Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dave's Kitchen: Making hominy

Dave's been busy in his kitchen lately, while most of us slowed down as gardening season winds to a close and the harvest is preserved and stored.  Here's what he wrote to me today:

I use "Feed Corn" purchased from a local feed store to make Hominy
and to grind as "Corn Meal".  Many will say that this is not a "Healthy"
practice but I dont accept that argument as a general rule. That debate
can be pursued in other places.

I dont use "Deer Corn"; it is usually full of garbage, bits of cob and less
than perfect kernels. Also it doesn't usually have any limits of "Aflatoxin"
content like much of the feed corn, and all the corn marketed for human
consumption does.

How To Make Hominy

Pick and clean 2 quarts of corn.  The kernels can be poured on a table
top and picked through as one would do for dry beans. Reject any
kernels that are broken, damaged or otherwise not perfect. Cracked
kernels will break down in the soaking process and "Gum Up" the
works, making the finished hominy harder to rinse clean.

Place the cleaned/washed corn in a 4-gallon granitware pan and fill it
to about 4 inches of the top. Add 1 rounded tablespoon of Lime(Pickling
Lime from the Grocery store will work) per pint of corn and gently mix
it into the water. Be careful not to let the dust get airborne, it can be
hazardous to breathe. It may seem like a lot of water for the amount
of corn but at the end of the the "Liming", you will see why.

Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to just
under a boil. Cover and let it sit for about 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.

When the kernels have doubled or even tripled in size, pinch one between
your fingers and if there is no "Dry" material inside, it is ready to rinse.

Drain the lime water and rinse the corn in clean water and return it to
the pot.

Fill the pot with warm water and, using your hands, gently rub the
kernels together to remove any dissolved shell that may still be on
them, and rinse. Repeat until the water is clean and clear.

At this point the "Hominy" is finished and can be eaten. I usually
dehydrate and grind it into meal and use it to make cornbread, but it
can eaten fresh, cooked with peppers and onions and eaten like corn,
or made into tortillas. It's also good cooked into soups or chopped fine
in a food processor and added to Chili.

To dehydrate/dry the Hominy, it can be spread on a flat surface in a
warm, dry and clean location that is free of insects and other pests.
To dry in a dehydrator, spread the kernels on your tray in a thin
layer and dry at medium heat. If the dehydrator heat is set too
high, it may "Glaze" the outsides of the kernels and seal in the

This batch of Hominy is destined to be ground into "Meal" so I
left much of the "Germ" in during the rinsing.  It adds flavor, fat
and other nutrients. If you are going to use the hominy as a table
dish, you may want to rinse the germ out for a better appearance.

 Two quarts of whole kernel corn straight from the feed
bag, along with the "cast offs" seperated from it. This bag of
corn had more broken kernels than most I buy but it was still
a good clean bag of grain.
The limed and rinsed kernels, ready
to eat or dehydrate.
 Kernels spread on the dehydrator tray, the layer is
thin enough to allow air flow around the hominy to speed the
drying process.

The finished dried hominy, ready to store or grind
into meal for use as "Grits", in cornbread or other recipes.
Thanks, Dave, for sharing this with us.  It sounds like something that would be good in Taco soup, among other things!  I'm looking forward to trying to make my own hominy.  We've always bought it in cans from the store. I love learning how to make things myself.   I appreciate all that I've learned from people as I've worked on this blog.
Please keep sending your emails with comments, suggestions, and questions!

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