Move over chips and salsa. Vianney Rodriguez, the South Texas food blogger behind Sweet Life, shares her new favorite party snack.
Fried Hominy
Fried Hominy
| Credit: Jason David Page

Hominy is one of my favorite ingredients. There's just something about those plump, juicy corn kernels that takes me all the way back to my childhood. When I was growing up, my siblings and I always asked for extra hominy in our sopas and stews because we loved the crispness that it would add to any dish. We would plunge the ladle into the menudo pot looking for extra bits of hominy to put in our bowls. Mami knew how much we loved it and always made sure to buy extra hominy to put in the pot for us. As an adult, I still find myself digging to the bottom of the pot to scoop as many of these delicious golden nuggets into my bowl as I can. Now I pass on my love of hominy to my own kids.

Hominy has a unique, crisp texture and refreshing flavor. It's delicious in soups and stews, because it takes on the rich flavors of the broth and seasonings. And it's a great ingredient to stretch a meal, but still feels light. Hominy is often seen as a staple ingredient during the Navideño season, and makes an appearance in two of the most iconic holiday dishes, pozole and menudo. Both dishes are often served at Las Posadas and on New Year's Day.

After the holidays, when the temperatures here in South Texas start creeping into the high 90s, serving a steaming hot stew like pozole and menudo, isn't ideal. So when I still find myself craving menudo during the dead heat of summer, I come up with creative new ways to reinvent hominy. I've often sauteed the tender kernels to use in a side dish, layered them between two flour tortillas to make quesadillas, or mixed them into a refreshing salsa.

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Recently, I hosted a ladies night in with a few of my favorite friends. The plan was to relax, unwind and enjoy a few light appetizers paired with some yummy cocktails. I spotted this fried hominy recipe in a holiday issue of Southern Living and immediately bookmarked it. It was exactly the kind of recipe I would make and perfect for entertaining. To add my own Tejana twist, I created a bright cilantro pepita pesto sauce to drizzle over top of the crisp, fried hominy. Cilantro and lime pair well with hominy and the pepitas add a rich, nutty flavor to the dish. This light, refreshing sauce gets a kick of flavor from the lime juice and is the perfect accompaniment for the fried hominy.

Vianney Rodriguez is an award-winning food blogger, recipe developer, and the author of Latin Twist, a collection of delicious Latin-inspired cocktails. On Sweet Life, I share my passion for good food and experiences and memories celebrated with family, through travel, entertaining, and soul-satisfying meals. Every post on Sweet Life is filled with the vibrant culture and food of South Texas. As a proud Tejana, I invite you to join me on this journey and to experience all the rich culture that Texas has to offer.