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Category Archives: casseroles

Meat Lasagna

While grocery shopping my husband decided he wanted lasagna. He tried to sneak a Stouffers lasagna in the cart and bury it so I wouldn’t see it until I got home. 

It didn’t work.


I can make a better quality meal for about the same price. 

Ingredients:

1 box oven ready lasagna noodles
16oz container ricotta cheese
1 jar tomato sauce
1-1 1/2lbs lean ground beef
2 eggs
spices optional- oregano, garlic(powder or fresh chopped), onion powder, basil, parsley
Cheese- shredded mozzerella, as much or as little as you like

Preheat oven to recomended temp on noodle box.
Brown and drain the ground beef, if using fresh garlic you may add it to the meat to cook.
After meat is cooked and drained add sauce and spices.
In a bowl combine ricotta cheese with the eggs and parsley I also added some shredded parmesan cheese to the mix.

In a glass 9×13 baking tray pour and spread 1/3 of the meat sauce on the bottom.
Place one layer of pasta, on top of that place and spread evenly about 1/2 of the cheese mixture.
Repeat sauce, pasta, cheese until you use up the sauce and cheese mixture. I ended with a pasta top. You may have a couple of noodles left, this is fine.
On the very top cover in a layer of mozzerella cheese. I like alot of cheese so mine was a thick layer.
Tent with foil to prevent over browning the cheese.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes. Noodle box has all th directions as well.
Remove foil the last 10-15 minutes to brown the cheese on top.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2012 in Beef, casseroles, Cheese

 

BBQ Cowboy Casserole *No Cowboys Were Harmed In The Making*

I promise I did not cook up and shred actual cowboys for this dish. Although the joke in my family is since I have a culinary degree and a forensics degree that I will inspect the bodies and then cook them. Gross I know.

However, one and a half chickens did die for this meal. Sad yes, tasty, even more so. It’s a sick sense of humor kind of a day. I apologize. 

So onto the actual food part of this post!!                                                                                                                                    

I have seen so many cornbread topped casseroles lately and they sound good. So decided to experiment and this is what I came up with.

Servings: at least 6, less if you’re really hungry, more if your not

Ingredients:

3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1 cup of your fav bbq sauce, I used Sweet Baby Rays Original, divided

2 cans black beans, rinsed

2 cans whole kernel corn, drained

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

2 boxes jiffy cornbread mix, if you are lazy or don’t have cornmeal on hand.**

**For those of you who would like it:

 Cornbread Topping:
½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk

Directions: 

In a small crockpot place 1/2c bbq sauce and the chicken breasts. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. I did this because I like the consistency of shredded chicken in casseroles. You can also use left over chicken and shred it or cube it up or you can just cube up the chicken and cook it right before you need to use it. However you like,  I am sure it will work well.

Preheat oven to 375.

Lightly grease a 9×13 glass baking dish.

In a medium bowl mix up the corn bread batter. Add 3/4c cheddar cheese and stir. Set aside to rest.

In a large bowl shred the cooked chicken. Add the drained corn, rinsed black beans, 1/2c bbq sauce and cheddar cheese to the chicken. Mix until well combined. 

Spread mixture into the greased baking dish. 

Remix the cornbread batter, about 3-4 stirs is enough. Drop batter by large spoonfuls on top of the base, then spread it evenly across the top.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes. You want the cornbread to be brown but fully cooked. If when you insert a toothpick into the cornbread it comes out clean then turn off the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving. If toothpick has uncooked cornbread on it but the top is brown, tent with foil and cook another 5-10 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Then let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Now there are many variations you can use in this casserole.

For example:

Meat: chicken, ground beef, ground pork, shredded pork, ground chicken

Beans: black, pinto, white/cannellini 

Corn: canned, frozen, fresh off the cob

Sauce: bbq, salsa- homemade or jarred

Cornbread: homemade, boxed

Cornbread add ins: cheese, fine diced jalapenos, fine diced red or green pepper

You can do your own experimentation with any of these ingredients. I used what I had on hand any combination of these would be fantastic. Don’t be afraid to mix it up!!

If any of you try any of these combinations please share with me what you used and how you liked it.

As always I bid you,

Happy Eating!! 

 
 

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Marc’s Shepherds Pie- Quick. Simple. Delicious.

As I am sure all of you are aware, there are so many ways to make this classic casserole. Some think ground beef, corn, brown gravy, topped with mashed potatoes.

Others think ground lamb or mixture of lean ground meats, peas, carrots with a flavorful sauce topped with whipped potatoes. One lady told me some restaurant keeps begging her for her recipe, she made me some, I was NOT impressed. Way over the top, she used ground beef, did not drain the grease, the veggies were assorted peas, carrots, corn and lima beans. Sadly she did not cook them well and they were still very hard. The sauce was a odd combination of white wine, cream and some butter and herbs. Then to top off the monstrosity her “famous” whipped potatoes. Lumpy, slightly runny, how that is classified as whipped I will never know. They might have been ok but she added way to much    lavender and tarragon to them. She managed to take a rustic meal and tried to turn it into upper crust but failed miserably. 

