Simply put this is steak and corn....but not as you know it. Here in Kenya and various sub Saharan countries, one way of preserving maize/corn is to dry it out in the sun. The grains become dehydrated and can keep for months at a time. The usual application afterwards is to grind the maize into a flour....maize meal. In Kenya this is cooked into a national dish called Ugali.
So here I was looking at these grains and thinking to myself, what could I possibly do with this stuff besides ugali? Then the thought jumped at me....why not try and re-hydrate them into something palatable......and this this recipe came up. It's a labour of love re-hydrating dry maize but the great thing about it is that because maize can be so bland, you can easily infuse flavour into it to make it more palatable. To this add some protein and/or veg and you have a decent meal.
For this recipe, I added flavour using chicken stock, blended it for a different texture and served it with a fillet steak and some chimichurri. A very simple dish that elevates a local ingredient.
2 cups of dehydrated maize kernels
2 litres chicken stock
1 chicken stock cube
1 large onion finely chopped
25 grams unsalted butter
250 grams fillet steak
For the chimichurri
2 cloves chopped fresh garlic, finely sliced
2 tablespoons fresh minced oregano
2 tablespoons fresh minced coriander
2 tablespoons fresh minced sage
Fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup virgin olive oil or cold pressed canola oil
And so the labor of love begins.
First we start with the chimichurri so that the flavours infuse in the oil. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk and set aside.
Next, soak the maize in hot water and leave overnight (say 12 hours) and then drain the water. (If the maize hasn't softened, you can soak them for longer.)
In a sauce pan, add your onions and some oil and sautee over a medium heat until the onions are translucent. Next, add the maize and your stock cube, salt and pepper and mix well for about 5 minutes or until the stock cube completely dissolves. After this, add the chicken stock, cover the sauce pan and leave to simmer for about an hour or until the stock has reduced. Taste the maize for tenderness and flavour. If it's tender, take it off the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
Once cooled, place the maize into a blender and pulse. DO NOT BLEND I repeat DO NOT BLEND. The pulsed maize should have the texture of chunky oats. We do not want a puree at all. Put the pulsed maize back into the pan on a low heat and add the butter and some more pepper.
As the maize is cooking, heat up a griddle pan with a dash of olive oil. Season your steaks with salt and pepper. When the oil begins to smoke, place your steaks on the heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side depending on how well done you want them.
Turn off the heat on the 'hominy', slice your steak and plate your meal with a generous drizzle of chimichurri.