Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quick and Easy Mexican Chili

My mom went through many cooking phases as I was growing up, and one I distinctly remember was the Mexican phase. And I guess really, it was more than a phase, because the Mexican cooking (as well as every other phase) has stood the test of time. But there was a time when Mexican cuisine seemed to be her favorite to cook, and I've experienced numerous flavors and ingredients because of her.

Hominy is one of the Mexican ingredients my mom introduced me to. It was most likely in the form of Pasole, a Mexican stew made with pork and this variation of corn. Hominy is a type of dried corn that is treated to remove the hull from the kernel, which leaves it dense yet puffy. It isn't much on it's own, but when added to a soup or stew it takes the dish to a new level.

I haven't found many ways to use hominy besides in a soup like the Chili I made last night. I need to find other recipes, though, because each time I cook with hominy I'm reminded how much I enjoy it. This recipe for Pork and Hominy Chili is a keeper, for sure. Not only is is great tasting, but it's FAST. Seriously, I was done in less than the 30 minute Rachael Ray time limit. I am not usually the fastest in the kitchen, so I was pretty shocked at how quickly this came together. The pork stayed nice and tender, and the seasoning blended nicely. Other than adding a little oregeno I stuck to the recipe. If you're looking for an easy weeknight meal with a new ingredient mixed in, I think I've found the recipe for you!

Pork and Hominy Chili
Cooking Light, September 2007


2 teaspoons canola oil
8 ounces boneless center-cut pork chops, trimmed and cubed
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
1 (15.5-ounce) can golden hominy, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup light sour cream


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chili powder and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper). Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in tomato paste, hominy, tomatoes, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream.


Liz said...

This sounds so good, but I know that at least two of my 3 kids would find it way too outside their comfort zone. However, I'm going to save it for a night when they're all gone, and try it for my husband and me. I noted some of your other goals and I have to encourage you to try the pasta maker (it's not that hard! Just time-consuming). I've tried to make gnocchi, but it was kind of a disaster. Pies? Not hard.

And in addition to your Julia CHild cookbook, add Cooking With Trader Joe's. You seem like a "from scratch" kind of cook, but there's something to be said for having a little help now and then! This cookbook offers quick and easy gourmet cooking using Trader Joe's products. I have a lot of cookbooks, but only a few that are really my "go-to" books. This is one. I typically have a lot of TJ sauces and other ingredients, and this helps me get great meals on the table, using what's in the pantry. Give it a try.

Sarah said...

I have to admit that I hated hominy as a kid and haven't been able to bring myself to try it as an adult. Although, I really should as I have found many things that I enjoy now that I never did. This actually looks really tasty!

Proud Italian Cook said...

I can't say I ever cooked with hominy. What does it taste like? garbanzo beans?? I love the pork chop addition!! Yumm!

Erin said...

Liz-- That Trader Joe's cookbook sounds like a great weeknight resource! I love cooking from scratch, but also know thtat there are nights when those types of shortcuts are welcome in my house :) Also, I did succesfully make an apple pie a few months ago, but I didn't get any pictures, so I'm keeping it as a goal until I actually blog about it!

Sarah-- You should try it again! I have found there are a lot of things I've grown into over time... although I still HATE cucumbers and canteloupe!

My favorite Italian Cook-- Hominy is kind of similar to garbanzo beans in texture. Kind of dry and boring on it's own, but great mixed in a dish. Very distinctly Mexican flavor.

Darius T. Williams said...

Hominy - I love cooking with it. I'm a fan of grits - so in their unground state - you have hominy. They're great

This looks good!

A World in a PAN said...

Thank you for this informative post; I had never heard about Hominy!