Monday, April 21, 2014

Casseroles, a collection of my favorites. Over 25 recipes!

Here's another in a series of collecting a category of favorite recipes in one post.
Casseroles! The All American Dish.
We all love the ease and convenience of preparing our favorite ingredients in one dish, the Casserole.
I did a story about the All American 9"X 13" baking pan, it's the go - to dish for Casseroles.

Here's some of my Best of the Best recipes for Casseroles:

I have to start with my Vegetarian Version of the Legendary Texas favorite...... King Ranch Casserole!

This casserole is as famous as the Alamo, Davy Crockett, Texas Longhorn Steers, and Cowboys! However, It was not created at the famous King Ranch as legend would have it. But who cares! It's a legend on it's own, no matter who created it or where it came from. I haven't met a Texan yet that doesn't love it!  Even people that aren't Texans and live here, love it! This recipe can very easily be made in a vegetarian version..... all of us vegetarians can do the conversion! My family has this casserole for Christmas, Easter, and family supper! I really hope y'all come to Texas some day, but if you can't, then cook ya up some King Ranch Casserole and imagine you're here! As we say in Texas,

"I love me some King Ranch Casserole".
1/2 C unsalted Butter
1 yellow Onion, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
8 ounces Button Mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 C all-purpose Flour
3 1/2 C Chicken Stock (Vegetarian: Vegetarian Chicken Broth)
1/2 C Heavy Cream
3 mild Green Chiles, roasted, peeled (stems and seeds discarded), and diced
1 (10oz.) can Ro-Tel
18 Corn Tortillas
1 cooked Chicken (poached or roasted), meat shredded ( Vegetarian: Quorn Chik'n Cutlets or Chik'n Tenders) Pre browned in 2 TBS of Olive Oil)
1 C shredded Jack Cheese
1 C shredded Cheddar Cheese
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the vegetables and sauté on medium-low about 7 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until the white is no longer visible. Whisk in 3 cups of the stock, 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Whisk in cream and stir in chiles and tomatoes.
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. Pour remaining 1/2 cup of stock into a bowl. Stack the tortillas in the bowl, 6 at a time, to moisten, then line the bottom of the pan with the tortillas, making sure they overlap each other by about one third. Cover the tortillas with half the sauce. Add half the chicken and sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Add a second layer of soaked tortillas, the remaining sauce and chicken, and another third of the cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas and cheese.
Bake for about an hour, until bubbling and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Peace in the Kitchen!

There are so many variations of Summer Squash and Zucchini Casseroles. I happen to have quite a selection of recipes. Every time I find one, I consider it to be my favorite. Consequently, I have amassed a collection of favorites! Here's another one:

Summer Squash Casserole:

This one is baked in a 2 quart enamel cast iron casserole. We have a collection of vintage casserole pans from Belgium.

3 C un peeled and diced yellow summer squash
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
1/2 C grated cheddar cheese
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 C Bisquick Mix ( home made Bisquick recipe at the end for those that don't have access to Bisquick Mix;
4 eggs, beaten
4 TBS minced fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and coat the squash well.
Spray the pan with a vegetable cooking spray and add the squash
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes until golden brown

Home Made Bisquick Mix:

6 C flour, unbleached
3 TBS Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 TBS salt
3 TBS sugar
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

In a large bowl that will accommodate more than 5 cups of flour, whisk together everything except the butter.
Use a pastry blender or two forks and cut in the butter until it becomes a coarse meal without any big pieces of butter. Store the mixture in a jar in the refrigerator.

Peace in the Kitchen!

We bought the Summer Squash from a farmer at our local market. They told us the Summer Squash and Zucchini were planted adjacent to each other. They actually cross pollinated and produced the yellow squash with green designs on them. Some of them had much more green and a more intricate design.

Corn Pie:
This is one of my Best of the Best recipes!
There's a photo at the end of this post.

400 degree oven
9" pie pan
I make 2 at a time. I don't double the recipe. I measure
all of the ingredients and prepare them for each pie simultaneously.

