Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eat In. Mini casseroles.

I love casseroles. Maybe that makes me trashy. But mostly, it just makes me my mother's daughter. We ate quite a few meals from a baking pan. Never had green bean casserole, but there was plenty of Mexican lasagna, chicken and biscuits (I requested my mother make this for me when I go home to Massachusetts for X-Mas), and chicken divan.

The thing about casseroles though is that they are usually way too much food and preparation for a single girl. I don't have time to cook up pounds of chicken and veggies and there is no way I'm going to eat it all. I freak out when leftovers have been in my fridge longer than a day.

But I've discovered a quick, economical solution: mini loaf pans. They are disposable (I don't like dishes so much, but I have no doubt they make glass or metal ones), come in packs of 5 at the dollar store, and are perfectly portioned for one. It allows me to have fresh comfort food for a couple days. Here's my recipe for a veggie casserole that is incredibly inexact, takes whatever you have on hand, and pretty much the best thing I've ever made up.

  • About 3/4 cup frozen veggies or enough to fill the pan to the top. Whatever you have handy. I like to keep lots of options hanging out (they're frozen, why not?), so I usually include peas, green beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and potatoes.
  • Around 1/3 can of any condensed cream soup. I'm big on plain ol' Cream of Mushroom, but I will also use Cheddar Cheese soup, Cream of Potato, and I'm sure Cream of Celery or even Cream of Asparagus would be delish.
  • Roughly 2 tablespoons of sour cream.
  • A palmful of cheddar cheese.
  • A generous sprinkling of parmesean. No canned powder stuff. At least get the pre-shredded kind that resembles the actual hard cheese. Why? Because we may be broke, but we still care about ourselves just a little bit.
  • Breadcrumbs. Or crushed up crackers. Hell, even Cheez-Its. Whatever you got, baby.
  • Pepper and oregano or your favorite herbs and spices to taste. No salt though, that soup contains more than enough sodium!

  • Thaw the veggies in the microwave or in a pot of water (no need to heat all the way, the idea is to keep the finished product a little crisp).
  • Combine the soup, sour cream, and cheddar in a bowl. Season with pepper and oregano.
  • Stir in the veggies.
  • Pile it into the pan and top with bread crumbs, parm, and more oregano and pepper.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes-ish.
Now you can take that anywhere. Subtract and add until you've got dinner.

Also, don't you love how the flash makes the pan gleam in the photo? The holy grail of Heather's kitchen. For real.

-- Heather Robertson

1 comment:

  1. i love casserole! Thanx for the recipe :) i'll have to try this one. love ur blog btw!