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Showing posts with label Casseroles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Casseroles. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Double Cheese Tuna Casserole

A casserole?  On day 29 of Soup Month 2014?  That's not a soup, stew or chili!  Well, when life gets crazy busy, and you are the chief mode of transportation for 3 teenagers, AND you have a new puppy who is driving you insane...well, sometimes you have to give up and make a quick casserole in place of a soup.  On the good side, I have been craving tuna casserole and this new twist turned out great!

This casserole incorporates creamy ricotta cheese with an extra sharp cheddar cheese that adds lots of flavor to this classic dish.  The ricotta adds such a nice creamy texture and then there are the Durkee onions!  These little onions are everyone's favorite at Thanksgiving time when they make Green Bean Casserole, and we use them in our own version of Asparagus Casserole.  But these little onions can add flavor to many dishes all year long, so I always keep some on hand.  And they were the perfect crunchy topping to this casserole.

This casserole only takes about 25 minutes to prepare and everyone loved it, including our picky eater, which is a true sign of a successful meal.  Enjoy!!

4 cups  Dry Pasta Twists (or another shape)
8 oz  Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
1 10-3/4 oz can  Campbell's Cream of Celery Soup
3/4 cup  Milk
1 cup  Frozen Peas
3 5-oz cans  Tuna in Water, drained
2 cups  Durkee French Fried Onions
8 oz  Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the pasta in salted water until just al dente, but not fully cooked.  Drain the pasta and place in a deep ovenproof casserole dish.  Add the ricotta cheese to the pasta and stir gently to coat the pasta.

In a medium saucepan, combine the celery soup, milk, and peas and cook over medium heat until warm, about 6 minutes.  Add the tuna and 1 cup of Durkee onions and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture over the pasta and stir to combine, then sprinkle the top with grated cheddar cheese and the additional 1 cup of Durkee onions.  Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until golden on top and serve.  Makes about 8 servings.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Savory Beef and Ale Cobbler

For day 14 of Soup Month 2013 we made a dish that I've wanted to try for a long time, a Savory Beef and Ale Cobbler.  No, this cobbler doesn't have apples or peaches in it, but instead offers a beef stew-like filling and is topped with chive and onion biscuits. 

You basically take an inexpensive piece of beef, add carrots, onions and some mushrooms, then add a bit of beef stock and a bottle of hearty ale.  Pop this in the oven for a long, slow-cooking afternoon, and low and behold, you have a meal fit for a king.  Juicy pieces of beef, tender enough to be cut with a spoon, surrounded by a rich gravy.  The only thing that makes this better are the delicate biscuits on top. So yummy!

My husband had quite a debate at work about this dish. It seems many people had never heard of a savory cobbler, declaring that cobblers are fruit based with sugary toppings and sweet filling.  Well, I hate to break the news to them, but savory cobblers are not a new thing, and they have been popular in England for centuries.  The British prepare a cobbler in the same manner Americans prepare casseroles.  Any type of meat can be used such as lamb or beef, assorted vegetables are tossed in, and the biscuit topping is frequently an old-fashioned scone recipe with herbs and cheese.

For the biscuits on top of this cobbler I used some fresh chives that are still going strong in my garden and a bit of onion powder.  The biscuits browned up nicely and soaked up just a bit of gravy as they were perched on top of the cobbler, and they added a nice texture to the dish.

This meal does take some time to prepare, so it's a great dish to make on the weekend when you can let it cook low and slow and then enjoy the tasty results with a glass of dry red wine.  Enjoy!!

1/3 cup  Flour
1-1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1-1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 lb  Beef Chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 TB  Olive Oil, divided
1 medium  Onion, sliced
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1  Red or Orange Bell Pepper, sliced into 1-inch pieces
6  Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 oz  Mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (button, Portobello or other firm mushrooms will work)
1  bottle Goose Island India Pale Ale (or your favorite IPA)
3 cups  Beef Stock
3  Bay Leaves
1 tsp  Salt
1 tsp  Ground Black Pepper

For the biscuit topping
1-1/4 cups  Flour
2 tsp  Baking Powder
3 TB  Butter
5 - 6 TB  Milk
1 TB  Minced Fresh Chives (or other herbs)
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp  Onion Powder

In a small bowl combine the flour, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle 3 or 4 tablespoons of this mixture over the beef until the meat is evenly coated.  Reserve the extra flour mixture and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.  Add the beef to the pan and cook, stirring, until the meat is seared on all sides.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a platter and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.  Add the peppers and mushrooms, stir and cook for 3 minutes longer.

Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture over the vegetables and stir to coat.  Add the beer to the pan and stir gently to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes until the gravy thickens slightly.  Return the beef to the pan, cover the pot and place the pan in the oven at 325 degrees to slow roast for 1 hour.

(After the cobbler has cooked for an hour is when you will add the biscuits to the top of the meat and vegetable mixture, so you will want to have the biscuits ready ahead of time.)

In a medium bowl combine the flour and baking powder, then add the butter in thin slices.  Use a fork to blend in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Add the remaining ingredients, and stir with a fork until you have a smooth dough. (You may need just a bit more milk, just add 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough is smooth.)

Place the dough on a lightly floured board, roll it our to about 1/2-inch thick and cut out circles of dough using a cookie cutter.

Remove the pot from the oven, remove and discard the bay leaves and add the dough circles on top of the cobbler.  Return the pot to the oven uncovered and bake for 30 minutes or until the biscuits are golden and flaky.  Serves about 6.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chicken, Poblano and 3 Cheese Lasagna

Tonight we found a tasty way to use a few more poblano peppers from our garden.  Although this is far from any traditional lasagna, the combination of provolone cheese, Monterey jack cheese and just a bit of Parmesan gave the lasagna a rich flavor, and it was a surprisingly easy meal to put together.

We used the Dreamfield's low carb lasagna noodles and they tasted great.  The poblano peppers can be roasted ahead of time, if needed, and the instructions for roasting the peppers can be found here.  The process is very easy and the flavor released from the peppers adds a nice pop to the meal.

Since I found them on sale, we used chicken drumsticks, but you could also substitute cubed chicken breasts.  The main benefit of the drumsticks is the dark meat will have much more flavor versus white meat.

Thanks to a generous amount of mushrooms, this dish had almost a stuffed-mushroom quality that I loved.  A nice poblano and chicken taste, with the earthy mushrooms and cheesy backdrop.  So yummy.  This was an instant hit with the family, and I'm sure it will be added to the most-requested list.  Enjoy!!

3 lbs  Chicken Drumsticks, boiled off and meat pulled off the bone
1 TB  Olive Oil
1 medium  Yellow Onion, finely chopped
8 oz  Portabella Mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1/4 to 1/2 tsp  Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (use 1/2 tsp for more spice)

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the onions and sauté 2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms, garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet and sauté about 5 minutes over medium heat, until the mushrooms are tender but not mushy.  Add the cooked chicken to the pan, stir and sauté 2 minutes, then cover the pan and remove from the heat.  Set aside while you make the sauce and noodles.

8  Whole Wheat or Regular Lasagna Noodles, cooked al dente

3  Fresh Poblano Peppers, roasted, peeled and deseeded, then cut into strips
1 TB  Olive Oil
2 TB  Salted Butter
1/2 medium  Yellow Onion, chopped
2 tsp  Minced Garlic
1/3 cup  Flour
1-1/4 cups  Chicken Broth
1/2 cup  Milk
1/2 cup  Half and Half
Salt and Pepper to Taste
6 slices  Smoked Provolone Cheese
6 slices  Monterey Jack Cheese
Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté 4 minutes until tender.  Add the flour and stir until fully incorporated into a smooth roux.  Slowly add the chicken broth to the pan, a little at a time, stirring to combine.  When the mixture is smooth, add the milk and half and half to the pan and stir.

Add the poblano peppers to the pan and bring the mixture to a low simmer over medium heat.  Add salt and pepper as needed, then remove the pan from the heat once the sauce has thickened slightly.

Pour the sauce into a blender and pulse several times if you prefer a chunky sauce, or puree for a smooth sauce.  (I did not puree the sauce completely and it was very tasty with little bits of poblano.)


