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Simple Hominy Vegetable Recipes

Both white and yellow corn are made into hominy vegetable, although some Southerners will only eat the white variety, as dried yellow corn has been traditionally used for animal feed. To make hominy, field-dried corn is removed from the cob, soaked in lime water (originally it was a lye solution made from wood ashes and water) and boiled so that it swells up and the husk or bran comes off the kernels. If the resulting swollen kernels are redried, they can be broken up or ground. Broken into large pieces, the dried hominy is called samp and is made into a nourishing mush; ground, it becomes that wonderful southern staple, hominy grits (although grits are sometimes ground from dried corn that has not been made into hominy). Ground even more finely into meal, hominy becomes masa harina, the flour traditionally used in Mexico to make tortillas and tamales.

Making your own hominy is certainly not worth the effort today since there is good quality canned hominy (both yellow and white) widely available. In some areas, frozen hominy may be in the market and can be thawed and substituted for the canned. Occasionally, whole hominy is available dried. It must be rehydrated by soaking overnight and then boiling it until soft again. White hominy has a more delicate flavor than yellow. But they can be used interchangeably.

Hominy is delicious on its own but can be added to your favorite stews and simple soups recipes at will. I like to stir a cup or so of rinsed hominy into my favorite bean soup for a different flavor and unusual texture.

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