My primary memory of hominy is a quick Sunday night dish my mom used to whip up with eggs and sausage, but I love hominy as a more unusual side for a good Mexican meal.
I recently made this dish for a gathering of my parents’ friends, and when they realized it was hominy, I got a few looks. One friend told me she hadn’t had hominy since early childhood, when it was served in the cafeteria during wartime rationing. Another echoed basically the same idea – it was something only served at school lunches. Perhaps politely, they all dished out some hominy. And went back. And scraped the dish clean. And their plates. It was also a big hit with my young nephew and niece, who were also interested to learn when one of the guests explained that hominy is basically grits before they are ground up.
This is my jazzed-up version of an old community cookbook recipe, sans condensed soup and processed cheese. It has a bit of a kick, but not so spicy that my spice adverse family couldn’t stand it. But feel free to pump it up to your taste. Readily available Monterey jack cheese is perfect for this, but when I find a blend of Mexican cheeses like cotija, queso asadero and queso quesadilla, I prefer that. You could of course, make up your own cheese blend.
Creamy Hominy Bake with Green Chiles and Cheese
2 (30-ounce) cans hominy, white, golden or one of each
8 ounces of sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 (7-ounce) can diced green chiles
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated Monterrey jack cheese, or a blend of Mexican cheeses
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8- by 10-inch casserole with cooking spray.
Thoroughly rinse and drain the hominy. In a large bowl, stir together the sour cream, cream, green chiles, lime juice, salt cumin and pepper. Blend until completely combined. Add the drained hominy and gently stir to thoroughly coat the hominy. Spoon the hominy into the prepared casserole. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.
Cover the casserole with foil and bake the hominy for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake a further five minutes until the cheese is melted and gooey.
The casserole can be refrigerate for several hours before baking. Serve piping hot.