“My mother used to make hominy,” says Mavis Young. “Before she would cook it, she’d go through this very long process: She’d take the dry corn, put them in water with potash or a little lye, then boil them, which would loosen the husk. Then she’d wash them several times to get the lye out, and take the cobs off by hand, and then wash them some more. Today I just buy it in a can.”
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
3 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 (12-ounce) cans hominy, drained
¼ teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Cook the bacon in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp and browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, leaving the fat in the pan.
2. Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved bacon, hominy, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, and cook to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
If you like corn, you’ll love hominy. This plain-Jane staple of southern cooking gets the “company’s coming” treatment with a little bacon, basil, sweet pepper, and onion.