Photo: Allen Salkin
Warning: This recipe is dangerous.
Makes you want to try it, right?
When Michael Schwartz wanted to include an appetizer he is famous for in his new book,
"Michael's Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat," his advisors forbade it. It turns out that the crispy hominy he serves at his restaurants in Miami and Grand Cayman is too prone to cause injury to trust in the hands of most home cooks. Schwartz, who was in New York last week to cook at the James Beard House, explained that when the little morsels of hulled corn hit hot oil, some of them have retain moisture, which makes them likely to pop like little yellow bits of TNT.
Splattering professional sous-chefs with volcanic oil at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink is one thing -- the hominy remains on the menu. But since the book is being touted on Martha Stewart and sold everywhere, his recipe testers suggested he remove the recipe and spare home cooks the risk.
Get the forbidden recipe after the jump.
A source at the Beard dinner with access to the unedited manuscript agreed to email me the top-secret recipe as it appeared before it was yanked from the final book. Now I'm sharing it with you, Slashfood readers. But beware: You cook this at your own risk.
Crispy Hominy with Chile and Lime
Hominy, also called pozole, are big, chewy kernels of hulled corn with the germ removed. Whole hominy kernels can be found in Latin markets as well as health food stores. You treat them like dried beans: soak them, and then boil them. After the initial soaking and cooking, the kernels must be drained and cooled. When they're dry, fry them and then sprinkle with spices.
1 pound dried hominy (pozole), picked through and rinsed
1 onion, halved
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
2 bay leaves
3 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon sugar
Corn oil, for deep frying
Lime wedges, for serving
Put the dried hominy in a bowl and add cool water to cover by 3 inches. Soak the hominy in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 24; they will swell to double their original size. Drain and rinse.
Put the hominy in a large pot and add the onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Pour in cool water to cover and place over medium heat. Cook for 1 to 1½ hours, until the kernels are tender and completely split. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt to the water. I always put salt in the water at the last stage of cooking so the hominy does not become tough. Remove from the heat and let sit for 30 minutes so the salt can soak in and permeate the hominy. Strain the hominy and discard the water and vegetables. Cool the hominy and dry thoroughly. At this point, the hominy can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
In a small bowl, mix together the spices and sugar. Spoon the spice mix into a clean sugar shaker.
Heat 3-inches of oil to 375 degrees F. in a countertop electric fryer, cast-iron skillet, or deep pot. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the hominy into the hot oil, in batches if necessary. You may want to use one of those screen covers, as the hominy tends to pop a lot and jump out of the pan when frying. Fry, stirring occasionally, until the kernels begin to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the fried hominy from the oil and transfer directly to a large stainless steel mixing bowl without draining on paper towels; the residual oil will help the spices adhere to the hominy. While hot, toss the fried hominy with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and shake the spice mix in as you toss to evenly coat. Serve with lime wedges.
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