Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ancho Pork and Hominy Stew

Like many others, I overindulged this holiday season. Add to that an unusually stressful semester at school, which led to some stress-eating during finals, and stepping on the scale yesterday was not a pretty sight. But in the middle of winter, who wants a salad? This is the time of year when I crave thick, hearty stews and regular "diet" food is not going to do it for me.

Yet again, Cooking Light to the rescue. This stew is only 300 calories per serving but is immensely filling and flavorful. I consider a meal a success when Joe asks if he can take the leftovers for lunch. After two bites of this stew, he asked if he could take the leftovers for the next few days! Joe's Christmas present to me was a beautiful red, oval-shaped, 6 qt enameled cast iron Dutch oven, and it was the perfect vessel for this stew. During the searing of the pork, those lovely little brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot and were scraped into the broth, adding a ton of flavor. I served this with the jalapeno corn bread recommended by Cooking Light, made in my cast iron skillet. Follow the link for additional nutritional information and the cornbread recipe.

Ancho Pork and Hominy Stew
source: Cooking Light December 2009
Yields 6 servings

2 tbsp ancho chile powder (or other high-quality chili powder. I used Penzey's Chile 3000.)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin (I halved the cumin because I used regular chili powder.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 1/2 cups fat-free less-sodium chicken broth
1 28 oz can hominy, drained
1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained


1. Combine dry spices in a large bowl and set aside 1 1/2 tsp of spice mixture. It will be added in later. Toss the pork pieces with the spices until thoroughly coated.

2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add pork mixture to pan. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned. Remove pork from the pan and set aside.

3. Add remaining 1 tsp oil. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring, or until tender. Add pork back into the pan, along with the reserved spice mixture. Add broth, hominy, and tomatoes. Bring contents to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for at least 25 minutes.