The Pantry Staple You Didn’t Know Existed
Hint: it’s just as convenient and delicious as a can of beans.
You’ve probably walked right past it in the supermarket. It’s usually next to the canned beans (Goya makes a version of it). It’s white, round, and the size of chickpeas. It also comes dried. Have you caught on yet? We’ll clue you in: we’re talking about hominy.
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That’s right, the chewy flower-shaped nuggets that usually star in the Mexican soup pozole. With a flavor similar to that of tangy corn, the swollen white kernels are made by soaking corn in a solution of water and powdered lime (an alkaline mineral); this removes their hull and germ. It’s then either cooked and canned or dried. The canned variety is definitely more common to find in regular supermarkets, but if you spot the dried stuff snap it up. Its nutty flavor and al dente texture is unbeatable. You can prepare dried hominy just like dried beans.
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Unlike beans, however, which absorb the flavors of their cooking liquid, hominy retains its distinct taste when stirred into soups. Meaning it’s a great way to add an extra layer to stews that taste monotonous. In addition to using it in soups and stews, you can mix it into your favorite taco filling or toss it into salads. You can puree it with a bit of olive oil, fresh herbs, and lemon juice to create a dip or to smear on a plate and serve with protein. It also makes for a crunchy snack (ever heard of corn nuts?). Try tossing cooked hominy with salt, baking it until crisp, and then drizzling it with olive oil.