I found myself on the Mexican food aisle of my local (So. Cal.) supermarket last week in search of black beans. I noticed a jar of hominy, and decided that this would be the perfect time to try it.
So I put it in the cart, brought it home, and was left staring at it on the kitchen table. I quickly realized there were no instructions, nor any clue about what to do with this product. It just had the name, contents, and nutritional information in both Spanish and English. Hmmm, lots of fiber.
So I opened the jar and took a few hominies out with a spoon and tried it. Very firm and starchy, I thought. And it tastes like corn. I thought it would be better without the liquid, so I drained it in a colander and rinsed it in cold water. That took away the starchiness.
Well it just so happened that I also bought a nice filet of orange roughy. So I sprayed a skillet with Pam, let it get hot, put some salt and pepper on the the fish and then put the filet in the skillet to fry. After browning the first side of the fish, I turned it over to brown the second side, and added about half of the hominy. As the fish fried, I tasted the hominy, which was now hot, and it was still very corny and firm. So I added some green salsa and covered the pan, reducing the heat. I let it continue cooking for a while, then removed it from the heat entirely. By this time, the hominy had lost some of its firmness, and as a result of its texture, it had absorbed a lot of the flavor of the green salsa. In fact, it kept the salsa flavor intact, unlike many other things you cook which cause the salsa to lose its flavor. Hominy, as I see it, is the perfect filler if you like the taste of corn, but also want to retain the flavor of the other ingredients.
So my question is this: There must be other ways to prepare hominy. Can you share some for me to try?
Hominy tastes like corn because it is corn.
Hominy is made by cooking dried corn kernels in water then removing the skins (easy) and the pedicels (hard)-- the thing that connects the kernel to the cob). Then boil again until the kernels open up about three hours. Or cop out and buy it in a can or frozen which people say is better but I don't really notice a difference. (I'm just kidding about the copping out part, I think the only people who make it from scratch are peasants and Diana Kennedy.)
Good hominy recipe:
Saute some garlic in olive oil with shredded carrot and onion. Add some oregano and chicken stock, add hominy and cook for about 20 minutes. Add some chopped chipotle and canned diced tomatoes. Add some shredded chicken breast. At the very end add some chopped cilantro and add lime juice to your individual serving.
A true story about hominy:
Hominy is used to make grits, right?
So, at a sort of "cultural exchange" between indigenous peasants in Southern Mexico and some do-gooder types from the US of A, there was a sharing of traditional foods. Some of the do-gooders, being from the South, brought and made grits for their indigenous hosts. The grits were a big success and folks got very excited to know they were made from corn, because indigenous peasants in southern Mexico don't have much, but they do have corn. They wanted to know how you make grits. The U.S. do-gooders said, "Well its very easy, you just pour them into a your pot of water and cook them about 20 minutes or so".
"No, but how do you make the grits"
"We just told you how!"
"No, but how do you make what is inside the box?"
Noone had a clue!
I still don't know, how do you make grits?
Your story reminded me of a similar one. We went on horse and muleback into a remote village where we visited our guide's grandmother and slept on the dirt floor of her thatched cottage. As soon as she saw us coming she began shucking field corn into a bucket to make tortillas. (Field corn, beans, and some really hot peppers were literally all she had in the house.)We boiled the corn with cal (hydrated or slaked lime)in a glavanized bucket on an adobe stove with no chimney - the smoke just went up through the thatch. She was only about 4 feet tall so the smoke didn't bother her as much as it did me! Then we ground it in a Corona grain mill and pressed out the tortillas in a wooden press. She showed me how to do it by hand but said that was the old fashioned way. Of course, the tortillas were great and we had them with some extremely hot vinegary salsa and beans. I recently bought some purple corn and cal to try and duplicate them. I think the cal gets rid of the husks, etc. I imagine that for grits the boiled hominy is dried again and ground.
Hominy is pretty common food around here
Here are a couple of recipes from an old cookbook, which also includes several ways to make hominy from dried corn, which is clear in the first recipe, which is for hominy you've just made but it might work anyway.
1 tall glass cold hominy
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c fine cracker crumbs
1/4 t salt
4 T shortening
Put cooked hominy, while hot, into a thick tall glass, first rinsed in cold water, and chill. When cold, turn it out and cut into 1/3 inch slices.
heat shortening in frying pan. Dip each slice of hominy into egg beaten with milk and into stalted cracker meal. fry in hot fat over medium heat until golden brown on both sides. serve with bacon.
But this is they way I usually see it it -
3 cans yellow hominy
2 small cans chopped green chilies
1 large carton sour cream
2 T shredded cheddar cheese
cayenne pepper to taste
mix all together, bake in casserole dish at 350 for 20-30 minutes
Growing up in the southwest, my Anglo family served hominy as a vegetable with salt, pepper and butter. My dad always preferred white to yellow hominy, but for the life of me I can't tell the difference.
I've been introduced to hominy casseroles since moving to the south. There is usually one in every Junior League cookbook, and Southern Living cookbooks also provide a variety of choice recipes. I thoroughly enjoy hominy casseroles, but have never settled on one "best" recipe.
In the early 50's everyone I knew ate hominy in a general ''southern cooking'' style, very simple: Put a can or two of hominy into a sauce pan, sprinkle a small amount of black pepper and salt to taste, add about 1 tablespoon of butter per can of hominy, and cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the hominy is hot. Goes well with MANY entrees. One of my favorite meals would be meat loaf, hominy, spinach and biscuits.
