Hunt for hominy is a tradition

November 19, 2008|By Rob Kasper | Rob Kasper,rob.kasper@baltsun.com

My family likes this casserole because its texture and flavors sidle up nicely to roast turkey. It also is terrific as a leftover, a crucial asset of any Thanksgiving dish. The hominy in it reminds me of the Native Americans who helped the Pilgrims get the first feast up and running.

Like most family recipes, this one has its stories of struggle. Hominy, we discovered some years ago, can be hard to find in Boston groceries. So when we traveled to Massachusetts to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with relatives, we carried cans of hominy with us from Baltimore. Tracking down whole green chile peppers can also be tricky. This year, the Baltimore grocery stores seem to feature cans of chopped chile peppers, which work fine, but I prefer whole. Eventually, I found some.

Finally, I love the heritage of this dish. We first made it about 20 years ago while visiting with my sister-in-law and her family in Tucson, Ariz. She had clipped the recipe from a newspaper food section, which, as the casserole cognoscenti will tell you, is the source of all knowledge.

Analysis on this recipe and the others in today's You & Taste section provided by registered dietitian Jodie Shield.

hominy casserole

(serves 10)

two 16-ounce cans hominy, drained

two 16-ounce cans yellow corn (not creamed), drained

1 cup sour cream

two 4.5-ounce cans green chile peppers, chopped or sliced (see note)

black pepper and salt to taste

1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced

In a buttered casserole dish, layer ingredients. Repeat to fill dish. Cook uncovered in 400-degree oven for about 1 hour, until top is crusty.

Note: The original recipe, from Tucson, gives jalapeno peppers, which are hotter than green chile peppers, as an option. We have never used jalapeno peppers in this dish, but I think a smaller portion, about half the size of the green chiles, would deliver plenty of fire.

Courtesy of Rob Kasper

Per serving: : 372 calories, 16 grams protein, 19 grams fat, 12 grams saturated fat, 33 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 818 milligrams sodium

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