7.11.2010

Whole Hominy: trendy??


In the past few weeks, I've found hominy on my plate at two local restaurants. Hominy you ask? Yes, but not the way you'd expect.
The first was at Michael's Genuine in Miami. (Michael was just awarded the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef of the Year, South. If you're ever down this way, don't miss his amazing food.) A group of us went for lunch and on the appetizer menu was a dish called "Crispy Hominy with Chile and Lime". Intriguing. Well, we were a table of southerners, so we ordered it along with some others goodies to share. When the dish arrived, we expected some form of grits, probably panfried patties. But no, this starter arrived in a small bowl and was whole hominy, deep dried. You just popped them in your mouth like popcorn. Deelish. Completely addicting!

Less than a week later, my son and I went to
Cut 432 in Delray Beach, one of his favorite places to eat. I ordered salmon and it arrived served over....you guessed it....whole hominy!  It had been browned with something like scallions and perhaps finely chopped celery and red pepper. Simple, unusual and quite tasty. I am so accustomed to hominy in grits form, or as posole in Southwest-flavored soups that I was completely surprised by these two dishes using whole hominy, one as an appetizer (for which I have since found a Mark Bittman recipe and will attempt soon) and then as a side dish. Have you had it served to you anyplace? What do you think...a new fad?  

Hominy is hulled corn kernels that have been stripped of their bran and germ. It's served both whole or ground. And even ground, there are degrees of texture. Finely ground, it can be used to make tamale and tortilla dough. And slightly less finely ground, you have grits, that lovely old southern dish that most northerners don't understand. Everyone in the south has a great family recipe for grits...my personal favorite being cheese grits.



Coarsely ground hominy was called samp. Samp is of Native American origin, coming from the Narragansett word "nasàump." New Englanders since early colonial times have referred to cornmeal mush or cereal as "samp." Like hominy, samp is prepared from dehulled kernels of maize, but the two are produced by different processes. If the word "samp" dropped out of modern English, "hominy" hung in there,  eventually joined with the word "grits" in the American South.

In the Southwest, big (or whole) hominy is called posole (or pozole) and is used to make hearty stews of hominy, chile peppers, and pork. (Heidi at 101 Cookbooks has a lovely recipe made with
posole.)  And it was "big hominy" that I was served in both restaurants.
Of course it comes canned, but don't go that route, please. Hominy seems to be gaining in popularity primarily due to the intensity of the flavor that is not available from canned hominy. So start with the dried.



I discovered you treat whole hominy like dried beans: soak them overnight and simmer with a chopped onion for about about 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until it is puffed and tender, but not broken down. You will have to keep checking on the water content throughout this process as more water may need to be added. Plan on 1/3 cup uncooked hominy for each serving. After the initial soaking and cooking, the kernels should be drained well, then cooled. They can also be refrigerated until ready for use.
And how should you use them? Aside from Heidi's recipe above, try making a hominy stir fry flavored with sesame oil and fresh crisp vegetables; or fry hominy in brown butter and herbs as a side dish; or how about The Pioneer Woman's Hominy Casserole? And here's a change of pace: hominy and coconut pudding.  

And lastly, here's what I came up with:

Grilled Salmon over Fried Hominy

 

 
Ingredients:

1 cup white corn hominy
1/2 onion
water
4 scallions, sliced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
Olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter

Notes:

*The hominy would be heavenly fried with some bacon too. (Naughty me!)
*Because this post is all about hominy, there's no recipe for the salmon here; use your favorite fish and your favorite way to prepare it.

Method:

Bring a pot of water to boil, add some salt, the 1/2 onion and the hominy. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. I found two hours was too long; the hominy starts to break down. Take a piece to test; it should be similar to the texture of a lima bean. Drain and remove the onion. You can cool at this point and refrigerate.
Add some olive oil and a little butter to a frying pan. Add the hominy, the green onions, the garlic and red pepper. Lower the heat and fry until everything is golden brown. Serve under fish or meat.

65 comments:

  1. Oh my stars! This sounds soooo good. I think that you need to come out to Houston and cook for me!

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  2. This looks delicious! I love hominy and haven't had it in years.

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  4. I haven't had hominy in ages! This recipe sounds comforting.

