It’s almost time to celebrate Thanksgiving. There was a time when we enjoyed turkey and dressing with all the trimmings. In those days there were a lot more people gathered around our table but in the last few years it’s been just Joe and I. We’ve been trying new things, mixing a little of the traditional with some new twists. This year we settled on smoking a pork butt with red chile spices and will add some different sides to the table. One of the sides I’ve planned is Green Chile and Cheese Hominy Casserole which would be a welcome dish on any New Mexican table. It can only be described as creamy, savory and spicy. I used a soft fontina cheese along with sour cream to bind the casserole together and then topped it with cheddar cheese and bacon bits. All the ingredients are prepared in a small dutch oven and baked to perfection which makes this dish easy from start to finish. I hope you all have a festive day making new memories around your kitchen table. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Slice the bacon and fry until crisp. Remove bacon bits with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel. Leave about a tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan. I save any unused bacon grease in a glass jar and refrigerate for later uses. My favorite thing is to cook breakfast potatoes in a little bit of bacon grease, it gives a crisp outer texture and makes them taste so good.
I have a small 1 1/2 quart dutch oven that I use when making something for just Joe and I. Or you can use an 8 or 10 inch cast iron skillet to make this casserole. Start by sauteing the onions in the reserved bacon grease.
Stir the pot and saute the onions until they become soft and translucent.
Drain the liquid from the hominy and add to the cooked onion.
Now add the sour cream, chopped green chile, crispy bacon bits and ground red chile. Reserve a few bacon bits to top the casserole.
Lastly add the grated fontina cheese before you give it all a stir.
Stir everything together until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste and add salt if needed. Pat the mixture down so that it’s even in the pan.
Top the hominy mix with grated cheddar cheese and a few reserved bacon bits.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Leave under the broiler for an additional 5 – 7 minutes for a crispy cheesy crust.
Green Chile and Cheese Hominy Casserole
1 (25 ounce) can Hominy, may use 2 (15 ounce cans)
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
4 slices cooked Bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon reserved Bacon Grease
1/2 cup Green Chile, roasted, seeded, peeled and chopped
2 dollops Sour Cream
*4 ounces Fontina Cheese, grated
*2 ounces Cheddar Cheese, grated
**1 teaspoon Red Chile ground, I used 1/2 teaspoon Ancho Chile and 1/2 teaspoon NM Red Chile)
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a small dutch oven or 8 – 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Fry sliced bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess grease. Leave approximately 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan and saute onion. Stir the onion over medium heat until it becomes soft and translucent. Add the hominy, green chile, sour cream, ground red chile, bacon bits and fontina cheese. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients together. Taste and add salt if needed. Pat the hominy mix down into the pan so that it is somewhat flat. Top with grated cheddar cheese and reserved bacon bits.
Place dutch oven or skillet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Turn on the broiler setting and leave for 5 – 7 minutes or until the casserole has the appearance of a crisp cheese and bacon top crust.
Serve warm. Makes approximately 6 servings.
*I used Fontina and Cheddar Cheese but I would recommend any combination of Fontina, Cheddar, Gruyere or Oaxaca cheese.
**I ground my own dried red chile pods to use in this recipe. Any combination of Ancho, Guajilo, NM Red or Chile de Arbol would work well in this recipe. Chile de Arbol would give it an even spicier kick.