The other end of the spectrum is my mothers. We were poor. I am not knocking my mothers cooking at all but somehow this rustic poor mans meal turned even poorer when she made it. Sadly to the point where I would not touch it for many years to come, that is until I met my fiance. Hers was so dry, poor quality ground meat and layers of unflavorful boxed  mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Marc, said fiance, cheats a little because we do not have a lot of space or money most times. We do however love to eat. This tray does not last the night in our house

Starts off with as lean of ground beef as we can afford, browned and drain thoroughly.

In a glass baking dish he combines 2 cans of veg-all, yes canned veggies, I told you he cheats due to space, our freezer is an avalanche of meat from awesome deals, this way we save money on meat but then sadly have no space for frozen veggies. 

Back to the pie. Stir in 1 can tomato soup, condensed. Do not add the water. Combine well. Add the drained meat to the soup/veg mix and combine well. 

We do make our own mashed potatoes, so after they are done boiling rinse well and add back into pot. I use 6-8 large potatoes or more depending on what that looks like chopped up. We like to have a huge potato top. Add to the potatoes, a pinch of salt, pepper to taste, 3oz cream cheese, soft, 4T butter soft and milk to desired consistency. Mash until desired lumpiness is achieved. 

Plop the  potatoes on top of meat/veg mix and spread out over the whole top. Bake at 350 until top is golden brown. Not sure how long since the fiance doesn’t do this, he just puts it in the oven until it’s hot all the way through. 

I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to make this dish, to each their own, but Marc’s is for me rustic enough, flavorful and simple. We each have two servings for dinner and the last two servings are for lunch the next day. 

If anyone has a favorite shepherds pie recipe they would like to share, I would love to try them!! 

Happy Eating!!

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Beef, casseroles, Veggies

 

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Loaded Hash Brown Potato Casserole

Pinned onto my MMM Food board on pinterest is this loaded hash brown potato casserole dish. 

One of our favorite dips is Cheddar Bacon Ranch dip, or what I refer to as “Crack“.  I usually only make it during football season because it is HIGHLY addictive.  I only made this once this football season and  I forgot to take it to the tailgate.  I left it in my parent’s refrigerator!  I was devastated!  
I took the dip back home and started thinking about what to do with it – other than eat it all by myself.  I decided to mix the dip into a big bag of frozen hash browns.  The result? A fantastic potato casserole!  
Quoted from the blog Plain Chicken on Blogger
Needing to change up the boring meals as of late, I decided to try this out. We had my fiances 12 year old daughter this past Sunday and she is kind of a picky eater. I thought what kid doesn’t like smothered potatoes? So I whipped up a batch of these. 
Served with dutch oven braised boneless pork ribs, and peas with butter.
RECIPE:
2 (16oz) containers sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 (3oz) bags real bacon bits
2 packages Ranch Dip mix
1 large (28 – 30oz) bag frozen hash brown potatoes – shredded kind
 
Combine first 4 ingredients, mix in hash browns.  Spread into a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes.   
Side note… when opening the lid to the dutch oven pot straight out of the oven DO NOT I repeat DO NOT forget that there will be steam!!!!!!! Hence the following picture warning.                                                                    
 
 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in casseroles, Cheese, pork, Veggies

 

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Leftovers Casserole

This started a few years ago as a “I have to many bits of leftovers then I know what to do with”.

As I looked in my fridge I saw that I had leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving, leftover chunks of cooked chicken breast and a closer look in the freezer revealed a single chicken breast half (there were two of us so one half is not gonna cut it), some gravy and some broccoli florets.

“Well self” I said, ” lets get to layering”.

I took the stuffing and smoothed it out in the bottom of a casserole dish (probably a 9×5)

Next I took the lone breast of chicken and cut it up into bite size chunks. Sauteed it in a tablespoon of olive oil until browned and cooked through. Then I added the rest of the chicken and heated through.

In a small pan I reheated the gravy, you can also use gravy packets (i use two turkey gravy packs) or gravy from the jar if you don’t have gravy on hand.

I then added the broccoli to the chicken to heat it up. The other night I used green beans and cauliflower. It’s what I had and was very yummy. You can use what ever kind of veggies you like. These three are the only ones I have used to date and they are all excellent.

Turn on your oven to 350-375 to preheat.

After mixture is heated add it to the top of the stuffing and spread evenly.

Top this with the gravy, I just pour it over the top in ribbons. You can also add it to the mix and blend in before you top the stuffing with it.

As a totally delicious addition because if you are like me most things are better with CHEESE!!!

I always have cheese in the fridge, it may be cheating cheese (pre shredded) but it’s still cheese.

I top the whole thing with two cups of shredded yellow sharp cheddar.

Cover with tented foil, so the cheese doesn’t stick to it when it melts.

Place in preheated oven for 45mins to an hour. If you want the cheese brown, remove the foil for the last 15mins of cooking.

Finished product. Time to sit down, relax and enjoy a plateful of this fridge cleaner outer.

Happy Eating!!!!

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in casseroles, Chicken, Veggies

 

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