Ancho Chile Tomato Sauce

I have been trying to find a simple yet truly tasty ancho chile sauce. I’ve made chile sauce with mostly chiles (either whole or powdered) and I don’t like the flavor as much as when the anchos are paired with tomatoes. The sweetness of the tomatoes mellows out the anchos. I’m not sure it has enough “ancho-ness” yet but it’s still a tasty sauce. I think it would be great on chilaquiles, fish, chicken, pork, eggs, or as a red sauce for enchiladas.

Anchos are not very spicy chiles and there aren’t enough of them vs. tomatoes to make this spicy at all. They lend a nice flavor without the heat.

I’ve simplified the typical recipe by using canned tomatoes but I still used the classic method of charring the onions and garlic rather than sautéing them.

Ancho Chile Tomato Sauce
(makes about 4 cups)

2 dried ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed
boiling water, about 1 1/2 cups
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 medium onion, sliced in 4 fat slices each, longitudinally
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice, undrained
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the ancho chiles until fragrant. Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside.

Place the garlic and onion slices in the skillet and toast. The onions should be very brown to nearly charred and the garlic should have dark brown spots on the skin. Remove from the skillet. Peel the garlic. Chop garlic and onion coarsely.

Wait another 30 minutes to finish making the sauce so that the chiles have time to rehydrate. They should be very soft so they puree nicely in the blender.

Place the chiles, water, onions, garlic, and diced tomatoes in a blender. Puree until there are no large chunks of anything. Pour it all into a medium saucepan. Add the tomato sauce, olive oil, honey, red wine vinegar, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Sauce can be frozen.


Cranberry Oat Bars

Here’s a hearty bar cookie that can double as an energy bar in your backpack. Lots of chewy oats, crunchy pecans, and dried cranberries. And it’s super easy. This recipe is originally from Gourmet; I made some adjustments in the times for baking and cooling, and cut them a little smaller to make more bars.

If you don’t have nutmeg, cinnamon would be a good substitution.

This recipe requires no high-altitude adjustments. I baked them at 8600 ft and they came out great.

Chewy Cranberry Oat Bars
(makes 36)

1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick or instant oats)
1 ¼ sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed Iight brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups pecans (6 oz), chopped
1 1/3 cups dried cranberries, chopped (see Note)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Generously butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

Toast oats on a rimmed cookie sheet, stirring occasionally until pale golden, 15 minutes.

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla. Whisk together the flour, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Gently stir into the butter mixture, then beat until incorporated.

Stir in oats, pecans, and cranberries. Spread in buttered pan, and even out the top with a spoon or small offset spatula.

Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then cut into bars using a sharp knife. Wait another 10 minutes to remove from pan. They are really sticky when warm!

These bars will keep for at least a week in an airtight container. They start to dry out after that and get more crunchy than chewy. But, still pretty good! And, you can freeze them, tightly wrapped, too.

Note: Dried cranberries, AKA craisins, are sticky and they are easier to chop if you put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This will keep them from sticking to the blade of your knife or food processor.

Cornish Hens with Vegetables and Za’atar

I got the original recipe from…I have no idea. I had made it before. I scribbled some notes on it. I’m guessing it was a long long time ago because I don’t remember it at all. And, the recipe calls for 4 hens which is now a ridiculous amount of hen. Hens weigh 20 oz. these days, so 1/2 a hen is plenty for a serving.

This is great recipe if you have some za’atar in your spice cabinet and every time you see it you say “What will I do with the rest of this stuff?” It’s actually delicious as a spice on pita bread dunked in good olive oil but you should also make this.

What is za’atar? It’s a Middle Eastern spice mix and also an herb. The spice mix always contains ground sumac which is tart. It also contains toasted white sesame seeds, some dried herbs (oregano, thyme, or marjoram), and sometimes salt. Za’atar the herb may be used for the oregano though I’d say it’s not common in most of the za’atar spice blends. Za’atar the herb is a wild oregano (Oreganum syriacum) that is called Syrian oregano or bible hyssop.