Mexican hominy and American canned hominy are both made from some kind of field corn that's been treated with lye, but the Mexican sort has bigger, starchier grains and a much firmer consistency, very chewy. Mexican hominy is I think a better choice for making short-cut posole (that is, using canned hominy instead of cooking it from dried), while the American brands are the best for those Southern hominy-casserole recipes people are mentioning. Back in Tennessee I made my first ten or so batches of posole with canned hominy from Kroger, and we liked it fine, but it wasn't until I got out to SoCal and got the Mexican style (Teasdale brand) that I understood more of what posole is all about.
Here in LA County a lot of the Latino markets also carry plastic bags of the soaked nixtamal, the lye-treated corn ready to be ground up to make tortillas. Haven't got adventurous enough to try anything with that yet...
Sausage, eggs and hominy… now there is a grand breakfast indeed.
Hominy was mostly used as a breakfast food in the home I grew up in. (North Western Utah) My folks would the put the hominy in the frying pan with the sausage, link or patty and cook them together them we would plop a dippen’ egg or two (the white cooked and the yoke runny) over the top of everything and it was like heaven on earth. That was in the 50’s and 60’s; mom and dad have long passed but I do this breakfast yet and every time I do besides being a wonderful treat it takes me way back to the days childhood and being there with my family.
Now days I enjoy them with brats; your choice flavor but I prefer the mild Italian or sweet Italian brats. I like to mix yellow and white hominy in my steamer then I split my brats length wise and open them up and I place them on top of the hominy in my steamer. Splitting the brats seem achieves two things, one the brats cook better and it seems to flavor the hominy better. I like to steam them for about an hour and ½. That may seem like a long time, but really in the steamer it is not going to over cook and I like to make sure the brats are fully cooked. It also allows the flavor to more fully set into the hominy. Often times for a wee change I will chop up and onion and mix it in to cook with the hominy and brats.
And… I will stop after this one… I love to make no beans chili. There is tons of meat in my chili pork and beef, lots of onions cut into man-sized chunks and (you know this is coming) hominy. I have never had a bad review on my no beans chili and always have true believers of hominy as well as onions.
OK, I will stop now.
I lived in Mexico as young child and pozole was one of my favourite meals. Later (1950s) I lived in Arkansas and in our school cafeteria we were often served hominy as a side dish. It tasted very much like the pozole but without the liquid. Just looked like a pile of corn but was SO tasty. I used to trade everything else on my plate for as much hominy as I could get. I live in Canada now, finally found some canned hominy and want to reproduce that simple Arkansas hominy (easier than the pozole I think). Does anyone have any idea what the flavouring or recipe might have been? Thanks!
Did it look like it had been fried (crisp or browned edges)? Frying the canned hominy in bacon drippings should taste pretty good. Another option is dress it with butter (or margarine in the cafeteria case), and maybe cheese. Any of the ways of doctoring up grits could be applied to hominy.
This is so, so bad for you.....but the only way I've ever done hominy is in bacon grease. I cut a half dozen slices of bacon small, fry them up till crispy, take them out and pour off all but a couple tablespoons of grease (well, maybe more than a couple). Drain the can of hominy and dump it into the skillet. It soaks up all the bacon fat and gets nice and starchy and rich, and all the crispy bits go on top.
I think I started making this years ago when I had my first apartment and was being creative on a budget. I'd never eaten hominy, nor known anyone who did in central Ohio, so I just had a go at it.
I made it for my hubby for the first time a couple of years ago, in spite of his hesitation, and of course he loved it and thinks it's a big treat when I make it for breakfast.
I like it in pork posole, tripe soup and in a casserole I got from Pioneer Woman.
I also add it to Progresso Southwestern low calorie soup along with avocado and little cheese quesadillas for dinner in a pinch.
Make sure to wash it thoroughly. It is packed in lye water.
Here's a quicky I toss together frequently to accompany Mexican fare or plain grilled chicken.
Breezy Buttered Green Beans & Hominy
Bring a skillet of water to a boil & add a couple of handfuls of fresh green beans, trimmed & cut into 2" pieces. Boil for 2 minutes or so, drain & return to skillet. Add one can of drained White Hominy, 2-3 tablespoons of butter, & salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste. Saute until heated through. Absolutely delicious. Even my hominy-hating husband cleaned his plate.
I put hominy in chili and tortilla soup. I have also made some sort of 'experimental' pozoles with it. I love hominy. Last Thanksgiving I put hominy in a Southern style turkey gravy that also had a bit of chopped hard boiled egg and ground sausage in it, inspired by some Southern gravy discussion I read on CH.
In the Middle East I have had hominy sold by street vendors that is simply salted and seasoned with lime juice. As my recipe for everything seems to be "just sprinkle some lime juice and chaat masala on it," I tried to copy what the street vendors sell at home and I seasoned the hominy with lime juice, butter, chile powder, and chaat masala, served room temperature as a snack. I used Mexican canned hominy, which, as Will Owen observed is firmer. It is less of a mushy little ball and more of an al dente bite of corn deliciousness.
I would like to know about the cafeteria hominy myself. I've always eaten hominy. I prefer the white and I don't really care for the Mexican kind. My family is from Arkansas and we take the canned hominy, put it in a saucepan ,add a little extra water to the pan and put it on the stove and cook it for a while, even let it come up to a boil and then reduce it and let it cook. Add bacon grease and plenty of salt and pepper and let it all cook down into kind of a greasy bacony sauce. When all my kids were at home, we have eaten three or four cans at a meal like that.
Just for an update here: when we were on a long-weekend trip last month I got a bag of dried posole at some kind of Gourmet Shoppe - well, it was my birthday and Mrs. O wanted to buy me something - and I finally got around to cooking it, using pretty much my old canned-hominy recipe for all but the posole itself. It was probably pretty old, since it didn't get anywhere near big and fluffy until the third or fourth re-heating, but it was good anyway. I would urge anyone who likes hominy to go this one further step - it's tasty, it's just different enough, and I for one had fun with it.