Casseroles are not generally on the top of my list of things to cook. A casserole should be a wonderful thing: You take all these tasty ingredients, put them into a dish, then put it in the oven. What's not to like? (I grew up in the Midwest, after all, and memories of potlucks and church picnics are nothing but happy.) A casserole should be a one-pot dinner that's economical and simple to prepare. But so often they're disappointing: heavy, nondescript, and lacking in flavor.
Thankfully, I didn't have much to worry about with a recipe from Homesick Texan, who advertises her love of chiles in a post about a hominy casserole spiked with roasted poblanos and crispy crumbled chorizo instead of typical ground beef. It takes the humble casserole and makes it into a hybrid Southern and Southwestern dish that's creamy, spicy, and delicious. The sour cream keeps it tart and balanced, but the real star is the hominy: little chickpea-sized pockets of smooth corn kernels. They're addictive. (That reminds me—it's been a little too long since my last pozole.)
- 2 poblano chiles
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound Mexican chorizo, removed from casing
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, finely chopped
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced or grated on microplane
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 (15-ounce) cans of hominy, drained
- 4 ounces sour cream
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat broiler to high and lay poblano chiles on small baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, until blackened on all sides (alternatively, you can blacken chiles directly on open flame of gas burner). Adjust oven rack to middle position and set oven to 350°F. Transfer chiles to bowl and cover with kitchen towel or plate. After 10 minutes, remove skins, stem, and seeds. Rinse and dry flesh. Cut into 1/2-inch dice.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. In 10-inch cast iron skillet, heat vegetable oil until shimmering. Add chorizo and cook, breaking up until crumbled and stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, 8-10 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to plate lined with paper towels to drain, and pour off all but oneteaspoon fat from skillet.
Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, one minute longer. Add the cumin, cayenne, diced poblano chile, and chorizo, and stir to combine. Add hominy, sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, and half the cheese. Stir until well-combined, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with remaining cheese and bake until brown and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.