For the spicy olive oil, I used a harissa infused oil but you could use plain olive oil and add a little spice with Aleppo pepper (or not if that is your preference). I picked up the oil on a visit to Texas Hill Country Olive Co. in Dripping Springs, Texas. It’s an excellent culinary stop if you find yourself in the Hill Country near Austin, TX. They have lots of goodies and their bread is phenomenal. They also give tours of the operation and there’s a nice-looking cafe.

Cornish Hens with Vegetables and Za’atar
(serves 4-6)

2 bell peppers, roasted, cored, and peeled then cut into 1/2″ strips (see this post on how to roast peppers)
2 large Cornish hens, split lengthwise in half
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons harissa flavored or spicy olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons za’atar spice mix
8 small potatoes, quartered or 4 small russets, cut into 1/8ths
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled (or more…I wish I had added more!)
4 medium zucchini, cut into 1 1/2″ chunks
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
2 tablespoons honey
juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 400℉.

Season the hens inside and out with salt and pepper. Mix spicy oil with 2 tablespoons za’atar and rub the hens with flavored oil. Add the plain olive oil to a large oven-proof pan (a large skillet or Dutch oven) that will hold all the hen halves in one layer, and brown the hens on the skin side. Remove the hens to a plate. Add potatoes, garlic, zucchini, Aleppo pepper, and roasted pepper. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Put hens on top of vegetables, skin side up, and pour any juice from the plate over them.

Roast for 25-30 minutes uncovered until cooked through. Hens should reach an internal temperature of 165℉ when fully cooked.

Remove the hens from the pan. Add honey and lemon juice to vegetables and toss. Sprinkle vegetables with 1 tablespoon of za’atar and sprinkle the remaining tablespoon over the hens. Taste a piece of vegetable for salt and pepper and add more if needed. Serve immediately on a large platter with the hens surrounded by the vegetables.

Black Bottom Pie and a resolution

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. But, I’m going to make one for 2023. I’m actually going to post more recipes and such here. But, in a reversal of all things social media, I’m doing it for me, and maybe a small group of my friends. So, they are going to be unlike most social media recipe posts out there. Which I will say I hate! So many photos and videos and random noise. Nope, not me. If you are lucky, you’ll get a photo. I can promise you that you will get a recipe that I myself have made and think is delicious enough for you to make and share with your friends. I will post photos from my travels, if they are noteworthy. I’ll be heading to Australia in February for a whole month. I hope there will be post-worthy food nuggets from Down Under. Given past trips, I’m pretty sure, I’ll find some goodies.

OK, on to the recipe. It’s from a Bon Appetit, October 1999. It is a super-dark but not a super-rich pie. The filling is a chocolate pudding which is rich enough because of lots of egg yolks. It actually uses 1% milk, which isn’t rich at all, with cornstarch to thicken it and stabilize the eggs, and a little cream for richness. It’s absolutely delicious. You can tweak the intensity of the filling by changing the % on the chocolate you use. If you use semisweet (usually around 60% cacao), it will be less intense. If you use bittersweet, you can choose your cacao %. Some is 72%, others as high as 85%. I had a stash of 85% bittersweet so I used that. It makes this a very very dark intense pie. If you use 85%, you might want to make extra whipped cream because just a little bit isn’t enough to balance the intense chocolate. But, you do you. I know there are people out there who would eat this pie without any whipped cream. 😉

Black Bottom Pie
(serves 8-10)

½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
2 cups low-fat (1 %) milk
½ cup chilled whipping cream
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or dark rum

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
1 ounce bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
30 chocolate wafer cookies or 10 whole chocolate graham crackers (see Note)

FOR CRUST: Spray 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish with nonstick spray. Stir butter and chocolate in heavy small saucepan over low heat until melted. Finely grind cookies in processor. Add chocolate mixture. Pro­cess until crumbs are moistened. Press crumb mixture into prepared pie dish. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

FOR FILLING: Whisk first 4 ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in milk, then cream. Whisk in egg yolks. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in rum and vanilla. Cool 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Transfer filling to frozen crust. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

FOR TOPPING: Beat ingredients in large chilled bowl until firm peaks form. You could pipe it onto the pie but you can also just spoon it over the whole top and smooth it out with a spatula. Or serve a healthy dollop with each slice instead.

