This recipe is for making pozole also known as hominy. You need 2 lbs of white field corn (removed from cob) and two tablespoons slaked lime (also known as Cal). Clean the corn by placing in a colander and rising with cold water.
Add two quarts of water into a four-quart non-corrosive pan (stainless steel, or enameled pot). Put the pan on high heat and stir in the slaked lime until it dissolves.
Bring the slaked lime water to a boil and add the corn stirring gently. Using a slotted spoon remove any kernels that float to the top. When the water is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and let the corn soak for about one hour.
Wash the corn carefully, if you don’t the corn will taste like lime. Put the corn into a colander and rinse with cold water. Rub the corn between your hands to loosen any hulls still attached to the kernels. Continue this until the corn is all white (except the little tips). Allow the corn to drain.
At your option, you can use your thumbnail or a sharp knife to pick the little brown heads off. This is called de-heading the kernels. This does not affect the taste of the pozole.
The corn is now ready for your favorite pozole or hominy recipe.
In addition to preventing pellagra, nixtamalization eased the work of women who performed the backbreaking labor of grinding corn. Using the traditional Metate e mano untreated corn was very hard to grind. The lime water removed the corns husk and permitted the water to soak in and made grinding easier.
Slaked lime, is a weak soluble, alkaline solution made by burning limestone or seashells at very high temperatures to produce lime and then dissolving it in water. In Mexico, it is known as Cal, and in America is sold under the name pickling lime.