Hominy and beans are a natural pairing–not only do they share a long culinary history, but processing both results in a product with a similar, soft texture that easily absorbs flavor in stews. This particular chili is not only vegetarian, but is also borrows traditional ingredients usually found with posole–cilantro, lime, avocado, cotja cheese, which makes for an interesting flavor combination. For us, we prefer to substitute a hard fall cider for the brown ale, which lightens the overall dish.
Note that you will need to soak your lentils for quite sometime (8-14 hours, or overnight if you prefer), which means you also have time to make your own hominy!
French Lentil and Hominy Chili (Gilda de Laurentiis)
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil (or any other oil)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 jalapeno, ribs removed and chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 1/3″
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 c. French lentils, picked through, soaked and rinsed for 8-14 hours
- 1 1/2 c. brown ale, or hard cider
- 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can of hominy, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 c. cilantro leaves
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/2 c. cotja cheese, crumbled
- lime wedges
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. When it is hot, add the oil and diced the onion. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic, jalapeno, yellow and red peppers and continue to cook, stirring often, for an additional 4 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and salt and stir until the mixture is fragrant. Add the lentils, beer (or ale), tomatoes, and 1 1/4 c. water and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pot and simmer for 25 minutes. Uncover the chili and add the hominy. Continue to cook uncovered until the chili has thickened slightly and the lentils are cooked through, about 15 minutes or more. Serve topped with the cilantro, avocado, and cotja cheese. Finish with a squeeze of lime if desired.