This is the second of two pork and hominy recipes I've been wanting to try. If you didn't already know, hominy is that which is ground up and made into your breakfast grits or the masa for your tamales. It is made of dried corn kernels, which have been treated by soaking them in a solution of lye or lime. This removes the hull and germ, making them easier to prepare, and changing their taste. According to the wikipedia entry, it also makes the final product more nutritionally valuable. The taste really is different from fresh or dried corn, quite distinctive, and I like it a lot.
This soup recipe came, more or less completely from epicurious. I did change it a bit, using my big dried milder New Mexico chilis for the salsa instead of the arbols, and some additional neck bones, and pieces of the cut up loin I had, instead of the ribs.I also used the remains of the jelled court boullion from my venture in pigs feet, in making the soup. I was attracted to the recipe, in part because of the separate salsa and toppings, despite some griping in the epicurious comments about the lack of authenticity.
I've got nothing against bottled hot sauce, and apply it pretty liberally to some dishes. I especially like the southeast asian style hot sauce with the picture of the rooster on the front. You know the one I mean? I'm not sure I ever knew what it is called-we just refer to it as "rooster sauce", and I suspect a lot of other people do too. But I do really have a special fondness for hot sauce freshly assembled from dried chilis. I'm not positive that I'm not fooling myself, but I do believe it is special. Certainly it is an advantage to let everyone eating adjust the firepower of a hot dish to his or her own taste. Adding the other condiments/ garnishes at the table allows for custom touches too. And the radishes sounded like a clever thought.
Oh, and this time of year, I can't keep from piling on the cilantro. But you can do it at the table, so the cilantro-phobes don't have to squirm. This is really good, and the pigs feet in the broth made it really substantial-it goes all jelly if it's left to cool. If you try it, don't forget the lime juice-it's essential for setting off the other flavors. the crisp toppings are awfully nice too- the radish is, as suspected, especially nice.