The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Hominy as” kernels of corn that have been soaked in a caustic solution (as of lye) and then washed to remove the hulls”.
A caustic solution? When I read that, visions of the bathtub scene in Breaking Bad came to mind.
But this soaking isn’t as breaking bad as it sounds. Hominy is field corn that is soaked in an alkali solution through a process called nixtamalization. The corn, which is dried before being harvested, is soaked in lye or lime. This loosens the hull, softens the kernels and doubles their size. Hominy is a whole grain that is rich in calcium, carbohydrates and fiber.
And. It. Is. Delicious.
You will often see hominy listed as a component in posole recipes. It is also ground to make masa flour and is a common ingredient found in such things as grits, tortillas, and atole. It can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, chili and in whatever else your imagination allows. Hominy can be purchased canned or dried. The dried version is difficult to find in my area. Be sure to soak the kernels (in water!) if you purchase them in their dried form. If you are like me, you may enjoy learning about the science behind hominy and nixtamalization. It’s fascinating and you can check it out here.
This dish can be served as either a soup or stew (by reducing the liquid). It is satisfying as a main meal or a side dish. The black lentils are optional but recommended. The last time this dish was made the lentils were thrown in at the last minute. They were left over from a different recipe and I didn’t want them to spoil. Think of them as a bonus as they are scrumptious and give the dish a nutrient boost.
1-1/2 c small red beans & its liquid, soaked overnight
1/2 c black beans & its liquid, soaked overnight
4 poblano peppers, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
28 oz fire roasted tomatoes
2 zucchini, chopped
3 cans hominy, drained and rinsed
1/2 tbsp liquid smoke
8 c vegetable broth
salt, to taste
1 c quinoa, dry
bunch of kale
1 c cooked black lentils (optional)
Cook beans, separately, on high until they boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook until tender. About 1 hour.
NOTE: ADD BEAN BROTH, TO KEEP THE INGREDIENTS FROM BURNING, AT ANY POINT DURING THE COOKING PROCESS DESCRIBED BELOW.
Heat a large soup pot on high. Add hot peppers and onions.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook until tender. About 5 minutes.
Add carrots. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
Add garlic and other spices and mix well.
Add zucchini, hominy, liquid smoke, beans, vegetable broth, remaining bean broth and salt.
Rinse quinoa and add to pot.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes for soup.
Continue to cook, reducing liquid, if stew is desired.
Add cooked black lentils about ten minutes before serving.
Do you have a favorite hominy recipe? Please leave a comment…