Monday, December 30, 2013

Cheesy Hominy & Green Chile Casserole

 Christmas dinner with friends...

Kevin cooked up a ham!

I knew the perfect side dish to go with ham-- a creamy, cheesy green chile and hominy dish.

While pulling out the ingredients, I realized that I had run out of cumin powder.  Luckily I had plenty of cumin seeds.  Freshly ground spices taste better anyway...

Cheesy Hominy & Green Chile Casserole
1 medium white onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil (for sautéing the onions & garlic)
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
3/4-1 (8-12 oz)cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided in half
1/4 cup milk
1 28 oz can hominy, drained


Preheat the oven to 350° F.

In a cast iron pan, sauté the chopped onion and garlic in oil until tender.

Add the cumin and green chiles.

 Mix in the sour cream and half of the cheese.

Stir in the milk.

Add the hominy and mix well. 

Sprinkle remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° F for 30 minutes.

Serve warm to enjoy the gooey goodness.

If thisn't wasn't being served with ham, it would be  super delicious with chunks of ham mixed into it.

Rio Grande Mud Pie

Growing up, my family Christmas eve tradition was going out for fajitas.  My mom reasoned that we would spend Christmas day cooking up a big meal, so she didn't want to spend Christmas eve in the kitchen as well.  To keep with the family tradition, I invited some friends over for a fajita dinner on Christmas eve and made this pie for dessert.  It's a fantastically decadent pie that combines chocolate, chiles, nuts, and dulce de leche.

Christmas Eve Rio Grande Mud Pie
pie crust
2 cups pecans
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tbs. New Mexico Chile powder
2 teaspoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon water

pie filling
1 cup butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon Ancho chile purée
1 teaspoon cinnamon

pie topping
caramel/dulce de leche/cajeta (delicious when homemade, but a big time saver and also quite good out of a can)

For the flour in the pie filling, I used sweet rice flour to keep the pie gluten free.


Preheat the over to 325° F.
Place pecans, brown sugar, and chile powder in a bowl or food processor.

Add melted butter, vanilla and water. With the food processor or a hand blender, grind the nuts until the mixture becomes a fine texture (though I left some bigger pieces of nuts for added texture).

Press into a pie pan.

Bake at 325° F for 20 minutes.

Make the Ancho chile purée  by removing the seeds and stem from one ancho chile pepper. Tear it up into small pieces and place is a small bowl or mug.

Just barely cover the Ancho chile pieces with boiling hot water, and then let it soak the until the chile becomes tender.  Purée in a food processor or with hand blender.

Melt the butter and chocolate chips.  You can do this in a double boiler, but I took the short cut of melting it in my microwave for about 2 minutes.

Beat in the eggs.

Add sugars and flour.

Stir the Ancho chile purée and cinnamon.

Pour filling into pie crust.  After adding the cinnamon, some of the butter because to separate a bit, but I just poured it all in the pie crust.

Bake at 325° for 60 minutes.  I placed a cookie sheet underneath to catch the bit of dripping butter that separated…

Once the pie cools, spread caramel/dulce de leche/cajeta on top.

The pie was a big hit! And the pie went well with a bit of eggnog ice cream.