Apr 20, 2017

HOMINY... Chewy Little Nubs!

White Hominy from Friendly Market here on Moloka'i. Click on photo to view larger.

You might be asking yourself what the heck is Hominy? Some people don't know what Hominy is, and probably pass it by in the caned goods section of their grocery store. 

Hominy is corn, made from whole dried kernels that have been soaked in a lye or lime solution to soften the tough outer hulls. The now swollen kernels are then washed to remove the excess solution, the hull, and often the germ (that's the part of the kernel that contains the genetic information). 

Fortunately for us, we can find ready-to-eat, yellow or white hominy in cans at most grocery stores, even at Friendly Market here on Moloka'i. You probably already eat a bi-product of white Hominy and didn't even know it, ever eaten corn tortillas, or tamales? They're made from ground white Hominy that is made into masa (corn flour). If you are from the Southern part of the United States, as I am, then you know about this Southern pantry staple, but did you know that grits are also made from Hominy?

I absolutely love these chewy little nubs, because I grew up eating them. My mother used to serve Hominy to us for breakfast. She would fry up some bacon, then used the bacon grease to fry large slices of green tomatoes that had been seasoned with salt and pepper and dusted with cornmeal. Then she would sauté a can of Hominy with a little butter and serve it with fried eggs. Simple, but good! Here's another tasty breakfast recipe I found online that sounds good.

Now that I'm older, I still crave the flavor and texture of Hominy. Here are a few recipes using Hominy that I like, I hope you will like them as well.

Baked Hominy
A simple recipe designed for snacking... sort of like Corn Nuts®, except you make it.
1 (29 ounce) can of gold hominy, drained, rinsed, and dried
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon chili powder
salt to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain and rinse hominy, then pat dry with paper towels. Now add all seasonings and oil. Mix together and pour onto a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until sizzling and lightly browned. Make sure to turn them a few times during cooking.

Makes 4 to 6 servings depending how hungry you are.

Mexican Black Bean Hominy Salad
Tired of the same old salads? Try this beautiful blend of delicious ingredients for something different.

Ingredients for the salad:
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can white hominy, rinsed and drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

Ingredients for the dressing:
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl combine the beans, hominy, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cilantro and jalapeño.

In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, honey, olive oil, cumin and salt. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Stewed in Coconut Milk & Peanut Sauce
I love this recipe because of the peanut and coconut milk sauce. The Hominy adds that chewy corn flavor as well. 

4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 teaspoons chopped garlic, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
4 cups chicken broth, low-sodium store-bought or homemade
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup drained canned chopped tomato
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger root
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 (29 ounce) can white Hominy, drained
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish

Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl, and add the salt, black pepper, 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic, and cayenne. Use your hands to mix everything together, making sure the spices are distributed all over the chicken.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken, in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, and brown on all sides, then transfer to a platter or bowl.

To the oil remaining in the pan, add the onion, bell peppers, and the remaining garlic. Sauté the vegetables for 4-5 minutes until soft.

Pour in the chicken broth and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir in the peanut butter, tomato paste, canned tomato, thyme, ginger and coconut milk, and simmer for two minutes, stirring to incorporate the ingredients. Return the browned chicken and Hominy to the pan and cook uncovered over low heat 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender and the sauce thickens. Be sure and taste the sauce in case it needs addition seasoning.

Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley, and serve hot, over rice. Makes 8 servings.

Hominy Tamali Pie
1 pound ground beef
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 can pitted black olives, drained
2 (15 ounce) cans yellow Hominy, drained
1 (7 3/4 ounce) can El Pato tomato sauce
1 package of Fritos lightly salted corn chips
1/2 pound grated cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add garlic, black olives, Hominy, and El Paso tomato sauce. Simmer, stirring often for about 20 minutes. 

Crush 1/2 of the corn chips and put on the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour meat mixture over crushed chips. Add 1/2 pound of grated cheddar cheese. Bake until bubbly at 325˚F.

Makes 4 servings.

Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts 
with Garlic & Hominy
1 pound brussels sprouts
3 large garlic cloves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (15 ounce) can of white Hominy, drained
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

Trim Brussels sprouts and halve lengthwise.

Cut garlic into very thin slices. In a 12-inch skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil over moderate heat and cook garlic, stirring, until pale golden. Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.

Reduce heat to low and arrange sprouts in skillet, cut sides down, in one layer. Sprinkle sprouts with a little salt to taste. Cook sprouts, without turning, until crisp-tender and undersides are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

With tongs transfer sprouts to a plate, browned sides up. Add Hominy, garlic and remaining butter to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, 3 or 4 minute. Spoon mixture over sprouts and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Great served with roast chicken. Makes 4 servings.

White Bean Chili with Hominy
2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (4-ounce) Portuguese (Chourico) sausage, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 poblano chiles, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or one tablespoon of dried
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can white hominy, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 lime wedges

Mash 2/3 cup beans with a fork.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage, and sauté for 4 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and poblanos; sauté 6 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add mashed beans, whole beans, 1 1/2 cups water, and the next 4 ingredients (through hominy). Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in green onions and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Binatog with Honey
Binatog is a famous Filipino street food made with white Hominy, coconut, and sugar. I have substituted honey for the sugar just to make this simple dessert even better.

1 (29 ounce) can of white Hominy, drained
1 tablespoon of salted butter
4 tablespoons of honey, or sugar if you prefer
3/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted

Drain the Hominy and pour into a pot. Add one cup of water to the pot with the Hominy. Bring liquid to a simmer for 15 minutes, or until the Hominy becomes tender. Drain the water and pour the cooked Hominy into a serving bowl with 1 tablespoon of butter, set aside until the butter melts.

Spread the coconut in the bottom of a large skillet and toast it slightly over medium heat until golden. Stir the Hominy and butter together, then drizzle with honey or sugar if you prefer. Top with the toasted coconut and serve warm in small ramekins. Makes 4 servings.

Note: To make this simple dessert even better, put several slices of fresh mango, papaya, or pineapple centered on top.