1 1/4C of Ritz crackers, finely crushed
1/2C butter, melted
2TBS butter
1 1/4 C whole milk
2 C corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS flour
1/2 tsp onion salt or onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 TBS fresh chopped Rosemary

Combine cracker crumbs and 1/2 C melted butter and mix well, reserve 1/2 C
of this mixture for the topping and press the remaining into the pie pan.

In a saucepan:
combine 2TBS butter, 1C milk, corn and salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

In a small bowl:
Add flour and cayenne pepper to the remaining 1/4C milk and mix until smooth.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the corn mixture stirring constantly.
Cook 3 minutes until it thickens.
Cool slightly
Add onion salt and Rosemary
Slowly add eggs, stirring constantly
Pour into pie pan and sprinkle the top with remaining crumbs.

Bake for 30 minutes!

I decided to bake the corn pie in a casserole instead of a pie pan. It's turned out well. It looks and smells amazing. I did this for Thanksgiving Dinner 2012!

Spanish Rice Casserole:

I've spent the morning playing around with a new recipe.
My Mother always made what she called Spanish Rice, remember we lived in Michigan. Maybe it was a food trend when I was young. It just seems out of place on the menu as I look back at my childhood. But then we also ate a lot of Chinese Food too, maybe because of the movie, A Christmas Story!
Food trends have always fascinated me. Julia Child created the French food trend in America. The 60's loved Fondue and Health Food. I don't think Tex-Mex is a trend in Texas. It seems to be a staple in every kitchen here. We love our Tex-Mex cuisine! I've lived in Texas for 35 years, I still refer to Michigan as home, I'm not sure why, but I'm glad I had the opportunity in my lifetime to get to know Tex-Mex! I hope some of you reading this outside of Texas will embrace some of my Texas recipes............!

I don't remember my mother's Spanish Rice to be as spicy as I have grown to love Tex-Mex food.
This recipe is quite spicy and very.......  Tex-Mex!

This recipe could easily be cut in half, it makes enough for a family gathering or a block party!

4 TBS vegetable oil ( I always say, cook with Vegetable oil, eat Olive Oil)
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 C long grain white rice
2 C long grain brown rice
2- 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with juice
1- 10 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes with Chiles, with juice
1- 4oz. can diced green chile peppers.
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Adobo Seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 C vegetarian Chicken Broth ( the real stuff for the non Vegetarians) 2C water added just before covering with cheese and baking.
2C freshly grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2C Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
Fresh Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Pickled Jalapenos for garnish

Heat oil in a large ( 6 or 7 quart Cast Iron Casserole or Cast Iron Dutch Oven)
Saute onion, celery and garlic about 5 minutes, stirring constantly

Reduce heat to simmer , add rice, stir constantly for 5 minutes
Add tomatoes, Rotel and green chiles
Add all spices and seasoning and stir to combine well

Add broth and bring to a boil

Reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
At this stage, I added an additional 2 C of water, stir well and then continue....

Top with Cheddar Cheese and bake at 375 for 15 minutes

After baking, remove from oven, top with Mexican Blend Cheese, cover
and allow the cheese to melt.

Serve in bowls topped with freshly chopped cilantro and pickled jalapenos.
I serve my Black Peppered Cheese Bread with it.

After tasting it, I think that it could easily be turned into a soup by adding water to individual servings, microwave it and serve topped with Tortilla Strips.

This is a large recipe. I just created a soup with the leftovers ( about 1/3 of it)
I added a 14.5 0z. can of diced tomatoes with the liquid, a 14.75 oz. can of creamed corn, water and milk.
I diced half of an onion and added that too.
It's very forgiving, you can make according to your own personal taste.

That's the way we do it in Texas!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Vegetable Casserole:

350 degree oven
6-8 quart Enamel Cast Iron Casserole
or, whatever covered oven proof pan you have that will hold all of the vegetables and broth.

