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  • #16
    Toasted dried sweet corn, not dried field corn. Posole uses dried or canned hominy.

    Cope's is a Pennsylvania Dutch product. It is dried sweet corn that is lightly toasted. Chicos is a pueblo version. The corn is roasted and smoked before drying. These are nothing like the parched corn, toasted corn and corn nuts sold as snack food.

    Cope's Dried Sweet Corn

    Chicos

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    • #17
      Thank you...... so with the corn you show do you hydrate it first before making the soup or use extra liquid and use it that way?

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      • #18
        Some folks do, some don't. I soak for a couple hours if I'm cooking on the stove top and in a short time frame (or using chicos). If I'm cooking overnight in the cockpot, I don't. But you do have to watch your water level.

        I have more experience cooking chicos than Copes, because when I started cooking for myself I was living in NM and chicos were in the market not Copes. To my palette, they are different. Copes doesn't have the smoky overtone and can be a touch sweeter. Copes is very consistent in how it cooks and tastes. Chicos vary a little depending on the type of corn used, how long they were cooked before drying and how fast they dried.

        There are commercial processors of chicos -- Loma Vista and Los Chileros spring to mind. But in NM chicos are more likely to be a farmer's market, neighbor with a horno and a corn field, homemade thing.

        Even for Anglos, with long family histories in the US, you're touching ancestral foods with these ingredients. This kind of dried, long term food disappeared from the American table generations ago, in favor of home and commercial canning. But, these were stables in their winter diet too.


        Chicos and Calabacitas

        Ingredients
        1/3 c. chicos
        3 - 4 c water
        1 Tbsp butter
        1 Tbsp olive oil
        1 c white onion, finely chopped
        1 tsp garlic, minced
        2 c yellow summer squash, cubed
        2 c green zucchini squash, cubed
        1/2 c green onions, thinly sliced
        1/2 c fresh green chile, roasted, chopped or one 4 oz can green chile, drained
        1 tsp salt or to taste
        1/2 c ripe tomato, seeded, diced
        1/3 c fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

        Bring chicos and water to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 90 minutes, or until chicos are soft, plump, and chewy. Drain.

        In large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over med-high heat. Saute white onion until it starts to turn translucent. Add garlic and continue cooking until fully translucent, stirring frequently.

        Add squash and cook until very slightly softened, about 2 mins. Add onions, chicos, and chile; cook 2 mins. Season with salt, add tomato and cilantro, and cook 2 mins.

        According to the card in my recipe file, this is from a Loma Vista chicos package. It must have been from a 'what the hell do they eat up here -- I need chile before I die' care package from my Boston post-doc days, LOL.

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