Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Friday, November 11, 2011


When I was growing up, I have never eaten a casserole dish other than Lasagna. When I married my wonderful wife Willa, I was introduced to the wonderful world of casseroles. In fact, I can't seem to get enough now, since our kids are grown and have families of their own. But when my wife and I do have a casserole, I enjoy it as if it was a steak that was cooked to rare with perfection.
When a casserole dish is made, it becomes a very versatile dish. It can be made ahead of time, frozen until ready to cook. One can almost prepare two or three of them, then freeze them and then bake which ever one you want a week or two down the road. I am sharing just a few of the recipes here, I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.

 Bean and Sausage Casserole

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Polish sausage, kielbasa (or about 1 pound hot dogs)
2 to 3 tbsp. spicy brown or Dijon mustard
2 cans (16 oz. each) baked beans
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 c. dry red wine
1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs mixed with 2 tbsp. melted butter, optional

Cut the kielbasa into 3-inch pieces then halve pieces lengthwise. Spread a little mustard over each cut side of kielbasa.
In a greased 2-quart casserole layer 1/3 of the beans, sliced onion, and kielbasa. Repeat layers two more times. Season with pepper and then pour the red wine over the casserole. Top with the buttered bread crumbs. Cover and bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer, until casserole is hot and bubbly.

Beef and Biscuits Recipe - Beef Casserole

1 can refrigerated biscuits
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
1 pkg. (8 oz.) light cream cheese
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. ketchup

In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onions. Combine cream cheese, soup, and milk. Add salt, ketchup, and ground beef and onions. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart casserole. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Place biscuits around edge of casserole; return to oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until golden brown.

Beef Enchilada Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 can (about 10 oz.) red enchilada sauce
1 can (10 1/2 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (10 1/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chile peppers
1 c. milk
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 pkg. (about 7 ounces) tortilla chips, coarsely crumbled
8 oz. grated Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
1 can (4 oz.) chopped ripe olives

Preheat oven to 375.
In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onion; remove from heat and drain off excess fat. Add chili sauce, soups, chopped chile peppers, milk, and minced garlic; mix well.
In a greased 9x13x2-inch baking pan, place a layer of half the coarsely crumbled tortilla chips; top with half of the ground beef mixture. Layer with remaining crumbled tortilla chips, then remaining meat mixture. Sprinkle cheddar cheese and chopped black olives over top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Cheeseburger Pie

1 pie shell, frozen or homemade, unbaked
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. steak seasoning or burger seasoning
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 c. plain fine bread crumbs
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard or a favorite gourmet mustard
2 tbsp. ketchup
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend or a Cheddar/American blend
Sliced tomatoes, optional

Heat oven to 375.
Brown the ground beef with onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, steak seasoning, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
In medium bowl whisk eggs with the mustard, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in chopped dill pickle, if using. Stir into the cooled ground beef mixture. Stir in about 1/2 cup of the cheese. Pack into the pie shell and bake for 30 minutes. Top with the sliced tomatoes, if desired, then top with remaining shredded cheese and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until cheese is melted and crust is nicely browned.

Chicken and Dressing Casserole

3 c. cooked diced chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. melted butter
1 pkg. herb-seasoned stuffing mix, (6 to 8 oz)
1 c. shredded cheese, Swiss or Cheddar

Combine soups and chicken broth; add diced chicken to the mixture. Add butter to dressing mix. Combine chicken mixture with the dressing mixture. Place in a 2 to 2 1/2-quart casserole and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with shredded cheese during the last 5 minutes if desired.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

2 lb. skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
Bread Crumbs
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
8 oz Swiss cheese, cubed
8 oz ham, diced
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 c. milk

Whisk together the egg and 1/2 cup milk. Dip chunks of chicken in egg mixture, then into breadcrumbs, coating well. Brown in a little oil until golden.
Place chunks in baking dish; add cubes of swiss cheese and small pieces of ham. Mix cream of chicken soup with 1 cup of milk; mix well and pour over all. Bake about 30 minutes at 350 or until tender and bubbly.

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