Tag Archives: potlucks

Purple Tom Yum Pozole for a small crowd


We picked up a 108 ounce container of purple hominy at the food share the other day, which was really handy we found out Saturday’s community dinner was going to have ten people!  So here’s our adapted ingredients list from our original “pozole” recipe, using mostly what we had on hand.

Folks at the dinner table called this a fusion dish and renamed it “Purple Tom Yum Pozole”.  Purple because it contains purple hominy, beets, and red onions.  I’m not familiar with tom yum, but I bet it’s yummy.  Wikipedia says tom yum is a sour/spicy Thai soup.  We just threw ours together, so that Wikipedia page looks like a good place to go if you want ingredient suggestions to adapt this recipe.

At the dinner, I mentioned the cannibalism thing we mentioned in our original pozole recipe, and one of the housemates who is I think from Mexico (but maybe SoCal?) said she thought it was menudo not pozole.


Would probably serve up to a couple dozen people just fine.  Serves 10 people, with a couple gallons left over.  We started cooking around 4:30 and were ready at 6.  This includes the rice and instapot cook time for the dried beans.


1/4 cup coconut oil
3 large onions, chopped
1 can chipotles en adobo, chopped and de-seeded
1 cup dried shredded coconut
1 tablespoon cumin
1-2 tablespoons minced ginger
10 cups cooked orca beans
1 6-ounce bar Tony’s Chocolonely’s 70% dark chocolate (it was cheaper than cocoa powder at the local store) minus the bar-shaped piece in the center, which we chopped up and put out for dessert.  So maybe 5.5 ounces went in the soup?
1 quart coconut milk
80 ounces purple hominy
1 cup quickled beets
Soy sauce


  • We put an apple on everyone’s plate rather than leaving them in the center where they wouldn’t get eaten or chopping them into slices, which would have meant more prep time.
  • We put the seeds from the chipotles en adobo out in an espresso cup for people to use to spice-heat up their soup.
  • We shredded half a purple cabbage and mixed in some additional minced ginger.  Gingered purple cabbage was a delightful simple condiment; I loved it!  Most people didn’t even try it, so for our crowd, half a cabbage was enough.
  • Darin made plain rice and red rice.  For the red rice, he used an additional half-onion and some of the chipotles en adobo sauce, and forgot to add a tomato.  I added my plain rice to the soup and it was good that way.
  • The unsoaked orca beans pressure cooked in the instapot for 35 minutes, but they probably could have gone for 40 minutes.
  • We used the quickled beets we mad a few weeks ago as a substitute for the tamarind.  Vinegar for sour, beet for sweet.  The chocolate bar also added a bit of extra sweet.  We added the beets near the end, because vinegar has live cultures and we didn’t want to kill them by cooking them.  But we probably killed them anyway, because the soup was pretty hot, and it was such a massive soup it probably held its heat well.
  • We used less coconut milk than we did in the original recipe because coconut milk is expensive.  So this recipe is a little spicier than our original.  It would probably be called “medium spicy”.
  • We didn’t use all the hominy because we wanted some for later.  The soup would have been fine if we had used it all, though.
  • This is a lot of hot soup!  We did the cooking in the kitchen of the house where we would be eating, that way we didn’t have to transport (SLOSH) the hot soup.  It was a good call.


Please reference our original recipe.


Chili Today (p. 134)

Corn may have a million industrial uses, but more than just the kernels can be used at home, too. Save corn husks for tamales or add them to your next batch of soup stock. If your corn came from a can and its ingredients are simply corn, water, and salt, you can use that corn water to replace some of the vegetable stock in this recipe. If you’re attending a pun potluck, save the corn husks to make hot tamales and bring the two dishes together.

illustration of a head of corn with one husk still partly attached


Makes about 2 cups
Takes 75 minutes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup vegetable stock
2 ears of shucked corn (or the corn from one 15-ounce can)
1 large tomato
2 chile peppers
1/2 cup grated baking chocolate (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Cornbread (optional)

Put the oil in a large pan over medium low heat. Add the onion and cumin seeds to the pan and stir them occasionally for fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, shell the corn—cut the corn kernels off the cob. Chop the tomato, dice the peppers, and grate the baking chocolate.

Put the beans and vegetable stock in a pot to simmer along with the corn, tomatoes, peppers, and chocolate.

Simmer on low for 30–45 minutes. Chop the cilantro, add it to the pot, and salt to taste. Serve with cornbread.

Guacamole (p. 86)

We had guacamole on a picnic one day and realized that we somehow nearly forgot to include cocoa guacamole in this book!(!!!) Darin even worked in Australia as a picker on an avocado and lime farm!

The roasted onion and corn are sweet, so they balance the bitter flavor of the cocoa powder.

Makes 2 cups
Takes 60 minutes

1 large tomato
1 small onion
2 chili peppers
1 ear’s worth of corn (3/4 cup corn)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large avocado, ripe
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
Juice of one lime (2 tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Chop the tomato, onion, and chili pepper. Put them and the corn on a baking pan and drizzle the oil over everything. Roast the vegetables for about 30 minutes, or until they start to turn a little brown at the edges.

Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and put them in a bowl along with the avocado, nibs, and lime juice. Stir well and salt to taste. Voila! Guacamole is always best eaten fresh—even with lime, the avocado will oxidize. Serve with corn chips or eat straight from the spoon.

