Tomato Beef Country Casserole

November 7th, 2016

Tomato Beef Country Casserole 1

Sometimes I crave this kind of casserole.  Normally they are made with lots of condensed this or that along with hamburger and noodles.  I have to admit that this casserole is that; but with a difference.  I actually looked for heathy canned condensed soups.  Here are two that I found.

Amy's Cream of Tomato Soup

Amy’s Organic Cream of Tomato Soup has all natural ingredients.  It does cost more than Campbell’s but I feel it is worth it.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Pacific Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup is also a good choice.  Both companies have both cream of tomato and cream of mushroom.

united-states-elections-2016-reminder-day-2-5183064530485248-hp

Tomorrow is election day.  We all need to make our voices heard.  This Tomato Beef Country Casserole is an easy meal to put together.  Then sit back and watch the results.  I will be glad to get this election behind us.

TOMATO BEEF COUNTRY CASSEROLE (From Together as Family )

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (12 oz) wide egg noodles
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (10.75-oz) condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can (10.75-oz) golden mushroom creamed soup
  • 1 cup milk, 2% or whole
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese or provolone

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Cook for the lowest recommended time because it will cook in the oven later. Drain when done cooking.
  3. While noodles are cooking, brown ground beef with the salt in a skillet over medium high heat. Drain.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine the condensed tomato soup, golden mushroom soup, milk, onion flakes, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir together.
  5. Add the cooked ground beef and the cooked (and drained) egg noodles. Stir together.
  6. Pour into your prepared dish and sprinkle the cheese on top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Summer Squash Casserole

August 23rd, 2016

Summer Squash Casserole 1

I remember when we had a garden and had to deal with the prolific profusion of yellow squash and zucchini.  Our lake house is too shady to support a garden these days, so I have to rely on friends, the Farmers’ Markets and the Supermarket for my squash.  You can never have too many summer squash recipes.  This one, that I adapted from The New York Times, is a winner.

Summer Squash Casserole 2v

The cooked and pureed yellow squash is combined with cheese and minced peppers, onions and flavoring and cooked in a custard of eggs and cream topped with buttered bread crumbs.  It makes a casserole that everyone will love.  It was easy to photograph too.  Photography has become important to me, although I’ve always had an interest.  I just found this early picture of myself and my Mom.  I was very proud of my new Brownie camera.

Christmas 1956

The intrepid girl photographer.  What memories this brings back.

Enjoy this summer squash casserole.  Your harvest will thank you for not wasting all of that bounty.

SUMMER SQUASH CASSEROLE ( The New York Times)

  • 2 pounds yellow summer squash
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 4 slices plain white bread, toasted
  • 24 Ritz crackers, crumbed in food processor
  • ½ pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 1/2-quart baking dish. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cook in boiling, salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Purée in a food processor.
  2. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and peppers and cook until just tender. Meanwhile, crumb the toast in a food processor, melt remaining butter and toss together.
  3. Mix the squash purée, onions, peppers, garlic, cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir in the eggs, cream, sugar and seasonings. Blend well. Pour into the baking dish. Top with bread crumbs and bake until browned, about 40 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Turkey Ragu Bolognese

April 4th, 2016

Turkey Ragu 3

I am sharing another crock pot recipe with all of you.  When I have many chores to accomplish, the crock pot is my friend.  We are also trying to lighten things up a bit.  By using ground turkey and lots of vegetables this Italian sauce is light and goes well with a spinach linguine that is also lower in calories than regular pasta.Turkey Ragu BagPasta Valente is made in Charlottesville, Virginia by a Mother and Daughter team.  It is handcrafted, vegan and flavorful.  Plus it cooks in minutes. I found it at my local supermarket.
Turkey Ragu 1VThe Turkey Ragu Bolognese comes from one of my favorite slow cooker cookbooks, The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone.  Another recipe that I shared with everyone last year was her Spicy Tuscan Sausage Ragu.  I make it often.

We traveled to Washington DC last week to attend the funeral and burial of General Earl E. Anderson in Arlington National Cemetery.  He was a part of our extended family.  His list of accomplishments in life is beyond belief, but his demeanor was always humble and kind.

General Anderson

It was a full marine battalion procession to the grave site with a 21 gun salute and a fly over.  The tribute to this amazing man was truly awe inspiring.

Turkey Ragu 2close

We are back at the cottage this week, cleaning, sweeping and freshening both the interior and the exterior of the house.  This Turkey Ragu Bolognese is the perfect slow cooker dinner to have on hand while spring cleaning.

TURKEY RAGU ALLA BOLOGNESE

Makes 10 Cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium celery ribs, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 28-ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and cook until tender and golden, about 20 minutes.  Stir in ground turkey and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste, wine, and broth and bring to a simmer.

Scrape the mixture into the slow cooker and add the tomatoes, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until thick.  Stir in the cream and cook for 15 more minutes.

Note:  I saved the liquid from the can of tomatoes and added it to the crock pot also.

Printable Recipe 

Leek and Gruyere Bread Pudding

March 1st, 2016

Leek and Gruyere Bread Pudding 1

The inspiration for this leek and Gruyere bread pudding came from a side dish that I had in a restaurant in Washington DC last month.  It was served with roasted chicken and a light gravy.  One of the recipe sources that I use quite often is Epicurious.  Both my Daughter-In-Law and I think highly of the recipes found on this source.  It doesn’t hurt that the recipe came first from Thomas Keller.  It was outstanding.