Note: I could not find chocolate wafer cookies anywhere. My local supermarkets theoretically had them – there was a label for them and a sad empty shelf. They are the unicorns of cookies, it seems. Evidence that they exist seems to be there, but you ain’t gonna find them. Well, I couldn’t. Chocolate graham crackers work perfectly here. When I say 10 whole crackers, I mean the big ones that break into 4 smaller crackers. Ten crackers is usually 1 whole sleeve + 1 more whole cracker.

Apple Cider Sandwich Cakes

This recipe is adapted from one in the New York Times. They called them Whoopie Pies. Honestly, I’m not from Pennsylvania so I’d be the last person to claim these are Whoopie Pies. I’ve seen Whoopie Pies in stores. I’ve tried them. But what makes these cakes filled with “cream” a Whoopie Pie? Yeah, I’m not going there. We’ll call them sandwich cakes.

My friends from college and I, we have a bit of an obsession with apple cider donuts. College was smack in the middle of NY State, home to many orchards, many cider presses, and lots of delicious apple cider donuts. I miss those donuts, living in Colorado. They just aren’t a thing. I recently went to one of my old food haunts, Delicious Orchards in Colts Neck, NJ and got my fix.

The real deal

Of course, these cakes are not donuts. They are very good though. They keep better than donuts and they have the added yum factor of cream cheese filling.

I live a mile high, outside Denver, Colorado. The original recipe has been modified for that altitude but I provide the original leavening amount so you can try them in your “flatlands” kitchen.

Apple cider is available in most supermarkets. Seasonally, we have local fresh-pressed cider. In June, it’s the shelf-stable stuff. That works too but try to find one that is cloudy, not clear.

Apple Cider Sandwich Cakes
(makes 9 sandwiches)
Adapted from New York Times Apple Cider Whoopie Pies

1 ¼ cup apple cider
1 ½ cups + 2 Tablespoons cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder (1 teaspoon at sea level)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda (same at sea level)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons melted
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup apple butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Bring the apple cider to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue to cook the cider until it has reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely, in the refrigerator.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat the room-temperature butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add egg, apple butter and reduced apple cider, and beat until combined. The batter will probably break and look like a mess. No worries, it will come back together in the end. Add the dry mixture and mix just until combined, again scraping the bowl as necessary.

Portion the dough into generous 2-tablespoon scoops on 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets, about 1 1/2-inches apart. You should have 9 cakes on each sheet, 3×3. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until the cakes are puffed and set, 12 – 13 minutes. Watch for over-done bottoms near the end. Transfer sheets to racks. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and the granulated sugar. Brush the tops of the warm cakes with a bit of the melted butter and press the tops in the sugar mixture. Set aside to cool completely.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat to combine. Split the filling on 9 cakes. Top with remaining cakes.

Store in the fridge but allow to come to room temperature before serving. They are better at room temperature than cold but the cream cheese must be refrigerated for longer storage. Eat within 3 days, if you can stop yourself from eating them all right away.

Sharon’s Eggplant Casserole

Beautiful glossy eggplant in a market in Provence.

Here’s a recipe using my recent post on Spicy Tomato Sauce with Orange. It’s a simple layered casserole using slices of eggplant. Kind of like eggplant parmigiana but the flavor profile is nothing like that. There is also Moussaka from Greece, but again this is nothing like Moussaka. So I’m just going to call it Sharon’s Eggplant Casserole.

You can roast the slices of eggplant and make the sauce in advance. If you do that, this comes together super quick. I pulled the the roasted eggplant out of the freezer and thawed it before putting together the casserole.

Sharon’s Layered Eggplant Casserole
(serves 6 as an entree, 10 as a side)

Double batch of Spicy Tomato Sauce with Orange (4 cups)
2 medium eggplants
olive oil
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained (or use frozen, thawed)
12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese or Italian blend cheese
salt and pepper
Aleppo red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 375℉.

