Hominy, Mushroom, and Cheddar Casserole

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    4

    servings

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Ever since the original settlers of Jamestown, Virginia, were greeted by Indians in 1607 with bowls of softened maize with salt and hog fat (“rockahomini”), there’s been confusion even in the South over the difference between hominy and grits. In short, hominy is whole, dried corn kernels soaked in water and lye to remove the outer hulls; dry and grind hominy, and you have grits (or, in Charleston, South Carolina, “hominy grits”). The only old-fashioned hominy I’ve encountered was made by a Tennessee housewife, but fortunately the canned beads of corn are not only much easier to handle but just as good as the handmade product. Today, hominy is used to make all sorts of breads and puddings, but it’s also a major ingredient in homey casseroles such as this one, intended to be served alongside roasted meats and fowl and even barbecued pork ribs.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 scallions (white parts only), minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ pound mushrooms, finely chopped
  • One 28-ounce can hominy, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pimentos
  • 1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • ½ cup half-and-half

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 1-quart casserole and set aside.

In a small skillet, melt the butter over moderately low heat, add the scallions, garlic, and mushrooms, stir till the mushrooms give up their liquid, about 5 minutes, and remove from the heat.

Arrange the hominy across the bottom of the prepared casserole and layer the mushrooms, pimentos, ¾ cup of the cheese, and sour cream on top. Season with salt and pepper and cayenne pepper and pour half-and-half over the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top and bake till golden, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.