Need a sexy and comforting side dish to accompany just about anything, whether a weeknight roast chicken or Thanksgiving turkey? This hominy au gratin is a comfort food phenom and couldn’t be easier or more unexpected. A lovely, rich, satisfying change of pace from the usual steamed broccoli or mashed potatoes.–David Leite
Hominy au Gratin
- Mild vegetable oil for the baking dish
- Four (15-ounce) cans white or yellow hominy
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups milk, preferably 2% or whole
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch blended with just enough water to make a thick paste (about 2 teaspoons water)
- 2 cups loosely packed sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded, or more for a more indulgent sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Oil a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish.
- Dump the hominy in a colander and rinse to remove the taste of the can.
- Dump the butter and milk in the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Quickly whisk in the cold cornstarch mixture and whisk until the milk mixture thickens. Remove the pan from the heat, add 1 cup cheese, and stir until it melts, about 30 seconds. If you prefer a thicker sauce, add more cheese. Then stir in the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Taste for seasonings and adjust as desired.
- Spoon just enough of the cheese sauce over the bottom of the baking dish to cover it. Then add the rinsed and drained hominy to the dish and pour the remaining cheese sauce over the top. Shake the dish a few times to help the sauce to settle. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese and bake until bubbly and browned, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Let the hominy au gratin rest for about 10 minutes before serving—and try to show an ounce or two of modesty when the compliments fly.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This was good and easy. It’s like a hominy mac and cheese. Because it’s just like mac and cheese, I’d definitely making this again.
I wasn’t born in the South, but I was certainly raised in the South, living there from the time I was a toddler until graduation from college. Because of that, I was surrounded by that ultimate Southern dish: grits. As any Southern cook knows, grits are nothing more than ground up hominy. I never understood the appeal. Because of that, I did not hold out a whole lot of hope for this dish. I was pleasantly surprised. The dish is not strongly flavored; I definitely added a lot of pepper to mine. It is a nice, basic, and extremely easy to make, side dish. I did try the recipe twice, but did not have any ham to add, so instead I browned some breakfast sausage and mixed it in before topping with cheese and popping it in the oven. Put it on a plate with some scrambled eggs and a biscuit and I was a happy camper.
This is a nice cold winter’s night side dish. It’s easily put together with pantry staples and is a nice alternative to potatoes or rice. The sauce has a lovely subtle spice, combining the cheese with the nutmeg. I served this with some prosciutto-wrapped cod and steamed broccoli. This recipe definitely lends itself to individual interpretation and would be elevated by the addition of some Swiss chard or ham as a main dish.
Oh boy, Hominy au gratin is your friend, alright! In this midwestern winter, with another polar vortex on the horizon, this cheesy deliciousness is far more interesting than macaroni and cheese, which is what this looked like to my housemates before diving in. Both the texture and the corn flavor add interest to this wonderful dish that could easily be eaten solo as a main course, or perhaps with a bowl of soup or a salad. For our palates here, certainly no ham is necessary, as there’s plenty of protein with all the dairy. For us, we think of adding vegetables (peppers whether hot or mild and red or green, wilted spinach, sauteed onions, or topped with scallions), or avocado slices would make a lovely accompaniment. The texture of the hominy is simultaneously so pleasing and so surprising.
This recipe makes an unusual side dish. I liked the cheese sauce and the ease with which the dish comes together. Hominy is a little difficult to find in my neck of the woods, but if you can easily find hominy and like something a little different, this could be a nice change for a side dish. We served this with pulled beef sandwiches and cold beers.