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  5. I was raised in the south, but never had hominy growing up. A couple of years ago, hubby brought home a can of hominy by mistake- he thought it was corn. I put it in the white chili I was making and it was delicious! I'm sure the dried would be even better, but I've never seen it in supermarkets in my area. I'll have to look for it in town. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  6. Looks delicious! Not easy to find here, I've only seen canned and was curious about it! I'll have to look further!

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  7. I like the idea of frying hominy in bacon to get that smoky contrast in flavor against a nutty corn canvas.

    I haven't seen hominy show up on the menus of many restaurants, but I certainly hope that the rest of the nation catches up to this trend in the south.

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  8. I love these ideas. I just made hominy in a pozole. I had extra and froze it. Now I have a nice way to enjoy it.

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  9. Hominy is something new to me. Look like peanuts! Must search for the details. Btw, you get them done perfectly. Looks very srcumptious with the meat! Hope you're having a wonderful day.
    Cheers, Kristy

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  10. I've been trying to find hominy here since a long time... That dish looks super healthy and delicious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  11. I never had hominy but I love corn (and polenta)

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  12. I am so intrigued, thank you for the explanation Barbara. Must hunt down some hominy, I love corn anything (even icecream!) so it sounds like I'd really like it :)

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  13. I have never had hominy, but now, after seeing yours and hearing the description, I want to try!

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  14. How interesting! I've never heard of it, but boy does your recipe look good!!! That photo where it is served with cheese and some melted butter looks amazing too {you can't go wrong with cheese and butter, right??!}!

    I hope your Summer is going great Barbara ~

    Hugs,

    :) T

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  15. I had never heard of hominy or samp - great article.

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  16. I've never had hominy but considering how much I love anything that involves corn...I'm pretty sure I would adore it. It sounds like the perfect base for this delicious salmon dish.

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  17. I'm not a fan of hominy but I LOVE cheese grits! I wonder why it's becoming trendy...the new polenta, maybe?

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  18. Your grilled salmon and hominy look delicious, Barbara, and I would try it in a second. I have some unpleasant childhood memories of not liking it so would never order it on a menu.

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  19. I've only had hominy once before in soup and I remember it as being delicious but a little bland. Your salmon dish looks fantastic - you've infused some nice flavors into the hominy. I like the idea of bacon too!

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  20. absolutely love it,
    the last one,
    how delicious it looks.
    cheers!

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  22. Fascinating! I might have to wait to find it in a restaurant near me, because I'm sure Sissy is allergic to it (as she is all corn), and I hate to have it in the house...

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  23. I've always wanted to try hominy! Lord knows I love cheese grits...

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  24. I have only had hominy in posole made by a Mexican friend and fell in love with it, or was it the posole? don't know but the hominy fried sounds like a great dish and your version sounds easy and delicious for an intro into cooking it.

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  25. I hope this trend catches on. I've cooked whole hominy for pozole, but now I have to try it fried! Sounds great with the sliced scallions.

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  26. New one on me- the Northerner!

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  27. I hope this fad travels up here, I'd love to try this (especially the deep-fried dish, it sounds amazing)! I don't think I can wait for the fad to come though, I think I might have to make it myself!

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  28. this is a trend i think i like! i've had whole hominy once or twice (most often in posole), and using it as a bed for a main dish is a great idea. i'm also pretty keen on the whole deep-fried notion... :)

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  29. I love hominy - posole, grits you name it - this idea of fried hominy really has me intrigued - I will be giving this a whirl soon

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  30. oh wow he was best chef how cool, and this recipe rocks, can I feature it on an Alaskan seafood blog I write for?

    Rebecca

    rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com

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  31. I've only had hominy in posole before - this sounds so interesting and delicious!

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  32. This sounds very good. I use hominy in turnovers and I have one recipe where it is baked. It is not yet appearing in our restaurants, but this community is so small that that is not surprising. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  33. I'm fascinated by hominy as we don't get it here. In fact I only just got my first container of grits from the lovely Faith from An Edible Mosaic! :D it sounds like they're making a comeback!

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  34. Hi Barbara,

    I have never heard of hominy, so good to learn something new.
    I do love sweetcorn though.

    I hope that you are having a great week.
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  35. I haven't had hominy in a long time. You've inspired me to try making some soon!

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  36. Barbara, thank you for posting a hominy recipe. I havent' had hominy for a long time, and this has reminded me how much I like it. The search is on for hominy...

