My First Attempt at Making Hominy

Hominy Corn made from Painted Mountain flour corn and pickling lime.
Hominy corn made from Painted Mountain flour corn and pickling lime.

I am a big fan of hominy corn and eat it at least once a week with beans, hashed brown potatoes, garlic, and hot salsa. Not many people up here in Minnesota eat hominy let alone know of it. In the local grocery store cans of hominy occupy about 2 square feet of shelf space and I suspect I am the only person in the county who ever buys it.

This year I have enough of my homegrown flour corn (Painted Mountain) that I am going to turn some of it into hominy. I finished my first small batch today as a test to see how difficult the process is and what sort of problems might occur. The process is relatively easy and although it does take a whole day most of the time I was just letting the pickling lime (calcium hydroxide) form an alkaline solution (5 hours) and then letting the corn soak in that overnight (about 9 hours). There were about 2.5 hours of cooking the lime water-soaked corn kernels followed by rinsing and then cooking in plain water for thirty minutes.

The finished product has a definite hominy taste although it is not as soft as canned hominy. I suspect that canned hominy does not use alkali in the process since there is no mention in the ingredients and it is pressure cooked which would also change the texture. I was not able to get the seed coats off the grains but they did become very thin and soft and don’t seem to be a problem. I think that for this type of flour corn the solution may need to be a bit more alkaline or it may need to cook in the lime water an extra thirty minutes to get the seed coats off. So the next time I’ll try each and see how the hominy turns out. Right now I’m taste sampling my cooked hominy and think it is pretty close to what it should be: nixtamal.

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