the process is time-consuming, the resulting flavor and texture are totally worth it (and since we had soaked and cooked an entire pound of it, we have plenty of prepared hominy portioned out in bags in the freezer for future meals).

Dinner:  December 18, 2008

I browned the meat in a little rendered fatback (also from Pat) to boost its porky flavor, then added plenty of chopped onion, a couple of fat garlic cloves, a puree of roasted tomatillos and poblano peppers, and some of our homemade chicken stock. I added a little more salt, cumin and oregano, squeezed in some fresh lime juice for balance, then finally stirred in a couple of cups of the cooked hominy for the last half-hour of so of cooking.

clean plate club

I think you could say it was a success.

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