2 onions,cut into wedges
3 carrots, roughly cut
3 stalks of celery,roughly cut
1 LB. Sweet Potatoes,( or Russet Potatoes if you absolutely do not eat Sweet Potatoes), roughly cut into cubes
2 pints of Vegetable Broth
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 leeks, roughly sliced
1 1/2 C Pearl Barley
2 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper to taste

2 TBS coarsely chopped parsley for garnish

In the Casserole, on the stove:
Sweet Potatoes
Vegetable Broth
Bring to a boil

Add :

Cover and bake for 1 hour.
Serve with thick slices of Country French Bread and Butter.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Marie Gallagher's Curried Fruit Casserole, Palatine, Illinois 1977
 Christmas Eve, 2012!

Today I pay homage to a dear family friend, Marie Gallagher. She recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

I became friends with the Gallagher family in the early 70's.

Marie used to make this casserole and I loved it. She shared this recipe with me in 1977.

It's in my book of recipes that I started in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1974, when Jay Gallagher and I lived there.

1- 15 oz. can of Pears, sliced
1- 15 oz. can of Peaches, sliced
1- 15 oz. can of Apricots
1- 15 oz. can of Chunked Pineapple
1 small jar of Maraschino Cherries
1 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1/3 C Melted Butter
Butter for greasing the pan

Drain all fruit, arrange lightly in a buttered casserole dish
Mix together, Curry,Brown Sugar and Melted Butter & pour over the fruit.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. It can bake for 2-3 hours without harm

Thank you Marie, I know you celebrated a wonderful 90th birthday, with all of the kids!
I wish I could have been there!
And thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Dallas, Texas 2002

I've always said that I could write a cookbook about Corn recipes. I could also write one about Squash.

This is one of my Best of the Best  Recipes.
Squash A-La- Bama:

It was shared with me by my very close friend Roger.

Roger was raised in Alabama and this recipe comes from one of his family friends.
We deemed it A-La Bama....  because I have such a connection to France and French Cuisine and Roger ,and the recipe, are from Alabama...... !

1 LB. Yellow Summer Squash ( about 3 medium)
1/2 stick of Butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C Mayonnaise
2 TBS chopped Onion
2 TBS chopped Green Pepper
2TBS chopped Celery
1 small jar of Pimientos
2 C grated Cheddar Cheese ( hold 1 C for the topping)
1/2 sleeve of Saltine Crackers, crushed

Or: I have created it with a 10 oz. package of Birdseye Frozen Season Blend ( Onion,Peppers and Celery) and omit the pimientos.

Slice, boil and drain the Squash.
Mix all other ingredients with the Squash.
Bake in a 2 QT. buttered casserole dish. No Vegetable Spray for this one.

350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cover the top with the 1 cup of cheese and return for 5 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Slow Cooker Mexican Casserole:

1 - 28 ounce Crushed Tomatoes , with juice
14 1/2 ounces of your favorite Salsa ( we all have our favorites in Texas)
1 - 6 ounce can of Tomato Paste
2 - 15 ounce cans of Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 15 1/4 ounce can of Corn, drained
2 - 4 ounce cans of Green Chiles, drained
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Adobo or Garlic Powder ( I use Adobo)
10" Tortillas to layer in the slow cooker
Shredded Cheddar Cheese for Garnish.

Combine Tomatoes, Salsa, Tomato Paste, Beans, Corn, Green Chiles, Cumin and Adobo Powder in a large bowl.
Mix well

Place 1 C of the mixture in the bottom of the Slow Cooker
Top with a Tortilla
Spread with 1/3  of the remaining mixture
Repeat until all of the mixture is used.
Cook on Low - 5 Hours.

Serve topped with Shredded Cheddar Cheese.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I love Pot Luck recipes.

We always refer to great Iced Tea as "Church Tea", you know, that tea that only a Grandmother can make and serve at a Church Gathering?

This Casserole is another one of those Church Gathering Recipes.

Pot Luck Potato Casserole:

8 C Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes, thawed
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Stick of Butter, melted
1 C Sour Cream
2 C Grated Cheddar Cheese, divided
1/4 C Chopped Onion
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 C Crushed Corn Flakes mixed with 2 TBS melted Butter (topping)

Combine well:
Sour Cream
1 C Cheese
Salt & Pepper

Add Potatoes and mix well

Place mixture in a 9x13 pan that's been sprayed with a Vegetable Spray
Top with remaining cup of Cheese
Sprinkle with the Cornflake mixture

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

Peace in the Kitchen!