Slice the eggplants thinly, thinly enough that you have enough slices to cover a 11-12″ x 8″ x 2″ baking dish twice (so 2 layers of eggplant). Lay eggplant slices out on two oiled baking sheets. Brush eggplant slices lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, until slices are softened. [You could also grill the eggplant slices rather than bake them to add another flavor dimension.]

Brush a 11-12″ x 8″ x 2″ baking dish with olive oil. Spread 1/3 of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish. Spread 1/2 the artichoke hearts in the sauce. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the shredded cheese, then 1/2 of the eggplant. If you have the Aleppo red pepper flakes and want to spice things up a bit more, sprinkle a little bit over the eggplant. Repeat the layering: 1/3 of the sauce, the rest of the artichoke hearts, 1/3 of the cheese, and the rest of the eggplant (and Aleppo pepper if using). Top with remaining sauce and cheese.

In summary, the layering from first to last:
1/3 sauce
1/2 artichoke hearts
1/3 cheese
1/2 eggplant slices
1/3 sauce
1/2 artichoke hearts
1/3 cheese
1/2 eggplant slices
1/3 sauce
1/3 cheese

Bake until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving to set up the cheese. Serve with crusty bread.

Reheats well. Should freeze well but I haven’t done it, no guarantees.

Spicy Tomato Sauce with Orange

Sometimes, an idea for a recipe comes to me and I go poke around the internet to see what other people have come up with. That’s how new recipes come about. No chef ever started with no idea of some defining principles. We all are exposed to food from the time we’re babies and I can’t think of anything that isn’t informed by those who “came to the stove” before us.

I found a recipe. I found many as this is the Internet Age! Made a few tweaks and this is where it ended up. I used this sauce in a recipe for a baked eggplant dish I created. I’ll post that in a day or two. I thought both were simple, bright and easy. Perfect for summer. The sauce would be delicious on pork, chicken, or seafood. The orange flavor is quite subtle but makes for a more complex tomato sauce.

Harissa is a spicy Tunisian or Moroccan chile paste. I used a commercial version of medium heat (see photo). It gives a jolt of chile with some underlying warm spices and a bit of tartness. Feel free to experiment with the harissa, more or less to your taste. If you don’t have harissa, I would use 1/4 teaspoon of hot red chile peppers (such as Aleppo or Korean), a pinch of coriander, and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. You can use more chile pepper if you want a spicier sauce.

SpIcy Tomato Sauce with A hint of orange
(makes about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup orange juice
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon harissa
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoons sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons butter

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until light golden in color. Add the garlic, sauté 1 minute longer, then add the orange juice, scraping up any browned bits that may have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. Cook for a few minutes to reduce the juice a little.

Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaf, and harissa and season with salt and pepper.

Cook uncovered over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring now and then. Stir in sugar. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add the butter and stir until melted.

Serve hot on fish, seafood, pork, or chicken.

Stew of White Beans, Greens & Scallops

This is a quick and simple seafood stew. The original recipe called for catfish. Catfish is cheaper but it’s hard to keep it together in a stew situation. When it’s cooked and stirred, it falls apart. I went for bay scallops (those are little scallops) instead. They don’t fall apart and they are sweet, which works well with the bitter greens.

I love that I can get 1 pound bags of bitter greens, all cleaned and chopped, in the supermarket. My local supermarket carries kale, mustard greens, and turnip greens. Any of these would work but I like kale the best. It’s not quite as bitter. Kale gets a bad rap because it was added to EVERYTHING for a while. To tell the truth, I prefer kale to spinach. The oxalic acid in spinach gives it a weird mouth feel. I much prefer the bitterness of kale to that mouth feel. But, if you loathe kale and like spinach, use that instead. You’ll need to cook spinach for mere moments before it wilts.

Stew of White beans, greens & Scallops
(serves 6)

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound bag cleaned chopped kale, mustard greens, or turnip greens
salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
salt and black pepper
2 1/2 cup low-sodium fish, chicken, or vegetable stock
2 15 oz. cans white or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until golden. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add greens and toss to cover with oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring to get all the greens down to the bottom of the pan (1 pound of greens takes up a lot of space when raw), until it’s all wilted. Remove to a bowl.

