Posts tagged casserole

Leftovers Casserole

Clean out the pantry and icebox casserole. Everything but the kitchen sink casserole. Yep, you get the idea. And all of us have done it, one way or the other. It’s the end of the week and time to do another round of groceries. But you don’t want that last piece of zucchini, that last piece of cheese, whatever, to go to waste. Right? Right?

Let’s see what I had left… Zucchini, roasted eggplant pieces, a can of tomatoes, an almost empty bag of cheddar, a small piece of fresh mozzarella, leftover burger patty and the remaining sweet corn salsa.

Whatcha got left in your fridge?

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Mac & Tuna Bake

Well, I’ve done this casserole many times and in many different ways. It’s one of those quick-n-easy dinner treats. Obviously, it’s just whatever’s-in-the-pantry kind of a dish. I usually use some kind of canned cream soup. Sometimes, chicken, sometimes, celery, mushroom or a combination of those. It’s really easy and a great comfort food that might look complicated but really, it’s a no-brainer.

So, are you hungry yet?

Ingredients (6 servings):
1 lb. Pkg. Macaroni
1 big can Tuna
1 cup packed Spinach
1 pkg. mushrooms
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup Chicken Broth, low-sodium
1 cup shredded melting cheese, your choice
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup French Fried Onions
Fresh Ground Pepper
Dried Herbs (parsley, basil, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350F. Cook macaroni to al dente.

Meanwhile, combine tuna, spinach, mushrooms and cream of mushroom soup in a large mixing bowl.

When macaroni is done, drain water and add a drizzle of EVOO, a few cracks of fresh ground pepper and some dried herbs of your choice. Mix until pasta is fully and evenly coated.

Transfer mac into a large baking dish spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top then slowly pour in the bowl mix to fully cover the pasta. Add shredded cheese and stick in the oven uncovered for 20 minutes.

Take the dish out of the oven, quickly sprinkle fried onions on top and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before digging in.

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Not-So-Humble Pie

Here’s my accidental take on the ol’ classic cottage pie. It’s supposed to be some kind of peasant food from a long time ago, made with humble ingredients. But since the ingredients I have at hand are all I have at the moment, I have to make do with them so nothing goes to waste.

Well, let’s see. I’ve got a little more bison meat leftover from a couple dishes I made earlier. A large russet potato that’s been sitting around for too long now. And a few more things in the fridge and pantry enough to make me some tasty peasant pie.

I’ve seen a lot of shepherd’s/cottage pie recipes and the one thing they seem to have in common besides the meat and potatoes, is the Worcestershire sauce. But I don’t have any right now and I’m not about to run to the store just for that. So, I simply used Liquid Smoke as a substitute. And, man oh man! Well, I’m just gonna let you try it for yourself!

I’m not gonna tell you how to make mashed potato. I’m sure you already know how to do it and you probably even have your own favorite recipe. Mine was roasted garlic-flavored with a little milk and butter substitute. Very simple but it works for me. Okay, here’s how I put everything together…

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
1 large Potato (and everything else you need to make your own mashed potato)
1/3 – 1/2 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey, bison, etc.)
1/2 cup Frozen Peas & Carrots (thawed in microwave, liquid strained)
1/2 cup Finely Diced Mushrooms
1/2 can Cream Corn
1 Minced Shallot (or 1/2 onion)
2-3 Minced Garlic Cloves
Olive Oil
Shredded/Grated Parmesan
Brown Gravy (homemade or store bought)
Parsley (optional)
French Fried Onions (optional)

Make your own mashed potato the way you want it and set aside. Preheat oven to 375F.

Brown the meat with a little oil in a skillet. When almost done, add the garlic, shallot and mushrooms and stir until meat is cooked through. Add the frozen peas & carrots and stir one last time.

Using a gratin dish (or 2 smaller ones for single serving), spread a bed of the meat mixture and sprinkle some parmesan cheese. Now, add a layer of mashed potato on top and sprinkle with more parmesan and breadcrumbs to fully cover the top. Stick in the oven for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbly. Serve straight from the dish or transfer to a plate. If you want, garnish with parsley and French fried onions. Serve with brown gravy on the side.

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Shrimp Chile Relleno Casserole

When I made the cornhusk-grilled chiles rellenos last weekend, I had prepared more relleno (stuffing) than I had anaheim chiles. Way more! But instead of going back to the store to grab more chiles, I thought… Why not just turn this into something else? And since I had some leftover queso chihuahua, some jalapenos and breadcrumbs overdue for consumption, I thought, hey… why not just break out the stoneware? Okay fine, the Pyrex!

I wasn’t sure how it’s going to turn out since I hadn’t done it before. But to my surprise, it was a knockout! Seriously, next time, I’d probably skip the cornhusk routine and go straight for the baking pan. The only thing different here is that instead of using anaheims to wrap it in, I finely diced a few jalapenos and folded them into the mixture… just so that I’d still have some heat retained in the dish somehow. Other than than, it’s pure chile relleno goodness – in a casserole! Fantastic, I say!

Ingredients: Olive Oil, Breadcrumbs, Diced Jalapeno or Anaheim Peppers, Extra Melting Queso, Lime, Get the ingredients for the stuffing here!

Directions: Add diced peppers to stuffing mixture. Make sure the mixture is not too wet. If it is, strain as much liquid as you can. Brush casserole with olive oil and pour stuffing in. Add queso and breadcrumbs on top. Drizzle with olive oil and put in 400F oven for about half hour. Serve on a plate, drizzle with lime juice and garnish with lime slices. Buen apetito!

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