This hot and hearty stew with black beans, Mexican Hominy, poblanos, and dinosaur kale really hit the spot. After reading about Mexican Hominy in my brand new Dona Tomas
cookbook and then seeing it in my new favorite Safeway, I made my purchase. I have to admit, I've never had hominy before, which is too bad, because it's very tasty.
Hominy, in case you're as ignorant as I was, is "dried white or yellow corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed. This process is done either mechanically or chemically by soaking the corn in slaked lime or lye.....When ground, it's called hominy grits." (source: The New Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst). Umm..."slaked lime"..yeah, like I know what that is?
As, for my own weird personal reasons, this week I'm embracing my inner dummy (who's never had hominy, grits, or has any idea what slaked lime might be), here's what I've discovered. Slaked lime is good ol' Calcium Hydroxide, "created when calcium oxide (lime or quicklime) is slaked with water....in Latin American cooking calcium hydroxide is called "cal." Corn cooked with cal becomes nixtamal, which is considered tastier and easier to digest."(Source: Wikipedia) Yeah...Ok...but "slaked"? Just a word that means "to combine lime with water or moist air."(Source: Dictionary.com).
Anyway, let's get to the taste point. Mexican Hominy is like a large, puffed corn kernel, that tastes a lot like a corn tortilla, and seems like it will grow up to be a piece of very dense popcorn. It's traditionally used in a soup called Pozole (along with pork, which, needless to say, won't be needed in this recipe). I have no idea what I'll use it for in the future, but in this stew, it held the place of rice or potatoes. If you haven't tried it yet, I suggest you check it out. Got a great vegetarian recipe using Mexican Hominy? Please leave it in the comments or email me! Black Bean & Mexican Hominy Stew
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 poblano chile, seeded, ribbed, and finely chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup Pace salsa
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
10 oz Mexican Hominy
2 tbsp chopped jarred jalapenos
1 bunch dinosaur kale, stemmed and torn into 2" strips
1 Field Roast Chipotle Sausage
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook the onion over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the chopped poblano chile and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, salsa, black beans, hominy, jalapenos, and dinosaur kale and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Slice the sausage and fry in a tsp of olive oil until browned.
Add the sausage and chopped cilantro to the stew and serve.