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lobita

hominy, redux

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So.

Having previously concocted a successful (at least by the estimation of those eating it) version of vegetarian posole with a) canned hominy from Costco and B) fresh hominy from Wal-Mart, I decided it was time to take the next step in semi-authentic Mexican cooking and start with dried hominy.

Assorted web sites led me to believe the process was very similar to cooking with dried beans, albeit possibly with longer soaking/cooking times. However, after some period of soaking and simmering, I finally recognized that the large kernels I bought from the Chapala tianguis are not hominy so much as just plain dried corn. The lime-application stage has yet to be administered.

So in an attempt to salvage this kilo of semi-reconstituted-but-still-very-much-hulled dried corn, I am wondering: where does one obtain, locally, the lime necessary for the nixtamalization step? (And also relevant: once the corn is already partly/mostly rehydrated, is it too late to apply lime to loosen the hulls?)

Thanks for any insight ...

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The process you want is called nixtamalización. The dried corn you bought is exactly what you need. Unfortunately, you've done the process backwards.

First you buy some builder's lime (cal). Then simmer your dried corn (maíz para pozole) in a mixture of cal and water, until the corn is relatively soft but--if you were to bite it now--a little harder than al dente. Then thoroughly rinse the cooked corn--in several wash waters. Once the cal is washed off completely, rub the corn kernels in an old terrycloth towel to remove the tough husks from each kernel.

Now add the chiles and other spices you want to use to a fresh pot of water and bring it to a boil. Add the processed corn kernels and continue to cook until the corn is soft. The kernels will soften and be relatively large. This simmering will probably take several hours.

Now add any other vegetables you want--if you are making vegetarian pozole. For pork pozole, you add a pig head or pork leg to the pot at the time you start the second simmer--as you put the chiles and the spices into the pot.

Have a great time nixtamal-izing your corn!

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Right, I already figured out that I did it wrong -- what I want to know now is where do I find lime. (Knowing the Spanish word for it is a good start, so thanks for that.)

You must be able to buy dried but pre-nixtamalized and pre-hulled hominy in the States; I can think of no other reason why I would have found so many recipes (in English) online that simply tell you to cook the dried hominy like you would dried beans, with no CaCO3 in sight ...

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Cal is available by the scoop, bag or truckload. Ask at your local “materiales“ supplier, or maybe even the local paint store if you only want a kilo or so.

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Right, I already figured out that I did it wrong -- what I want to know now is where do I find lime. (Knowing the Spanish word for it is a good start, so thanks for that.)

You must be able to buy dried but pre-nixtamalized and pre-hulled hominy in the States; I can think of no other reason why I would have found so many recipes (in English) online that simply tell you to cook the dried hominy like you would dried beans, with no CaCO3 in sight ...

Actually, there is no such thing as 'dried hominy'. I've seen vacuum-packed pre-nixtamalized corn here in Mexico, but just once you will want to make your own. For the vacuum-packed stuff, look in a cold case at your grocery store.

For that, it's dried corn that you want, the kind you bought is what you need. The nixtamalization process makes the dried corn viable for pozole.

Get your cal and go for it. You might want to talk with one of your Mexican neighbors about how much cal to use.

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More Liana---

A friend and I are making pozole for a group of 10. I bought 2 kilos of hominy in the refig unit at La bodega in Joco. It looks partially cooked (no hulls), but I can't figure out how long I will need to simmer it. I'm guessing 6 hours? Yes?

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There is a "pink" dried corn for sale at the tienda at La Huerta shopping strip. It is very bland - the cal gives it the distinct "flowery" smell and flavor. I have to take a trip to a feed store to see if I can buy some 'dent' corn. This is the very yellow, sweet corn most often imported from the U.S.A. and Canada. It has the strongest corn flavor. I believe the best tostados use this corn. I have a 'wet stone grinder' which is perfect for making masa, sort of like an electric "molacate"! I have also experimented with fermented corn masa, the fermentation is from a variety of yogurt which lives off corn. It is the same process used in 'sour mash' whiskey production.

edit: if you are buying corn from a feed store - make sure it is for feeding livestock and not SEED corn for growing corn. Seed corn is treated with antifungicides, etc., which are toxic to humans.

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In Chiapas we buy cal at the mercado or tianguis and it is different from the cal use

d in the paint for exemple. My painter wanted cal to mix with water and pigment and I bought the cal at

the market .he told me they could not use it for paint and that was only to cook corn so obviously there is a difference.

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How much cal you use is simple: "not too much or too little , you will know" is the answer I got last

time I asked. ..This time I will watch them but ufortuately the people I know make large quantities at a time so it is not easy to translate how much cal they use if you want to make a much smaller quantity.

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