Saturday, January 19, 2008
Pioneer Woman hack!
First of all, you know how I love the Pioneer Woman. I hate that she's gotten so popular over the past year, but how can you help from being successful when you have a great sense of humor, awesome recipes, a very interesting life that you document with beautiful pictures, and great contests?
This is my nod to the Pioneer Woman. I am not trying to be the Pioneer Woman. I am not going to start taking pictures of my cat and her daily activities or my husband breaking up the ice in the bird bath or my children running around without their clothes on...again. But I do love to cook and I do have a recipe that I've darn near perfected this past month that I'd like to share. I just happen to be sharing it with you Pioneer Woman style. I love the idea of taking pictures of every step of a recipe. It's foolproof!
Now, to the recipe. I have made this dish for 3, count em, 3 funerals in the last 30 days. In fact, it's becoming my signature funeral dish. It's officially called Jessica's Favorite Green Chile Hominy, but I've shortened it to Green Chile Hominy because I got tired of being asked who Jessica is. It comes from my Perini Ranch cookbook, Texas Cowboy Cooking, and it is GOOD! It's really comforting and fatty and cheesy. Just the thing you want to eat when you have to deal with a death and a funeral and all that emotional stuff. Believe me, when you're going through something like that, your body does not want to eat salad!
At this point I'd like to interject a little comment abour Perini's. If you ever find yourself within 50 miles of Buffalo Gap, Texas, you'd better stop in at the Perini Ranch. Tom's food is out of this world! He's a cowboy cook who travels all over the place with his authentic chuckwagon showing people how cooking used to be done on the prairie. His restaurant is very rustic. My favorite time to go is on Sunday afternoons in the summertime when they have a buffet outside and everything is still in huge cast iron skillets on the grill. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Let's get on with it, shall we?
Here's the star-studded line up:
In the leading role, hominy. Then there's onion, pickled jalapenos, cheddar cheese, bacon, and in a supporting role, green chiles.
Let's start by getting our bacon going because it takes the longest to do. Thanks to a little tip from my good friend Chef Joel Trueblood who gave it to my best friend and breakfast burrito maker extraordinaire, Francesca, there'll be no more spattering grease or melting plates in the microwave (I guess that's just my microwave.) Just lay 10 slices of bacon on a cookie sheet like so...
I know, I know. All you C personalities out there have counted the bacon slices and found that there's not 10, but 11 pieces. Let's just call that a little bacon tax and you can go ahead and call me the IRS. There's more on that subject here.
Pop those puppies in a 350 degree oven. When the edges start to get a little curly, flip 'em over and keep those suckers in there until your whole house smells like bacon and you can't stand it anymore. But you can cook your bacon any way you please. Just cook it till it's crispy.
Now take a good-sized onion and cut it in half. Take one of the halves and wrap it in plastic wrap because your husband is always asking if there's any onion in the fridge for his sandwich. Then take the other half and chop it up. I don't like close-up shots of my hands so here's the onion before it was chopped...
And here's the onion after it was chopped. Questions? And by the way, if you're wondering why I'm cutting directly on my concrete countertop when I said I'd never do that because it would dull my knives, I didn't. I just scraped everything off of the cutting board and onto the countertop because it makes for a better picture. And you know, it's all about the pictures.
Just set the onions to the side and open up your hominy. You'll need 4 regular sized cans or 2 jumbo cans. IGA has this brand of hominy in the large size on their dollar aisle. Don't say anything about it or they'll move them and jack up the price! Your'e going to be draining the hominy but saving 1/2 cup of the liquid for later.
Let's go ahead and grate our cheddar cheese. Notice the microscopic grater I used. I couldn't find my big one. My advice, use a bigger one if you have it. This recipe doesn't call for knuckle shavings.
Our bacon is starting to get crispy! There's enough grease now for me to start my onions.
Just get a little of the grease...
and splash it into a skillet. Actually splash is never a word you want to use with the words "hot grease." Splash is more of a perfume word. I guess I was thinking about perfume and bacon and how great it would be to smell like bacon all the time.
Now heat up the grease and throw in the onions you just chopped.
Saute your onions until they're soft and translucent.
Now that's what I'm talkin bout.
Ding! Bacon's done! Just set it on some paper towels and set it off to the side. Preferably somewhere where it's not staring at you because this recipe won't work with just three pieces of bacon.
Now let's dump all our hominy into a big pot or skillet or whatever you have and turn up the heat baby! Wait, what's this I see?
Hey, look! It's a lonely piece of yellow hominy. I wonder how it got lost and separated from it's yellow family. It's okay little yellow hominy, we don't mind that you're yellow. We can all live together in this pot in peace and hominy! (Thank you very much, I'll be here all week!)
When it gets heated through, we're going to add our reserved hominy liquid...
and a tablespoon of liquid from our jar of pickled jalapenos.
Now bring that back up to hot and add 3/4 of your grated cheese.
Let me just interject something here. Your kids are more important than posting step-by-step photographic recipes on your blog. Do not, I repeat, do not neglect your children to do something like this. I had to leave and come back several times and this recipe didn't suffer for it. So just go with the flow, people.
Now let's take about 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos. The recipe calls for 1-2 pickled jalapenos, but because these are sliced, I didn't know how much to use. 1/4 cup seemed right.
Chop up your jalapenos...
and then open up two small cans of green chiles. You should have about a cup.
Now add both of those ingredients to your hominy mixture. And just so you know, you can add as much of the hot stuff as you want. For instance, if you're going to a funeral for your great aunt Nellie, whom you saw only once at Christmas in 1978, and you're sure she was a very nice woman, but you just can't seem to muster up the tears that seem to flow so easily from everyone else's eyes, well, just double the amount of peppers in this recipe and you'll fit right in.
Next, take your bacon and chop it up. What's that you say? You're only counting 9 strips of bacon? That blankety-blank IRS. They just never get enough!
Now take your bacon and chop it up in little pieces before you eat it all, sheesh.
Then dump half of it in with everything else.
Now add your onions on top of everything else and
stir it all together, like so.
Go ahead, give it a real good stir. Nice action shot, huh?
Now it's time to dump it all into a casserole dish and spread it around until it's nice and level.
Sprinkle the rest of the bacon on top and then...
sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of that.
Now doesn't that look nice. Oh wait, first we need to cook it.
Just put it into a 325 degree oven and keep it in there for about 15 minutes.
There. That's much better.
Doesn't that look just scrumptious?!?
Here's a closer look at all that hominy goodness.
There's only one thing left to do...enjoy! Oh, and don't forget to turn the oven off. And clean up that mess you just made for pete's sake!
Update: For those of you who like to cut and paste, here's the recipe without the pictures and senseless wit:
1 cup chopped onion, sauteed
4 15 oz cans white hominy [drain and reserve]
1/2 cup hominy liquid
1 tbl juice from pickled jalapenos
1/2 lb cheddar cheese, grated
10 slices bacon, fried crisp and chopped [reserve drippings]
1 cup chopped green chiles
1-2 pickled jalapenos, seeded and chopped
Saute onions in some of the bacon drippings and put aside. Heat hominy in a separate saute pan, stirring often. When heated thoroughly, add the hominy liuquid and jalapeno juice, bring back to high temperature and add 3/4 of the cheese. When the cheese melts, add half the peppers and bacon and all the onion. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking pan and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, bacon and peppers. At this point it can be refrigerated or even frozen, if you want to make it in advance. Bake at 325 until cheese on top melts, about 15 minutes or 40 minutes, if refrigerated. Serves 10 to 12
Posted by Pamelotta at 5:24 PM