This is another Best of the Best Recipes!
What a great aroma to wake up to on Christmas morning.

Praline French Toast Casserole:

8 Eggs
1 1/2 C Heavy Cream
1/3 C Maple Syrup ( the good stuff)
1/3 C Packed Brown Sugar
10 - 12  1/2" slices of French Country Bread


1 Stick of Butter
1/2 C Packed Brown Sugar
2/3 C Maple Syrup
2 C Chopped Pecans

(I never said it was healthy)

Generously butter a 9"X13" Casserole Dish

In a bowl, whisk together:
Heavy Cream
Maple Syrup

Place Bread slices in the Casserole dish and cover with the Egg mixture
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator
Remove and let it reach room temperature

Melt the Butter in a saucepan
Add Sugar and Maple Syrup and cook for 1-2 minutes
Stir in the Pecans
Pour over the Bread
Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes
Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving

In my book, I wrote WOW!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Hash Brown Potato Casserole:

For my non American friends, this recipe is one of our ( go to) family gathering recipes.
This came from our family in Kansas. It's from my Best of the Best  Recipes from 1998.

It's not fancy, not gourmet, but it's Classic American.
It's another example of one of those dishes you make when you have a crowd, when you're asked to bring a dish to pass, when you have to take something to share at work.

1- 2lb.  bag of Frozen Hash Browns with Red Peppers and Onions
1/2 C Butter , melted
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 C Chopped Onion
1 C Milk
1 Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 Pint of Sour Cream

Sour Cream
Pour this mixture over the Hash Browns that have been put in a 9"X13"Casserole Dish or a 10" Skillet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

Peace in the Kitchen!

I live in Texas and we have many recipes that include Squash and Corn.
This one has Jalapenos, Mexican  Cheese, Yellow Squash and White Corn plus other good stuff!

It's baked in a 3 quart casserole dish in a pre heated 350 degree oven
I ended up making it in my very large Cast Iron Chicken Fryer. I did all of the preparation in the pan and baked it in the pan. At the end, I broiled the top to give it color. I also have a great Terra Cotta Bram that I make it in.

Cowboy Squash Casserole:

3 pounds of Yellow Squash (sliced thin)
2 large Vidalia Onions, diced
1/2 C Water
1 - 15.25 ounce can of White Corn, drained
3 Jalapenos, seeded and diced
1.4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Eggs, beaten
2 C Shredded 4Cheese Mexican Cheese
1- 8oz. package of Cream Cheese, cut into small cubes

In a saute pan, combine:
Cook uncovered just until tender
Remove from heat

Fold in:
Cream Cheese
Shredded Cheese
Cayenne Pepper
Mix well

Pour mixture into a buttered 3 quart Cast Iron casserole dish

Bake  uncovered for 45 minutes

Peace in the Kitchen!

In this picture , the original recipe, the onions were sliced. I
did not like the texture with the squash so I re- wrote the recipe
to Dice the Onions. I also recommend the addition of Cayenne
Pepper. I did not think there was enough spice in the original recipe.

Holiday Potato Casserole:

This is another Mennonite recipe.

Even though the title is Holiday, I think these can be made for any family gathering throughout the year.

4 lbs. Potatoes
1 C chopped Onion
1/4 C Butter
1 can of Cream of Celery Soup
1 1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 pint of Sour Cream
1/2 C Crushed Corn Flakes
3 TBS Butter, melted

Boil the potatoes with skins on, until tender
Remove the skins and shred the potatoes into a large bowl.
Saute the Onions in 1/4 C Butter.
Remove from heat and add Soup, Sour Cream, and Cheese.
Pour over the Potatoes and mix well.
Place in a buttered 9"X13" Casserole dish.
Sprinkle with the Corn Flakes and melted Butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

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This is a great Brunch Casserole.

Green Chile and Egg Casserole:

1- 9"X13" casserole dish, buttered
350 degrees

10 Eggs
1/2 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
4 C Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
2 C Cottage Cheese
2 - 7oz. cans of Diced Green Chiles or  4 - 4oz. cans ( whichever you can find)

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes
Baking Powder
gradually add this to the Eggs and mix well
Fold in the Green Chiles and both of the Cheeses.

