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THE HOME COOK : A Party in a Hurry

May 30, 1991|MARION CUNNINGHAM

Pozole soup is a great one-dish meal if you're suddenly faced with having to feed six hungry people. It takes just 15 minutes to make, and most of the ingredients are probably sitting in the cupboard.

Pozole is the Spanish name for hominy: corn treated with lye. Early settlers learned about hominy from the American Indians and thrived on it, but today some of us don't even know what it is. Southerners often start the day with cracked hominy (grits). Midwesterners match it with game and vegetables; Mexicans add it to feisty fiesta soups.

Tamales and tortillas are made of hominy flour, masa harina. In this recipe I have used masa harina to slightly thicken the pozole and also to give it a little more pep and flavor. Masa harina is another marvelous ingredient that is overlooked, and it too is available in almost all supermarkets.

Another amazingly quick dish is Lemon Jelly. It takes only one step more to make than a glass of lemonade. Light, with a tart keen edge of flavor, it makes a delicious spread on cookies, small cakes and toast. Served with fruit or berries on warm toast, it is a fine finish to a last-minute supper.

POZOLE

4 cups chicken broth

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, broken into small pieces

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 onion, peeled, cut into 6 wedges and layers separated

3 cups cooked or canned yellow hominy

6 tablespoons masa harina

1 cup cold water

Salt, pepper

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced 1/2-inch

1 cup cilantro leaves

Combine chicken broth, stewed tomatoes, cumin, onion and hominy in 4-quart pot. Mix well. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Stir masa harina and cold water until smooth. Stir into soup.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add avocado. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro. Makes about 6 servings.

LEMON JELLY

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 2/3 cups sugar

4 ounces pectin (2 boxes)

In 4-quart saucepan, mix together lemon juice, sugar and pectin. Bring to boil, stirring at first to smooth and blend ingredients. Allow to boil exactly 2 minutes and remove from heat.

Wet strong paper towel or fine-textured dishcloth with cold water, wring out, and place in strainer over 4-cup glass measure. Let jelly slowly drip through. Cool and seal, or cool and refrigerate covered.

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