As much as I love pork and chicken, some of my happiest memories have been made over a bucket of perfect shrimp. Any type of pozole is appropriate for any time of year, but I think a party with shrimp pozole, cold beers, and a fun crowd sounds like summer. I think it’s better to buy the much more expensive wild-caught, sustainably sourced shrimp. There are a lot of reasons, moral and culinary, not to buy farmed shrimp. (I’ll let you look them up yourself instead of sharing them here.) —Steve
FOR THE TOMATILLO PASTE:
- ½ pound tomatillos, papery husks removed, rinsed and halved
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 3 cups cooked prepared hominy
- 8 cups fish or chicken broth, or a broth made from shrimp shells (see note below)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 2½ to 3 pounds wild-caught shrimp, peeled and de-veined, shells reserved if making broth
- 1 cup roasted hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), ground
- 2 teaspoons dried shrimp powder (optional)
- Lettuce, sliced very thin
- Red onion, finely chopped
- Dried Mexican oregano or Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio
- Radishes, sliced thin
- Mexican limes or key limes, quartered
Serves 6 to 8
- FOR THE TOMATILLO PASTE: In a blender, combine the tomatillos, garlic, cilantro, chiles, and enough liquid to allow the blender blades to move. Blend well, scraping down the blender as needed.
- TO FINISH: In a large pot over medium heat, warm the cooked hominy in the broth. Reduce heat to low, maintaining a gentle simmer. Add salt to taste.
- In another pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, stirring until cooked through, about 3 minutes; remove to a platter.
- Add the tomatillo paste to the pan, stirring to scrape up any clinging bits of shrimp. Cook for 5 minutes; add the ground pumpkin seeds and shrimp powder, if using, and continue to cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatillo mixture and shrimp to the hominy-broth mixture; gently cook until warm, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with your preferred garnishes.
For fish and seafood broths, 40 minutes simmering bones and heads is about standard. If you’re making shrimp — either for pozole or any other recipe — buy raw, shell-on shrimp, fresh or frozen, and use the shells to make a quick, dreamy broth with onions, celery, garlic, and Mexican oregano. I also add about a tablespoon of Asian fish sauce, a secret ingredient that is not at all traditional. It’s surprisingly cuisine-neutral and, for me, makes more culinary sense than the more common Mexican shrimp powder, which can get murky if overused.
If you’re making a seafood or fish pozole and don’t have shells or bones, it’s fine to use chicken broth.