John Wayne’s Cheese Casserole

I always thought of this as a vegetarian main dish, but you could also make a half recipe and serve smaller squares as an appetizer. You could also use jalapenos instead of mild green chilies. Both ideas idea came from Claudia’s Cheese and Peppers, which we had recently at a “Horror d’Hoover” contest.

2 cans (4 oz.) chopped green chilies, drained
1 lb Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated
1 lb Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
2/3 C canned evaporated milk, undiluted
1 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
2 medium size tomatoes, sliced (I have also used canned or frozen)

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl combine the grated cheeses and green chilies. Turn into a well buttered, shallow 2 qt. casserole(about 12 x 8 x 2 inches). In a large bowl with electric mixer at high speed, beat egg whites just until stiff peaks form when the beater is slowly raised.

In a small bowl, combine egg yolks, milk, flour, salt and pepper and mix until well blended. Using a rubber scraper, gently fold the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese mixture in casserole, and, using a fork, “ooze it” through the cheese. Bake 30 min.

Remove from oven. Arrange sliced tomatoes, overlapping, around edges of casserole.

Bake 30 min. longer or until a silver knife inserted in center comes out clean. 6 to 8 servings.