Return the pan to the stove and add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Turn heat up to medium-high. Dry scallops on towels then season with salt and pepper. Add scallops to the skillet. Cook for a few minutes, give them a stir and cook for another minute. Do not overcook the scallops – cook only until no longer translucent. Remove scallops to the bowl with the greens.

Return skillet to stove, turning heat back to medium. Add the broth and beans to the skillet and cook for a few minutes to reheat the beans. Add in the greens and scallops, stirring to combine. Cook for a few minutes to reheat then remove from the heat.

Combine the mayonnaise and mustard. Stir in to the skillet. Taste for salt and pepper and season as needed. Serve stew hot over rice.

Creamy Tomato Pasta

It’s the time of year when I just want a quick, easy, comfort food meal. Lots of holiday cooking. Rushing around to parties, gift shopping. It’s crazy sometimes! It’s also a time of year when leftover cheese seems to multiply in my fridge because of parties and potluck recipes.

This recipe is an antidote. Easy. Quick. And, I can use up leftover soft cheese. I use Boursin here but cream cheese, Neufchatel, or some other brand of semi-soft spreadable cheese will work.

I use canned artichoke hearts (I like Trader Joe’s) but you can use some cooked green vegetable like broccoli or asparagus instead.

I use dried herbs – they are always in my pantry. I crush them in my palm to make the bits of herb leaves smaller so they distribute through the sauce better. Crushed dried herbs also release the scent and flavor more fully.

Creamy Tomato pasta
(serves 4)

1/2 lb penne pasta
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 14.5 oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 14 oz. can whole artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters
2-3 oz. Boursin garlic and herb cheese, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Bring water to a boil in 3 quart saucepan. Add the pasta and cook until tender (9-11) minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander. Rinse out pot.

Heat up olive oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook for an additional minute.

Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and water to the pan and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and simmer for another 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low. Add Boursin cheese to the sauce and whisk to combine. Add mozzarella cheese and stir to melt. Serve immediately.

Chicken Chili with Hominy

As the weather gets cold, it’s time to cook up some hearty stew. This stew gets a little kick from green chiles and ancho chile powder. It’s full of corn flavor from the hominy and masa.

I use masa flour as a thickener and to add more corn flavor. If you don’t want to buy a bag of masa (it’s difficult to find small bags), you can use 4 dried out small corn tortillas. Chop them up then stick them in a 350℉ oven until they start to get dry and crispy. Masa is used to make corn tortillas so they offer the same nixtamalitized flavor, as does the hominy (and if you want to learn about the importance of nixtamalization to the nutrition of corn, see my post on polenta).

You can use whatever heat level of green chiles you like here. I love Hatch Valley 505 Southwestern Flame Roasted green chile in a jar, which are medium heat. But, you can use milder or hotter ones if that is your preference. One small 4 oz. can is about 1/4 cup.

Ancho chile powder is pure ancho, nothing else. Chili powder is a blend of pure chile powders, cumin, oregano, paprika (which is merely a specific type of dried red pepper), and cayenne. They aren’t exactly interchangeable but either will work here.

Chicken chili with hominy
(serves 4 as an entree)

1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
salt, about 1 teaspoon
black pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green chiles
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder or chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons masa or 4 corn tortillas, chopped and crisped
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk (1%, 2% or whole)
2 15 oz. cans white hominy, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
juice of 1/2 lime + wedges of remaining lime for garnish

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil to pan. Add red peppers and onions and cook until softened but not browned, a few minutes. Add green chiles, garlic, ancho powder, cumin, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook for a minute until fragrant. Add masa and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve any masa lumps. Reduce heat to low.

Add back chicken and any juices from plate, chicken stock, milk, and hominy. When the stew comes back to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Add cilantro and lime juice. Taste and add more salt and black pepper if needed.

Serve sprinkled with additional cilantro and a lime wedge.