In a large non-stick baking pan, pour a 1/2 cup of sauce and about 1/3 of the chicken/mushroom mixture into the pan in an even layer.  Add a layer of cooked lasagna noodles, then a layer of provolone cheese slices.  Next add another 3/4 cup layer of sauce, and the remaining chicken mushroom mixture.  Add the second layer of noodles, the rest of the sauce and top with the sliced Monterey jack cheese, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then turn the oven to broil for 3-4 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Enjoy!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spicy Italian Frittata

Tonight we decided to revisit one of my favorite breakfast recipes, our version of a Spicy Italian Frittata. A frittata is a type of omelet that has the ingredients mixed with the eggs instead of being folded inside the way you would cook an omelet.  This also makes it easy to cook a family sized meal in one pan.  With the spices in the Italian sausage and a little extra heat from Tabasco and taco sauce, this is a flavorful meal that the whole family will enjoy.

The reason this recipe makes my list of favorites is because it also makes a quick and hearty weeknight dinner.  So, with our chilly weather, tonight was the perfect night to make breakfast for dinner.

This is a simple meal to prepare and if you already have the sausage cooked, the rest of the meal comes together in about 25 minutes.  Once you cook the potatoes, the eggs are scrambled in the same skillet and the seasonings are added at the end.  Very quick and easy.  We served our Spicy Italian Frittata with Asiago and Black Pepper Biscuits and a little hot salsa on the side.

6 medium Red Potatoes, diced
1 medium Onion, chopped
1/3 lb. (about 6 oz) Hot Italian Sausage, cooked and chopped
3 - 4 Jumbo Eggs, lightly scrambled
3 TB Sour Cream
3/4 cup grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
3 TB Taco Sauce
1/2 tsp Hot Pepper Sauce (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
Green Onions and Sour Cream for Garnish

Place diced potatoes in a large skillet and add just enough water to cover potatoes. Cover the potatoes and simmer 6 minutes. Add chopped onion, hot sauce, garlic salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 5-6 minutes longer.

When potatoes are lightly browned, fold in cooked sausage. Move potato/sausage mixture to the side of skillet, add the eggs to the other side and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fold eggs into the potatoes and sausage. Add sour cream, grated cheese and taco sauce, stir gently into mixture, cover and remove skillet from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions.  Makes 5 servings.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Crust

Some people would call this peasant food or comfort food, but everyone enjoys a home cooked pot pie.   I've always loved to cook chicken pot pies because you can change the ingredients in the filling and take the flavor in a totally different direction.  And that's exactly what we did with this dish.  This is a very easy and tasty way to use up leftover sweet potatoes and chicken into one yummy pie.

For this pot pie I used some leftover baked chicken, sweet baby peas and a generous cup of little pearl onions, with a quick sauce of milk and white wine/herb broth.  I actually cooked the onions in the broth for a bit so the onion flavor would blend into the sauce.

The topping for this pie was going to be something special.  A creamy blend of leftover mashed sweet potatoes, butter, flour and egg proved to be a delicious crust, and it was a nice change from the traditional crust.

This is also a great "plan-ahead" meal that will save you time in the kitchen.  By baking a chicken for Sunday night dinner, and serving mashed sweet potatoes on the side, you already have the two main ingredients of this dish ready to go for a quick weeknight meal. 

For the Crust
2 cups  Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1/3 cup  Butter, melted
1  Egg
1 1/2 cups  Flour
1 1/2 tsp  Baking Powder
1 tsp  Salt

In a medium bowl combine the potatoes, butter and egg; stir until combined.  Blend in the flour,  baking powder and salt and stir until you have a smooth mixture.  Set aside.

To Prepare the Pot Pie
3 cups  Diced Cooked Chicken  (or use leftover turkey)
1 cup  Cooked Peas  (or peas and carrots)
1 cup  Frozen Small Pearl Onions
1 cup  Milk
1 cup  College Inn White Wine & Herb Broth
3 TB  Flour
1 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp  Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly butter the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish and arrange the chicken followed by the peas in an even layer.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, broth and pearl onions and cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until warm, but not boiling.  Add the flour, salt and pepper to the broth mixture, blending well.  Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.

