Saturday, 4 December 2010

Tacos with hominy chilli

I was intrigued when I saw Tanna cooking a Hominy Tomatillo Stuffed Pumpkin back in 2008. It wasn’t the first time I had heard of hominy but it was the first time I had seen it up close and in such a beautiful recipe. Tanna kindly responded to my curiosity with helpful information.

I have been meaning to try it for ages. Then, when I was rushing past Casa Iberica (in Johnston Street, Fitzroy) recently, I nipped in and bought some cans of hominy and black beans. Then I felt curious but clueless. What to do with this strange mutant corn that has been dried and soaked in lye! Last week E asked for tacos so I decided to toss both tins into a batch of chilli non carne. This is something I used to make regularly but doesn’t get made nearly so often since I started blogging.

I bought all the vegies at the Vic Market yesterday where I had the pleasure of meeting fellow blogger Hannah. She was as lovely in person as she is on her blog and was patient as I searched in vain for tortillas (actually we had fun looking at all the corn chips and crackers in the organics area). Luckily when I asked E for help he was able to find some in a supermarket near his workplace. The scene was set.

I made the chilli non carne last night while Sylvia ate her dinner. We decided to wait until she had gone to bed so we could spread out the taco fillings on a platter and eat in peace. It made me wonder why I don’t do tacos more often. They are so delicious!

The hominy was an interesting addition. It looks so fluffy but was actually quite dry and chewy and it confused the senses by tasting of corn the way that corn chips do but it just didn’t look at all corny. Well maybe it looks a little like popcorn but I rarely eat it. I realised that it was a three corn taco with corn kernels, corn taco shells and hominy. Nothing wrong with that.

Most bizarrely, today when we had some for lunch, I found that Sylvia loved it. She wont touch most of the stews I make so I was amazed she kept asking for pieces of hominy in the spicy sauce. The only explanation I could think of was that it is about the same size as chickpeas. Though children eat in mysterious ways so I am prepared to believe there is some reason I will never ever know.

I will look out for hominy to cook with again, especially given Sylvia’s enjoyment of it. However, I suspect there are few, if any, places in Melbourne other than Casa Iberica where it is sold. If hominy was easier and cheaper to buy I would definitely use it more often in chilli non carne, probably more for the interesting texture than the flavour. I’d also love to try using it in stews and casseroles and even, if I felt adventurous, in Tanna’s stuffed pumpkin.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Christening Cake
This time two years ago: St Andrew’s Day Haggis
This time three years ago: How green was my mole?

Chilli non carne with hominy
serves 4-6

  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • kernels of 1-2 corn cobs
  • ½ red capsicum, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • 400g tin of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1½ tsp chilli paste (sambal olek)
  • 400g tin of hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp promite (or yeast extract or soy sauce)

To serve:

  • Packet of tacos (about 12)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Cheese
Heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Cook onion and carrot for about 10 minutes until softened. Add corn, capsicum, sweet potato and cumin. Cook a further few minutes. Add water, tomatoes, tomato paste, smoked paprika, chilli, hominy and promite. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes either until the stew starts to stick to the bottom of the pan or until vegetables are soft. I turned mine off and let it sit before serving.

I served mine with tacos warmed in the oven for about 5 minutes at 180 C and a platter of salad to eat with it.

On the stereo:
Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we?:
The Cranberries

15 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to try hominy but it's one of those things that I just haven't gotten around to yet. These tacos sound seriously delicious though!

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  2. Looks really good. I have always wanted to try hominy, but have yet to find it in the U.K. For now, I will just drool over your hominy chilli non carne.

    And whats this, you don't eat popcorn?!

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  3. Your tacos sound delicious. I have never tried hominy and am not sure if it is sold anywhere in Denmark - but it sounds very interesting!

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  4. Aw, thank you Johanna! It was so lovely to meet you too :) And patience wasn't needed - it was fun wandering around with you! I'm so glad the hominy worked out well. I don't know if I'm going to make it to C.I. this trip as my brother and I are goign to Barwon Heads today, but there's always next time ;)

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  5. Thanks Joanne - I really enjoyed the hominy and am looking forward to using it again - even dreamt it was being used as earrings and christmas decorations

    Thanks Mangocheeks - hope you find some - and I've always found that the corn gets caught in my teeth and the smell doesn't entice me enough - but Sylvia loves it so maybe it will become more common in our house

    Thanks Seglare - I was only able to find hominy because we have a Spanish/Mexican food shop in Melbourne so if you have such shops maybe you could find some - it is really interesting to cook with

    Thanks Hannah - hope you enjoyed Barwon Heads - hope to hear about a bit of it on the blog - wish I could have shared some hominy with you - after all sylvia loved it so I am sure you would too :-)

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  6. You chilli non carne looks delicious and I love the name. It's so obvious now I've seen you use it, veggie chilli is the rather boring term I know it as. Have never come across hominy either - always so much to try.

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  7. I've never tried hominy, either, but now I want to! I had no idea it looked like that--you'd never know it was corn! And your description of the flavor is very intriguing (as well as the texture). So glad that Sylvia liked it (maybe you can serve it to her for breakfast?) ;)

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  8. I have never even HEARD of hominy before - let alone tasted it! I am super intrigued now!!!!

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  9. The USA Store in Moorabbin sells five different varieties of canned hominy: http://www.usafoods.com.au/store/search.php?skey=hominy&cat=-1

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  10. I have never heard of hominy or black beans before, so I found your post interesting. Bonus that Sylvia likes it!!

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  11. Wow, congratulations you found a thing Sylvia loves. The tacos look real yummy and even if the hominy looks a bit strange to me, I'l experiment on it. I'm looking forward to the upcoming hominy posts!

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  12. Thanks Choclette - I always called it chilli con carne when I was growing up so I was delighted to find a version called chilli non carne - just seemed right!

    Thanks Ricki - Sylvia might well eat it for breakfast - she has been getting up in the morning and asking for "dinner"! Hope you get to try it - I am sure you would enjoy describing it and I would love to read what you think

    Thanks Lisa - if you can't find it in canberra maybe you could have a fact finding mission to Melbourne

    Thanks Umbagollah - I must trek out there sometimes as the thought of five different varieties is fascinating

    Thanks Cakelaw - I always love to find Sylvia loves a new food - though this isn't the easiest one to serve up because it is hard to get but casa iberica is on my side of the city at least!

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  13. Hominy is one of my favorites. I like the idea of adding it into chili. Will try!

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  14. Teehee! Yep, if Sylvia was keen, I definitely would've been too :P

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  15. I don't think I've ever had hominy! Your taco dinner looks delicious. I love tacos but prefer soft shells as they're less messy!

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