Pour into the casserole dish
Bake for 40 minutes

Peace in the Kitchen!

Slow Cooker Squash Casserole:
Thanksgiving 2013

2 pounds of yellow squash, thinly sliced ( at least 6 C)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 C shredded carrots
1 -(10 3/4 oz.) can of cream of mushroom soup
1 C sour cream
1/4 C flour
1 -(8oz.) package of seasoned stuffing mix
1/2 C butter, melted

In a large bowl:
Mix well

In another bowl:
sour cream
Mix well
Fold into squash mixture

In another bowl:
Toss stuffing mix with butter

In the slow cooker:
spread 1/2 of the stuffing mixture in the bottom.
Add the squash mixture
Top with remaining stuffing mixture

Cover and cook on low temperature for 7 - 9 hours.

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This is the third Grits recipes I've posted on the blog.
It's like squash or corn or Mac and Cheese, I just can't seem to get enough. I couldn't even decide on one to post as a Best of the Best Recipe.

Creamed Grits Casserole:

1 1/4 C uncooked regular Grits
2 C Broth ( Chicken, Vegetarian Chicken or Vegetarian)
2 C Whole Milk
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 C (1 stick)  Butter, cubed
1 (10oz.) piece of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 (4oz.) piece of Smoked Gouda Cheese, shredded
2 eggs, beaten

In a saucepan:
Cayenne Pepper
Bring to a boil on medium high heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly 4 - 5 minutes
Until thickened
Stir in butter and cheeses until melted

Stir about 1/4 of the grits into the beaten eggs then add the mixture back int the grits pan.
Pour into a buttered 3 quart casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbling around the edges.

Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

As a vegetarian I'm always looking for new vegetable recipes that look and taste great.
Most Americans love Green Bean Casserole, you know? the one with those French Fried Onions!
I think we all serve it at Thanksgiving. I know we always had it during the Holidays at my Grandmother's house.
Here's a spin on that All American Casserole.

Broccoli Casserole ( with French Fried Onions)

2 - 10 oz. packages of frozen broccoli ( cuts or florets, not chopped)
1 TBS butter
1 C chopped onion
1 - 10 3/4 oz.can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 hard boiled eggs, sliced, divided ( slice 3, set aside, slice the other 3 and set them aside)
2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can of french fried onions

Cook according to directions, drain and set aside
Melt butter in a saucepan and saute onions until translucent
soup, undiluted
ground mustard
whisk well
cook until bubbling

Place half of the broccoli in a 2 qt,  buttered casserole
Top it with half of the eggs
Half of the cheese
Half of the soup mixture
Half of the onions
Repeat ( except for the remaining onions) Save them for the last 5 minutes of baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes
Top with remaining onions and bake an additional 5 minutes

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We just can't have enough recipes for Tex - Mex Cuisine in Texas. We also eat a lot of Nachos. Here's a way to enjoy it all in one casserole.
This could also be made substituting vegetarian cooked ground round for the chick'n tenders.
And of course it can be made non vegetarian with 3 C of diced cooked chicken breast or sauteed ground beef.

Tex - Mex Vegetarian Chicken or Beef Nacho Casserole:

1 TBS vegetable oil
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 C diced onion
1 (12 oz.) bag of Quorn Chick'n Tenders
3/4 C water
1 (1 1/4 oz.) packet of Taco Seasoning
1 C sour cream (8oz.), room temperature
1 (4 oz.) can of diced green chiles
Tortilla Chips
2 C shredded pepper jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet , heat oil on medium heat and saute the peppers and onion for 5 minutes.
Add Chick'n Tenders and cook until they begin to brown.
Add water and Taco Seasoning, stir and cook for 10 minutes.
Fold in sour cream and diced green chiles.

