All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
First of all – these photos are really lame & do not do this dish justice. Part of the problem is that it falls apart on your plate when you serve it & just looks messy. The other part of the problem is that, so often, I am posting my daily meals on here & sometimes, like last night, I am hungry & impatient & not in the mood to walk around my house with a plate of cooling food looking for nice light to shoot it in. I also have a limited number of dishes to present food on & limited places with proper lighting – especially at night – and I am finding that my images are starting to all look alike.
Anyway – this doesn’t look very pretty but let me assure you – it is delicious & really easy. I made a hominy mac & cheese on Cinco de Mayo & it was a HUGE hit. I am waiting to post the recipe until I make it again in a more manageable quantity. My May 5th recipe feeds about 40. I will include that recipe, too, when the time comes.
This dish was born, like so many of my recipes, of things I already had around. I had tomatoes & jalapenos that needed using. I had left over black beans from the May 5th party. I had several cans of hominy around & I had some Soyrizo (vegetarian chorizo). And – as always – I had tons of cheese. I also had leftover crema (Mexican sour cream) and milk from things I’d made last weekend.
The beans I used in this were already heavily seasoned but you could just use canned black beans if you have no prepared beans around or hanging out in the freezer.
First – you might ask – “WTF is hominy?” Here is one explanation:
Hominy refers to corn kernels without their germ and their hull, or bran. The germ and hull might be removed by soaking the corn in a special type of solution or by crushing the kernels and then sifting them out. It can be served whole or ground, and as a cereal or as a vegetable. The ground kernels can also be pressed into patties and fried. This dish is especially popular in the southern United States.
How It’s Made
To make hominy, the corn can be soaked in an alkali solution, such as weak lye. This type is sometimes called lye hominy. When the germ and hull are removed mechanically by crushing and sifting, the variety is often referred to as “pearl.” Removing the germ prevents the corn kernels from sprouting while they are being stored.
Other Names and Variations
There are many other names for the variations of hominy. It might be called yellow or white, depending on whether it was made with white corn or yellow corn. It’s often called samp when it’s coarsely ground, and when ground into small grains, it’s often called grits, hominy grits, or little hominy. In some places, when the kernels are whole, it is called posole.
Hominy has intrigued me from the shelves of my grocery store for years. It looks like comfort food & it is inexpensive. Still – it wasn’t until my Hominy Mac & Cheese invention that I ever tried using it. The mac & cheese was so crazy popular that it has built up my confidence that the earthy corn flavor is something lots of folks respond well to. It tastes kind of like a corn tortilla. It has the texture of maybe a grittier garbanzo bean. In recipes, it provides flavor & texture & all the comfort of pasta – without being pasta. I think it is gluten free & nearly fat free & only has about 119 calories in a cup. It is a carb but it is also high in fiber. Ground up hominy is another of my favorite things – grits! I really am kind of crazy for hominy & I hope you will give one of my hominy recipes a try! Also – I added up the approximate calorie count of this entire casserole using Soyrizo (which could feed 6-8 pretty easily) and it came to about 3200 calories. That is 400-550 calories a serving. Even with ALL that cheese!!! It would be higher with chorizo, though. But still – that is pretty low for a meal that feels so rich.
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Hominy & Chorizo (Soyrizo) Casserole with Black Beans & Roasted Jalapenos
2 29oz cans hominy (white or yellow or a combo) – drained
3 tomatoes – diced
10 jalapeno peppers (or less if spice bothers you)
4 garlic cloves – minced
1 onion – diced
2 cups black beans – canned or prepared like THIS
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
4-5 cups of grated cheese
1 12oz package of soyrizo or similar quantity of chorizo
1 cup cilantro – chopped
2 TBS olive oil
IF YOU ARE USING PLAIN CANNED BEANS also add:
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
Extra cheese, diced tomato & cilantro as garnish
If you are using chorizo – fry it up in a pan until it is cooked through. Try to drain the extra grease & set it aside. If using soyrizo – no extra step required.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
On your stove top, char the outside of the jalapenos until they blacken. You can do this directly on the burners or by broiling in the oven. Once blackened, seal them in Tupperware or wrap them in foil for about 15 minutes. This will sweat the skin off. Then, under cool running water, roll the blackened skin away & squeeze off the tops & remove the seeds. Then – chop the jalapenos finely.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the diced onion & minced garlic & saute a minute or two – or until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes, jalapenos & soyrizo (or chorizo). Add the beans (and cumin & chili powder & salt, if using). Stir. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, mix the hominy with the soyrizo/chorizo & bean mix & the milk, sour cream, cilantro and about 2/3 of the cheese.
Grease a large casserole pan or other baking pan & pour the hominy mix in. Top with the remaining cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes then increase the temperature to 450 & bake about 20 minutes longer or until the cheese on top is very melted & beginning to turn golden.
Let it rest about 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with extra cheese and cilantro or chopped tomatoes & jalapeno.
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