Newport Restaurant Group recently participated in the 9th Annual Rhode Island Harvest BBQ at The Pond on Schartner Family Farm in support of the Chefs Collaborative.  The BBQ was a celebration of the autumn harvest which is such a special time of year in New England and throughout our Rhode Island culinary landscape. The best & brightest chefs were called upon to bring their very best as local farmers, fishermen, brewers, vintners, musicians & artisans gathered to break bread, hoist a glass, celebrate our special food community and raise money for a very important cause.

Photo of Chefs Max, Karsten, Kevin and CaseyThe NRG team put forth a chefs collaborative effort of their own sending Chefs Karsten Hart (Director of Restaurants) and Kevin DiLibero (Director of Culinary Arts) to the BBQ where they presented an Autumn  Posole based on a recipe from Chef Casey Riley (COO).  Posole is a traditional soup or stew from Mexico that is made from hominy and usually beef or pork. Hominy is a food that is made from kernels of corn that have been soaked in an alkali solution of either lime or lye (a process called nixtamalization). The corrosive nature of the solution removes the hull and germ of the corn and causes the grain itself to puff up to about twice its normal size. Hominy is also the essential ingredient in such staples as grits and corn tortillas. A New Mexican native, Chef Casey dug deep into his archives to find a special recipe and then fine tuned it alongside his fellow chefs until a final product was ready.  Tastes were handed out to hungry festival goers who were delighted with

Photo of Autumn PosoleThe admission to the event plus any donations went directly to the Chefs Collaborative which is a national nonprofit network with a mission to inspire, educate & celebrate chefs & food professionals building a better food system. They believe, as does the Newport Restaurant Group, that through their work, better & sustainable practices will be second nature for every chef in the United States and that we all can make a positive difference by fostering positive change. Chefs Collaborative was founded in 1993 by visionary chefs including John Ash, Rick Bayless, Susan Feniger, Nobu Matsuhisa, Nora Pouillon, Michel Romano, and Alice Waters. They acknowledged their leadership in the celebration of the pleasures of food, and they recognized the impact of food choices on our collective personal health, on the vitality of cultures and on the integrity of the global environment. Today, Chefs Collaborative is a membership-supported national 501c3 nonprofit comprised of chefs, food professionals and a network of more than 40,000 influencers, friends and followers. Newport Restaurant Group is a proud supporter and we were thrilled to be part of their annual Harvest BBQ.

Then again, any time we can get Chef Casey to make a posole, we are happy.

Chef Casey was nice enough to give us his recipe too as his quest to teach New Englanders the joy of Southwestern cooking continues, even if he has to add in butternut squash. Hope you enjoy!

Autumn Posole

Yield: 2+ quarts
Equipment: blender, small stock pot, strainer

1 lb. lamb, pork or beef (leg or shoulder area), trimmed and cut into chunks
1 ½ quart water (or chicken broth)
8 dried NM chile pods, stemmed and seeded
6 dried Ancho chile pods, stemmed and seeded
1 cup sliced Spanish onions
1 cup dried hominy, cooked 2-3 hours in plenty of salted water until it pops or 1 small can of hominy, drained and rinsed
1 ½ cups butternut squash, diced small
½ cup apple cider
2 T. finely chopped fresh oregano and mint
To season: salt, pepper, 1 fresh lime to juice

Season your choice of meat with salt and pepper and sear in a stock pot until browned well. Drain off all excess fat and cover the meat with water or stock. Bring to a VERY light simmer and cook until meat is tender. Remove meat and reserve. Add in the chile pods, onions and apple cider and bring to a simmer, cook for 15-20 minutes until pods are soft and tender. Remove from heat and strain, reserving the broth. In a blender, puree the strained pods and onions with some broth until very smooth. Push the puree through a strainer to remove any seeds and skins. Pull and chop the cooked meat. Combine strained puree and broth and return to the stove, adding the meat, hominy, diced butternut and chopped herbs. Bring to a light simmer and cook until the butternut is tender. Season with salt and pepper and lime juice. Serve immediately or cool thoroughly and reheat as desired.

Some info from The Spruce Eats  and Chefs Collaborative