Written by Tam
As the second oldest in her household, Deisdy Rodriguez remembers that when her younger brother was born, cooking became a family affair. Whatever the recipe at hand, her mother would offer her and her siblings small steps to complete as a way to contribute to meals. Their little hands would cut vegetables, roll out portions of tortilla dough, stir pots, all while learning patience for the flavors to meld together before dinner began. She describes her family home kitchen as filled with traditional Mexican dishes often built from scratch using raw, natural ingredients. An important element of cooking these cultural dishes was to follow the same steps, almost always requiring more time than she now has during her busy student and work schedule.
As a college student, Rodriguez swaps recipes learned at home for ones of convenience; rice, chicken, and a vegetable of some sort. Born in Indianapolis, IN, her parents had immigrated from Monterey and Reynosa Tamaulipas, MX to join an established community of family already in Indiana. During her childhood, she watched her mother and father work five days a week and still come home to cook with their four children. Time spent waiting for cooking stages to be completed was filled with card games and cartoons. Deisdy described watching the windows in the kitchen steam up while she sat with her family. As a student now Rodriguez often doesn’t have the luxury of time between entering and leaving her home.
“If I had more time to build food and meals from scratch I would, but a lot of it is waiting for food to cook,” she says,
“since I’m busy, food of convenience is the priority but I still want good food.”
Always one to value the intricacies of family recipes though, she looks forward to a time when she can dedicate herself to the small, meaningful steps of family recipes.
“Small swaps like fresh chicken broth for regular water can add so much flavor to a dish,” she smiles, “it doesn’t taste the same.”
It wasn’t until meeting her girlfriend’s mother that she realized how few of her own mother’s recipes were written down on paper.
“I have them in my mind but not written down anywhere. I want to write down her recipes, so I’ll be able to pass them along.”
Rodriguez chose to share her second favorite dish from her childhood, pozole, that she makes time for every now and then while still living on campus.
“As a kid it was wonderful because it was spicy,” she laughs.
Tossing a variety of ingredients into a pot: beef, chilis, corn, cilantro, radish, and allowing the scent of the flavors meshing to wash through your nose. Having recently acquired a crockpot, this recipe for pozole is one that she can put together and let cook until it’s perfect by the time she gets home at the end of the day. While Deisdy’s time cooking may be only a fraction of what she grew up accustomed to, her love for the subtleties of her family’s kitchen resonates in her passion for food and flavor today. By honoring her ancestors’ recipes, Rodriguez can hold onto a piece of her home wherever she goes.
A kitchen full of family + fresh ingredients
Comfort Food Inspiration:
Prep Time: 90 minutes
3 kilos of beef backbone cut into medium pieces (adjust to preference)
3 cups of precooked hominy
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of oregano
½ teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
5 black peppers
½ teaspoon cumin
4 pasilla chili peppers deveined and seedless
5 ancho chili peppers deveined and seedless
3 guajillo chilies deveined and seedless
2 morita chili peppers deveined and seedless
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
½ onion, minced
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
finely chopped radish
finely chopped onion
Chopped lettuce (strips)
Lime (to squeeze on top)
Fried chiles de arbol
Tostadas (to crumble on top)
Place the meat in a pot, add water to cover and add salt, four cloves of garlic, oregano, thyme, bay leaves and black pepper; cover the pot and cook for an hour and 45 minutes.
Constantly remove the foam from the meat broth .
Boil the dried chiles with enough water in a pot to cover them, add four cloves of garlic, the onion, the tomatoes, the powdered chicken consomé, oregano and cumin; cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat.
Place the ingredients in step three in a blender, blend until smooth.
Strain the beef from it's pot, and add to pot with hominy and chile liquid from step 4
Cook on low heat for 15 more minutes
Serve this delicious beef pozole accompanied by its garnish and enjoy
Recipe from: https://www.cocinadelirante.com/carne/pozole-de-res