Awesome Bean Dip: Replace the avocado with 2 cups of refried beans, roast a few cloves of garlic with the other vegetables, and switch out the nibs for 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

Chocolate Cauliflower Gratin by Frederick Lenza (p.137)

Frederick brought this innovative dish to our first “chocoluck,” a chocolate potluck where everyone brought a dish made with cocoa and we all sat around eating theobrominated deliciousness. It was a smash hit with everyone who attended. It’s good on its own, and it’s also great in crêpes.

Fills one 9″ round baking dish
Takes about 90 minutes


2 smallish heads of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon black pepper


1 tablespoon peanut oil
3 ounces Soyrizo
1 1/2 ounces baking chocolate
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 tablespoon ponzu sauce (citrus-infused soy sauce)
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon Moroccan seasoning (optional)
1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke


3 slices rye bread
2 tablespoons black truffle oil


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss cauliflower with 4 tablespoons peanut oil and black pepper. Put in roasting pan and roast at 450°F for 25 minutes, mixing the cauliflower again half way through.


Heat skillet to medium high heat. Add peanut oil. Crumble and fry soyrizo in oil until slightly browned and some fat has rendered, 5–10 minutes.

Decrease heat to medium. Melt chocolate into Soyrizo. Once chocolate has melted, add flour. Continue stirring to avoid scorching. Cook an addition 2 minutes to cook the taste of raw flour out of the roux.

Add vegetable stock, stirring constantly. Add red wine. Add ponzu sauce, five spice power, Moroccan seasoning and liquid smoke. Simmer for 5 minutes to bring everything together; turn off heat.


Turn the bread to bread crumbs using either grater or food processor. Toss with truffle oil.


Preheat oven to 350°F. Take 9-inch round baking dish and combine the sauce with the roasted cauliflower. It should be enough to give a good coating to all the cauliflower. Mix well. Pack the mixture as tightly and evenly into the dish as possible. Sprinkle the topping on top of the casserole.

Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. Place under broiler briefly until top is crunchy. Serve hot.

Saucy Roasted Eggplant (p.141) & Saucy Roasted Eggplant Pie

This easy eggplant dish gets rave reviews at potlucks.  The cocoa is used as a subtle spice, but for a bolder chocolate flavor you can use 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and increase the sugar to one tablespoon.

Makes one 8 x 13-inch cake pan
Takes 60-90 minutes

1 eggplant (about 1 pound)
13.5 ounces of coconut milk (about 2 cups)
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 teaspoons ras el hanout or garam masala
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Cut the eggplant into slices up to 1/4″ thick and put a single layer in the bottom of an oiled 8 x 13-inch cake pan.

Mix together the coconut milk, diced tomatoes, cocoa powder, ras el hanout, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.  Evenly distribute about half the sauce over the eggplant.  Add the remaining eggplant slices as a second layer, and then pour all the remaining sauce on top.

Roast until the eggplant is soft and completely saturated with the sauce.  This may take 40-60 minutes depending on your oven and the thickness of your eggplant slices.

Serve with a starchy food to sop up the sauce.

Fantastic burrito filling or bean dip: Keep any sauce that remains after baking.  Add the sauce to a couple cups of cooked black beans and heat it on the stove for 5-10 minutes.  If you mash the beans while cooking them, it also makes a great bean dip.

We used this recipe to make the filling for the savory pie we brought to Day #5 of Nine Days of Pie at Afru Gallery. It was a hit! We were informed that of hundreds of unique pies tried over the years, this was truly one of the best. High praise!

Someone asked Darin at the book reading today which chocolates he recommends as equitable. That’s a book of its own! [UPDATE: chocolates we have loved] However, Darin suggested Creo and Tony’s Chocolonely as a couple example chocolate companies he recommends to show the range of slavery-free chocolates that are sold locally. Here’s a blurb I thought was interesting from Tony’s Chocolonely’s FAQ:

Did you know that certified chocolate bars (e.g. Fair Trade) also contains non-certified cocoa – and vice versa? If you buy certified chocolate, you can be certain that somewhere in the world the quantity of certified beans needed to make your bar was purchased. It’s just not physically in your bar. It’s really not. We can tell you precisely where the cocoa in our chocolate comes from. We believe that traceability is a critical step toward 100% slave free chocolate.

Reminder: When making Saucy Roasted Eggplant, if you use a can of tomatoes, they’re typically pre-salted, so you can omit the called-for salt.

Saucy Roasted Eggplant Pie: Follow the Saucy Roasted Eggplant recipe above, with the following exceptions: Dice the eggplant into 1/2″ cubes instead of slicing it. It will only take up a single layer in the cake pan. That’s fine, just cover it with all the sauce. Dicing the eggplant means there’s more surface area. You don’t need to cook it as long; it took 35-45 minutes to soften in the oven we used – the goal is for it to provide almost no resistance when pierced with a fork. Remove the eggplant from the oven. Stir in two cans of beans (or four cups of cooked beans). We used one can of black and another of cannelini. Fills two standard pie shells.

If your pie shells don’t come with instructions, it’s probably sufficient to pierce the bottoms with a fork (after defrosting, if applicable), bake them at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, until they start to brown, take them out, add the filling, and bake them for another 10 minutes to help everything settle.