    When I was growing up in Georgia, we sometimes called grits "hominy grits". LOL, as I was writing this, I remembered an old Dick Van Dyke show, where he was in a restaurant and when the waitress put his plate in front of him he said, "Hominy grits!" and she replied, "oh, I dunno--40 or 50". We thought this was hilarious. Life was simpler back then!

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  37. I always have Hominy in the pantry. Love it. I have a recipe that I've had for years which calls for sauteeing in onion then adding chili peppers and stirring in sour cream. It's really good. However, I've never seen it served in restaurants. Not even Mexican or Tex-mex restaurants. I hope it's an up and coming fad, so many possibilities for interesting creations. Love your bacon idea.

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  38. Hmmm... I've never tried hominy, and I dont think I've ever seen it in the UK, but I will look out for that restaurant next time I'm visiting my parents in Florida. In fact, I'm going to look it up on the internet now :)
    Have a great day
    *kisses* HH

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  40. The things you learn about whilst reading blogs.
    I've heard of hominy grits but never tasted them.
    I wonder if this is a new trend?
    The dish looks delicious,
    bon appetit.
    Maggie

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  41. I am intrigued - I have long been a hominy fan and your recipe sounds beautiful paired with salmon - the chile and lime flavoring also sounds incredible. I will be looking for dried hominy now to give this a try.

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  42. Okay, guilty secret: I didn't actually know what hominy was before I read this post! Now I'm totally intrigued - it sounds very yummy and like a good accent to fish or bacon. I'm gonna check this out and see if I can find some at my local grocery store!

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  43. We must do a post with Teddie and Scottie.

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  44. I do real well with soaking and cooking all kinds of beans...I guess, why not Hominy. If only I would see it on the store shelves.
    Now, that you brought it to my attention...I'll be on the look-out.
    Your dish looks so appetizing...and I've got nothing prepared for supper...guess left-overs will have to do ;o)

    Have a great week and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  45. I don't believe that I have ever had hominy. I do love corn and it looks fantastic so I will need to give it a try. Your salmon dish looks great also!

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  46. I have definitely heard of hominy, but never knew what it was. You are on a role with these unique foods -- first semi-freddo and now hominy! I love your creativity.

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  47. I like how crispy golden the hominy got. I confess that I've only had hominy in soup and stew preparations. Pan-frying looks absolutely delicious!

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  48. Fabulous post Barbara! Hominy is one of those dishes you never give much thought to until...you see a dish like this!!! Thanks for the warm garnished reminder.

    Thanks for sharing, too!!!

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  49. Loveee hominy or maiz peto like we called it in Colombia....We use it to make arepas, soups and stews. It is delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  50. How sad. I've never made hominy, have never eaten hominy either. Paired with grilled salmon, it looks wonderful. I so enjoyed your post and enlightenment on hominy!

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  51. wow, I never even had heard of hominy - great to know!

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  52. Hi. Thank you for your comment on my blog. Much appreciated. :)
    The salmon looks absolutely delicious. and hominy with bacon? I'm there!
    Have a great day. Michael

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  53. My mama loves hominy so I made her some bacon and cheese version once. I kind of died when I tasted it though. Hominy is definitely not my favorite food! ;) My mama would love your recipe, though!

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  54. I'm just learning about Hominy. Thanks for all the great info. It sounds delicious.

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  55. THis looks delicious and I have never tried hominy! Thank you

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  56. I had no idea there was even such a thing as 'big' hominy - but I've always liked hominy - and fried?? Pass the plate/bowl please!!

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  57. Hey Barbara! I've heard of Michael's place. I think he uses mostly organic and locally grown food there. I think???
    I love hominy by the way. I will keep this post in mind in case I see any around here-don't usually but I would love to...!

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  58. Wow, hominy...back in Brasil we used to cook in milk and sugar and top it with cinnamon...I have to try this recipe...looks delicious with fish :-)...and must taste yummier with bacon ;-)

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  59. Oh I had no idea that hominy existed nor what it was! great info! Beautiful and irresistible dish with the salmon on top!

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  60. i really love hominy, but i rarely have it because i forget it's out there! this was a fun post and a great reminder.

    i hope you're having a lovely summer!

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  61. I think you have spotted a new fad, a delicious one at that.
    mimi

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  62. I know the post is about hominy, but your salmon looks divine

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