Spray a 9"X13" baking dish with a vegetable cooking spray.
Place a layer of  tortilla chips in the dish.
Cover the chips with a layer of half of the chicken mixture.
Top with half of the Pepper Jack Cheese.
Repeat with another layer of Chips, Chicken and Cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

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This is another vintage recipe that I found in one of my latest finds at the Mennonite Relief Sale in Kansas last weekend. I collect cookbooks from the Amish / Mennonite community where my wife grew up in Kansas. My favorite books are the collections of handwritten recipes that have been handed down through generations of a family. I will cherish them and pass them on.
I found it to bee interesting. I had never seen, or heard of this before. It's a great Spring and Easter dish.
A great side dish for Ham and a great Brunch dish.
I've attached a photograph of the original recipe. I changed a few things to make it current.

Baked Pineapple Casserole:

1/2 C Butter
3/4 C Sugar
a dash of Salt
3 Eggs, beaten
1- #2 can of Crushed Pineapple, do not drain
5 slices of bread, crust trimmed and cubed. I would leave the crust on.

Cream together:
Add Eggs and beat.
Add remaining ingredients and mix.
Place in a heavily Buttered 1 1/2 quart Casserole Dish.
Bake at 325 degrees for 40 - 50 minutes.

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This is a great alternative to the classic Eggplant Parmesan.
You'll need 2 sheet pans lined with foil and 1- 9"X13" baking pan brushed with Olive Oil

2 Eggplants (1 1/2pounds each) peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1- 12 ounce package of frozen Cut Leaf Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/4 C room temperature Ricotta Cheese
4 Eggs, beaten
1/2 C shredded fresh parmesan cheese
1 - 25oz. jar of your favorite Pasta Sauce
2 C shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Arrange eggplant slices on the sheet pans and sprinkle with salt.
Drizzle them with olive oil.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside. Keep the oven temperature at 450 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the ricotta cheese until creamy.
Mix in the eggs until well combined.
Fold in the parmesan cheese and spinach.

Pour 1 1/4 C of pasta sauce into the prepared dish.
Arrange half of the eggplant slices over the sauce.
Spread the spinach over the eggplant.
Add another layer of eggplant.
Pout the remaining sauce on top.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15 - 20  minutes.
Sprinkle with mozzarella and continue baking for an additional 10 - 15 minutes. The cheese should begin to be golden brown and the sauce bubbling.
Serve hot!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Baked Eggplant:

Eggplant, Vegetarian and Texan..... here's my recipe for Tex - Mex Eggplant.

I was just asked by a fellow foodie if I had a recipe for Eggplant that doesn't have a Marinara Sauce.
Although I love most Vegetarian Eggplant Recipes, I like this version as an alternative  to an Eggplant Parmesan or Eggplant Rollatini, two of my favorites.

I grow Parsley and Mint in my garden and always have it on hand.
Typically I would make this with Cilantro instead of Mint but it's a flavor that is not familiar to everyone and I don't always have it in my garden.

1/3 C vegetable oil
3 - 4 eggplants, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red chile pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C chopped fresh mint (or Cilantro)
juice and zest of 1 lime

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat.
Cook eggplant in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, in batches, just until browned
Place eggplant in a 9"X13" baking dish
Sprinkle with garlic and chile pepper flakes
Season to taste with salt and pepper

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes

In a small bowl:
lime juice and zest
Combine well

Serve eggplant topped with the lime and herbs

Thanks to my friend and cookbook author, Ellise Pierce ( Cowgirl Chef, Texas Cooking with a French Accent) my recipe for Tex - Mex Eggplant is part of her story about Eggplant in the Dallas Morning News today, 1/8/2014. I highly recommend her book. I took a class from her at Central Market in Southlake and she is so much fun to be around! We have a kindred spirit about France and Texas and the cuisine from both places. Thank you Ellise for including me in the article.

Peace in the Kitchen!

It's Asparagus season.......

Asparagus and Hard Boiled Egg Casserole:

8 Hard Boiled Eggs ( I have resorted to buying them already boiled and peeled) , Sliced
2 pounds of Asparagus , steamed  ( place in a saute pan , cover with water, bring to a boil, cook for 5 minutes, run under cold water and cut into 1" pieces.
1- 26oz. can Cream of Mushroom Soup, undiluted
1 7oz. can of Mushroom Pieces and Stems
1 sleeve of Crushed Ritz Crackers , crushed
3 C Shredded Swiss Cheese ( I use French Comte Cheese) or whatever I have available
1 stick of Butter, softened

Prepare the hard boiled eggs:
Place eggs in a saucepan just big enough to hold them in the bottom.
Cover with cold water
Bring to a boil uncovered, immediately remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Remove from water, cool them in the pot with cold water.
Peel and Slice them.

