Somehow I missed posting a recipe last Wednesday. Mea culpa – I was playing catch-up from our Memorial Day weekend trip. (I can only use that excuse for so long, but I’m gong to milk it for all its worth!)
And this week’s recipe is not my own, but it’s a pass-along that I’ve tweaked to suit our tastes. I got it from a 2006 Southern Living article – and they got it from Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House, a fixed-price, fixed-menu, family-style eatery in nearby Lynchburg (not as famous as the distillery but it is a local legend and must-try spot if you’re in the ‘hood. Our church’s “Silver Streaks” make a pilgrimage down there every now and again. They *say* they’re only going to Miss Mary’s but they might be doing the JD tour, too. As long as they aren’t driving the bus home, what happens in Lynchburg can stay among friends. Grin.)
This recipe is a great way to use up any remaining jars of last season’s canned tomatoes, if you are trying to clear them out to make way for this summer’s crop. Or commercially canned ‘maters work great too. It is a quick and easy, comfort-food side dish that goes especially well with pork. In fact, I think for a a year or two, I made this casserole every time I roasted a loin.
Cheesy Tomato Casserole
32 to 35 ounces canned tomatoes, drained (and chopped if they’re not already diced)
15 Ritz or other buttery crackers, crushed (you can crush a few extra for a topping)
1/2 cup (or more) shredded sharp cheddar (I use an extra sharp for the flavor)
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 egg, well-beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 (or more) teaspoon paprika
coarse pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 325. Grease or butter a small (8-inch square or pie plate) glass casserole dish. While tomatoes are draining, saute onion in butter until soft and translucent; set aside. Mix all ingredients together; sprinkle with additional cracker crumbs and/or cheese if desired (I do.) Bake for 25 minutes or until top is bubbly. Serve warm. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Note: For smaller families, you can cut the recipe in half, still using a whole egg. Just place it in a smaller dish – a small, shallow gratin dish works great.