I'll be honest—I don't eat much hominy. I have nothing against it, it's just not in my weekly rotation. When I do have it, it's usually in a fine bowl of Mexican posole. But the South also has a way with those fat corn kernels, and this recipe from the Matt and Ted Lee's epic Southern Cookbook jumped out at me because it looked both filling and vegetable heavy. Thanks to the bacon, it's not vegetarian, but still qualifies as a meat-light meal.
At first I worried for this dish. When it was about 99% done, it tasted bland and watery. Nothing stood out. Luckily, at the very last second you add some parsley and lemon zest, and suddenly the dish comes alive. It has this haunting citrus nose, with a hearty base thanks to the squash and mushrooms.
- ¼ pound thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion, from about 1 large onion
- 4 cups hominy, drained, from one 30-ounce can
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems discarded, chopped
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 small squashes, cut into ¼-inch thick half moons (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, from ½ lemon
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Add bacon to 10-inch cast iron pan set over medium-high heat. Cook until firm and barely crisp, about four minutes. Turn off heat. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Remove all but two tablespoons of fat from skillet.
Add olive oil to the pan and turn heat to medium. Toss in onions. Cook until translucent, four to fives minutes. Add hominy and cook until it has absorbed most of the liquid in skillet, about five minutes. Pour in broth, stir well, and then add mushrooms and black pepper. Stir again, reduce heat to medium low, and cover. Cook until mushrooms have darkened, and are tender, about five minutes.
Add squash, stir well, and then cover pan again. Simmer vigorously until squash is very tender, about five minutes. Remove lid, add lemon juice, and simmer until liquid is thick, about five minutes. Turn off heat, add parsley, lemon zest, and cooked bacon. Stir well. Serve immediately.