- lil mikey
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
I use hominy in a black bean chili recipe I made up. I'd post the recipe, but it's probably a pretty standard recipe.