I also had a fourth of a cup of tomato sauce from a pizza I made earlier in the week and I didn't have any other plans for it so I thought I could use it up as well. I knew there was not enough of it to add much flavor to the casserole if I just added it to the mix so I thought about the best way to incorporate it for maximum effect and flavor.
Maybe it was because I had just used it for pizza that I got the idea to just spread it in a thin layer over the top (like ketchup on top of a meatloaf). I thought cumin might give it an extra boost of flavor so I stirred cumin and a little salt into the sauce before I spread it over the top. I even got fancy and dragged a toothpick through it to make it pretty.
It came out much better than I expected. The tomato cooked down to a thick paste that was packed with an intensely sharp tomato flavor that was strong enough to infuse every bite. Both the cumin enhanced tomato sauce and the oregano that I threw in with the escarole with a last-minute burst of inspiration provided just a hint of contrast to the overall mildness of flavor of the original. Not that the original isn't flavorful, and I will make it that way again I'm sure. But these additional touches elevate it just that little bit from comfort food for family to something you could easily serve to guests.
Home Cookin Chapter: My Recipes
CORN CASSEROLE WITH ESCAROLE AND TOMATO SAUCE
Makes 6 large or 8 side servings
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1/2 bunch of escarole or other greens, chopped
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cup corn kernels, divided
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup cornmeal
4-oz can chopped green chilies
1 cup cheese, diced or grated
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the oregano and escarole and cook a minute or two longer, until the greens are just wilted. Remove from the heat and let
Combine the butter, 1 cup of corn, and the eggs in a blender. Puree until well combined and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, cornmeal, green chilies, cheese and salt and mix well.
Pour intoa buttered 3-quart casserole or large cast-iron skillet. Gently spoon the tomato sauce over the top in three stripes or any other pattern you like. If desired, take a toothpick and drag it through the sauce, creating a spiky design. Bake at 350 deg. F. for 45 minutes to an hour, until the center has set.
adapted from a recipe I received years ago from a co-worker.
Exported from Home Cookin 6.46 (www.mountain-software.com)