Bacon & Hatch Green Chile Hominy Casserole
Move over, mac’n’cheese, there’s a new side dish in town. A creamy concoction of hominy, bacon, two types of chiles and an impressive amount of cheese, perfect for taking advantage of the beautiful Hatch chiles that find their way out of New Mexico every August.
Hominy is actually corn that has undergone the nixtamalization process, meaning it’s been soaking in an alkaline solution, usually lime. This separates the kernels from the hulls and causes the kernels to swell and puff up in size, giving it them appearance nearly like garbanzo beans. Also known as Pozole, it’s the essential ingredient for masa in corn tortillas and also can be turned into grits. Mmmm, grits…
I first tried a version of this recipe when Israel Campos of Pody’s BBQ in Pecos made it for BBQ camp, and most recently enjoyed it at Perini Ranch in Buffalo Gap, whose recipe I used as the base for my own slightly tweaked version. Apparently green chile hominy was quite the popular dish back in the day, but is rarely seen on modern menus. It’s a shame really, it’s the perfect blend of comfort cooking with a Texan flair, so I say we bring it back! Plus, it’s a great excuse to bust out that cast iron skillet…
Bacon & Green Chile Hominy Casserole
Based on the Perini Ranch Cookbook recipe. This dish can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. I prefer to use white hominy for mine, but either color will work fine.
This recipe calls for around 6 ounces of cheese – I used three different kinds to make up the 6, you can just use cheddar if you prefer.
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 6 rashers of bacon, chopped
- 2 x 15oz cans hominy
- 2 oz Monterrey Jack, shredded
- 2 oz Gruyere, shredded
- 2 oz Cheddar, shredded
- 1/2 cup fresh poblano peppers, chopped
- 3/4 cup roasted hatch chiles, chopped
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- Salt to taste
(If using a cast iron skillet, you can do all these steps in the one pan)
Brown chopped bacon in pan then remove, leaving grease in the skillet.
Cook onions in the reserved bacon fat until golden brown, then remove.
Strain the hominy, but retain a small amount of the liquid. On low heat, add hominy and it's remaining liquid to the pan to heat through.
Once heated, increase heat to medium, add in the poblano and hatch chiles, sour cream, onions, paprika, salt, half the cheese and half the bacon.
If using a casserole/oven proof dish, transfer the mix at this stage.
Sprinkle remaining cheese & bacon on top, and bake for 15 mins in a 320f/160c oven. If you're re-heating a prepared casserole from the fridge, bake 45 min.
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