Pour the mixture over the chicken and peas in the casserole dish, then drop tablespoons of the sweet potato batter on top of the pot pie, lightly smoothing the mixture to fully cover the top of the pie.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the sweet potato crust is slightly browned and solid.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Creole Jambalaya

Sometimes for an event like a Super Bowl party, you might want to serve a dish that is a bit more "substantial".  With lots of beer and cocktails flowing it's a good idea to have something for guests to eat that will balance out the drinks.  This hearty dish will do just that and, to make things easier, it's all cooked in one pot.

This recipe is adapted from an Emeril dish. It includes chicken quarters that are seared on the outside before they finish cooking in the oven, smoked sausage (in place of andouille sausage which is quite pricey) and shrimp that is gently steamed in the same pot just before serving the dish.  The flavors are amazing!

First a little history! There are two primary methods of making jambalaya. The first and most common in Southeast Louisiana is Creole Jambalaya (also called "red jambalaya"), which originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans. The second style is Cajun Jambalaya, which contains no tomatoes, and is known as "Brown Jambalaya" in New Orleans. For another twist on this classic dish you might want to try our Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya.

Since there are as many different recipes for Jambalaya as there are for chili, this is another dish that changes from one family to another to satisfy specific tastes. The Jambalaya can be adjusted by adding more or less shrimp or go heavier on the hot sauce and Cajun seasoning if you want a more spicy flavor. Try this recipe once and adjust to suit your own taste buds.  Serve with a loaf of crusty french bread and Olive Oil Dipping Sauce.  Enjoy!!

3 - 4 pieces Chicken Leg Quarters
2 TB Cajun Blackening Spice
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Celery, chopped
1 cup Green Peppers, chopped
1 cup Onions, chopped
1 TB Garlic, minced
1 lb pkg Beef Smoked Sausage cut into 1/2 inch slices, then halved
2 cups Long Grain White Rice
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 - 14 1/2 oz can Diced Tomatoes
1 TB Tomato Paste
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco Hot Sauce
1/2 tsp Cajun Seasoning
4 Bay Leaves
1 tsp dried Thyme
1-1/2 lbs medium Shrimp (21-25 size), peeled and deveined

Preheat oven to 375.  Season the chicken quarters with Blackening Spice and salt. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot with a tight fitting lid. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 - 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

Add the celery, peppers and onions to the pot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add the sausage, cook 2 more minutes. Add the rice and stir well, cooking another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon of the Blackening Spice, Tabasco, bay leaves and thyme. Stir to combine. Return the chicken quarters to the pan and nestle the pieces into the rice mixture.
Cover the pot and bake until the chicken and rice are tender, about 40 minutes.

Toss the shrimp with the remaining Blackening Spice. Remove the jambalaya from the oven and add the shrimp to the top of the pot, gently pressing the shrimp into the rice. Cover the pot and let stand for five minutes, undisturbed. The shrimp will be cooked through from the steam in the pot.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mushroom, Green Pepper & Feta Casserole

If you have not tried growing your own green peppers, you are really missing out. Peppers are very easy to grow and they taste so sweet and fresh when used directly from your own garden.  You can even grow a single pepper plant in a large pot.

This breakfast casserole also makes a quick and healthy dinner, and can be on the table in less than 1 hour. Serve this on a Monday night and you will have a quick-to-reheat-breakfast for the rest of the week.

8 oz. Sliced Portobello Mushrooms
1 large Green Bell Pepper, chopped into 3/4 inch squares
1-2 tsp  Olive Oil
3 Green Onions, white and green parts, minced
1 cup crumbled Feta Cheese (or more, to taste)
18 Large Eggs
1/2 tsp Fresh Tarragon (optional, but recommended)
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray 10 X 14 glass casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Heat non-stick skillet, add 1 tsp olive oil, and saute mushrooms and peppers 2-3 minutes, until softened. Spread mushrooms-pepper mixture in bottom of casserole dish.  Crumble feta cheese over top of mushroom-pepper mixture.

Beat eggs with the tarragon and black pepper. (Avoid adding salt as Feta cheese contains a fair amount of salt). Bake about 45 minutes, or until casserole is firmly set and top is slightly browned. Serve hot. Serve with a little bit of low-fat sour cream and salsa on top.

Note:  Breakfast casseroles like this reheat very well in the microwave. It can be frozen, but for best results, allow to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. Enjoy!