Sharon Ely Cooks Cornbread (podcast)Mar 16th, 2012 | By Cecilia | Category: Featured Articles, podcast, the show
Cooking and sharing good food should be fun; it was that and more when I visited Sharon Ely at the wonderfully eclectic Southwest Austin home she shares with her singer-songwriter-guitarist husband, Joe Ely.
Sharon is an artist and it shows in her home. Art, antiques, and oddities draw the eye throughout each room–from floor to ceiling. There’s not a boring inch of space anywhere to be seen.
It’s obvious the Ely’s enjoy entertaining, too, once you see all the comfortable seating in every room arranged in full and semi-circles, perfect for small or large groups to sit together and spend an evening talking and playing music.
Sharon loves to cook, and Joe says the kitchen is always a “beehive of activity.” It’s easy to feel the heartbeat of their home in this small space reminiscent of an old European kitchen. A large rock fireplace complete with a smoky patina covers one wall, and cooking gear hangs from the mantel and the wooden beams of the ceiling. Substantial, rough-hewn shelving attached to the rock wall above the fireplace, supports a variety of crocks and bowls.
It’s in this cozy kitchen where Sharon developed her recipe for Holy Posole, a new Mexican Style soup–the original recipe for which came from a 100-year-old Santa Fe woman. She chose the name as much for the rhyme as for the purported healing properties of the soup. Sharon has made this savory soup of chicken broth, chiles, hominy, tomatoes and spices for family and friends for more than three decades to nourish their bodies and their souls.
Over the year, Sharon put her own touches on the recipe, truly making it her own, and making it healthier. “When I first got the recipe from a friend, it called for MSG and pork and other ingredients that aren’t especially healthy,” she told me. “My daughter has even experimented with a vegetarian version.”
At the urging of friends and family, Sharon took her soup to market and now it’s bottled commercially under her watchful eye, and available in Texas at many HEB grocery stores across the state.
Sharon continues to experiment in the kitchen, working on new items to add to her Sharon Ely’s All Natural line of foods. “Right now we are manufacturing two new natural soups, a Verde Holy Posole and a tortilla soup with hominy.” When I was at her home, she let me look inside of her refrigerator, which held yet another soon-to-be addition to the line: an habenero sauce.
Of course, during our interview, I could not ask her to divulge the recipe of her posole, so I asked her to share a recipe that would be a great accompaniment to the soup. I wasn’t surprised when she suggested her “famous” jalapeno cornbread recipe.
And it’s a hearty one, too, loaded with bacon, jalapenos, creamed sweet corn and lots of cheese. Honestly, the cornbread is a meal in itself, but is perfection served with Sharon Ely’s All Natural Holy Posole.
Peace through Posole…Harmony through Hominy.