You should use a brioche or challah bread.  The eggy bread adds richness to the casserole.  I adapted the recipe.  I used the same amount of leeks and cheese, but halved the rest of the recipe.

Leek Bread Pudding 2

At the restaurant the bread pudding was served as an individual cake.  So I experimented with cutting rounds out of the finished casserole with a biscuit cutter.  It worked very well and we enjoyed the scraps for another meal.  As an aside, we have not been eating much bread lately, but we made a happy exception for this delightful dish.

LEEK AND GRUYERE BREAD PUDDING (Adapted from Epicurious)

Recipe shown as written.  I used the same amount of leeks and cheese and halved everything else.

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices leeks (white and light green parts only)
    • Kosher salt
    • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 12 cups 1-inch cubes crustless Brioche or Pullman sandwich loaf
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
    • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
    • 3 large eggs
    • 3 cups whole milk
    • 3 cups heavy cream
    • Freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese

PREPARATION

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    2. Put the leek rounds in a large bowl of tepid water and swish so that any dirt falls to the bottom of the bowl. Set a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, lift the leeks from the water, drain, and add them to the pan. Season with salt and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. As the leeks begin to soften, lower the heat to medium-low. The leeks will release liquid. Stir in the butter to emulsify, and season with pepper to taste. Cover the pan with a parchment lid, and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until the leeks are very soft, 30 to 35 minutes. If at any point the butter breaks or looks oily, stir in about a tablespoon of water to re-emulsify the sauce. Remove and discard the parchment lid.
    3. Meanwhile, spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, until dry and pale gold. Transfer to a large bowl. Leave the oven on.
    4. Add the leeks to the bread and toss well, then add the chives and thyme.
    5. Lightly whisk the eggs in another large bowl. Whisk in the milk, cream, a generous pinch of salt, pepper to taste, and a pinch of nutmeg.
    6. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Spread half the leeks and croutons in the pan and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup cheese. Scatter the remaining leeks and croutons over and top with another 1/4 cup cheese. Pour in enough of the custard mixture to cover the bread and press gently on the bread so it soaks in the milk. Let soak for about 15 minutes.
    7. Add the remaining custard, allowing some of the soaked cubes of bread to protrude. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top and sprinkle with salt.
    8. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the pudding feels set and the top is brown and bubbling.

Printable Recipe

 

Bobotie

January 19th, 2016

Bobotie 1

Bobotie (pronounced bo-bo-tie or bo-boo-tee) is my first foray into South African cuisine.  South African food is influenced by the native population and the Dutch, French, Indian and Malaysian immigrants.  The resulting dishes are complex and exciting to the palate.  Bobotie is the national dish, thought to be introduced by the Malaysian and Indian servants during Colonial times.  Curry and turmeric have always been important spices in Indian cuisine.  In Bobotie, minced meat is simmered with the spices, almonds and dried fruit, then topped with milk and eggs and baked until set.  It is similar to a Greek Moussaka.

Bobotie 2V

 

I have always been fond of curries.  We had several acquaintances from India through David’s job as an engineering professor.  Dinner parties in their homes always included flavorful and interesting dishes.  One Indian friend came to my home to teach me several Indian dishes including dal and saag, which is a dish using mustard greens.  So when I saw this recipe for Bobotie, I knew that I would love it.  There are so many complex flavors in it.  The curry is there, but you can also taste the sweet dried fruit, the crunchy almonds, the hot chutney and the mild custard.  It is a perfect make ahead dish for company; something a little different.

Bobotie 3

Our Midwest and East coast is supposed to get a major snow storm this weekend.  This would be a great warming oven dish to serve with Cinnamon Basmati Rice with Golden Raisins.  Winter is the best time for arm-chair or kitchen-stove travel.  South African cuisine is very colorful, spicy and sometimes amusing.  One of the roadside dishes that you can get in South Africa is grilled chicken feet and heads.  It is called Walkie-Talkie.  Think I will stick with Bobotie.

BOBOTIE (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (1 1/2-inch piece)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup slivered almonds (1 ounce), toasted
4 slices white bread, crusts removed
1 3/4 cups whole milk, divided
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoon hot chutney

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups remaining milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 fresh or dried bay leaves

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, then onions, apple, and ginger; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and tender, about 15 minutes. (Reduce heat if vegetables brown too quickly.) Add turmeric and curry powder to onion mixture; stir to combine. Add beef and cook, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in almonds, and cook for 2 minutes more.

2. Tear bread into large pieces, and place in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and let stand until milk is absorbed. Add bread mixture to beef, and cook, stirring frequently, until bottom of pan begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in dried apricots, apricot preserves and chutney, scraping up browned bits from bottom. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.

3. Spoon beef mixture into a 6-cup shallow baking dish. Whisk eggs, nutmeg, lemon zest, and remaining 1 1/2 cups milk in a medium bowl. Pour over beef. Place bay leaves in dish, pressing into filling. Bake until set around edges and center is no longer runny, 35 to 45 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with Cinnamon Basmati Rice.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.