Butter a 4 QT. Casserole Dish with 1/2 the Butter
Layer the Casserole Dish:
1/2 of the Asparagus
1/2 of the Soup
1/2 of the Mushrooms
1/2 of the Egg Slices
1C of the Cheese
1/2 of the Crackers

Melt the remaining butter and drizzle over the Crackers
Bake covered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Remove the cover, sprinkle with remaining Cup of Cheese and Bake and additional 5 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

You really have to love green chiles to appreciate this one!
It's a great Texas Casserole!

Hatch Chile Casserole:
4 eggs, beaten
4 -14 1/2 oz cans creamed corn
1 1/2 cups white corn meal
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 lb. Hatch green chiles, roasted, seeded and  roughly diced 
3/4 lb. Monterey Jack or Colby Jack cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring well. Pour into casserole dish, top with half the cheese, and bake 45 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and continue baking for 15 minutes.
Peace in the Kitchen!

I follow Mom's Pantry Blog.
I've asked and received permission to re- post any of her recipes that I like.

This one is something that I will make.

Creamy Spinach Bake:

I love Spinach,
I love Cream of Mushroom Soup,
I love French Fried Onions,
I love Casseroles.
I love a good Vegetarian Dish.
This recipe is very appealing to me.

Creamy Spinach Bake:

2 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 cans (10 3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
4 packages (10 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed and very well drained
2 cans (2.8 oz.) French fried onions
2/3 C saltine crackers, crushed (about 16 crackers)
1/4 C butter or margarine, melted

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth
Add soup and mix well
Stir in spinach and onions
Transfer to a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish
Combine crushed crackers and butter together and sprinkle over spinach mixture
Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 35 minutes or
until top is golden brown and casserole is heated throughout

Peace in the Kitchen!

This is one of our favorite Christmas Morning Recipes.

Overnight Christmas Morning French Toast:

1 (8oz) package of Cream Cheese
12 day old Croissants
18 Eggs
1 1/2 C Heavy Cream
1 TBS vanilla
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick (8TBS) of Butter + additional for greasing the pan
Pure Maple Syrup

Heavily butter a 9"X13" casserole dish.
Slice Croissants in half, horizontally.
Layer them cut side up in the dish.
Drop pieces of Cream Cheese in between the layers.

In a bowl:
Heavy Cream
Whisk Well
Pour ove the Croissants.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve topped with warm Maple Syrup and sprinkle with Confectioner's Sugar.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This was another entry for the Hatch Chile Contest at Central Market / 2013
My Nephew shared a recipe with me and this is my adaptation of that recipe

Hatch Chile Apple Enchilada Casserole:

1 (21oz.) can of apple pie filling
6 - 8" flour tortillas
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 C cornstarch
1/2 C diced roasted hatch chiles
2 TBS lime juice
1/2 C butter
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C water

1/2 C flour
1/2 C chopped pecans
4 TBS butter, melted

Place pie filling in a medium bowl

In a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cornstarch.
Add spice mixture to pie filling

Add chiles and lime juice to pie filling and mix well.

Spoon 1/4 C of the filling into the center of each tortilla.
Tuck in the sides and roll the tortilla
Place them in a buttered 9"X 13" casserole pan.

In a small saucepan:
melt butter
add granulated sugar, brown sugar and water.
Boil, stirring well.
Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes until sugar melts completely.
Pour over enchiladas and set aside for 45 minutes, let it absorb the sauce. ( make the topping)

1/2 C flour
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/4 C brown sugar
4 TBS butter, melted

In a small bowl:
brown sugar
mix well

Add butter and mix with a fork to create a crumble.

Bake the enchiladas at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
Cover enchiladas with the topping.
Continue baking for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Peace in the Kitchen!