Archive for the ‘Casseroles’ Category

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Crabcake Pie in Oyster Cracker Crust

August 1, 2015

 

An old neighbor friend shared a recipe on facebook for a crabmeat pie.It looked great, but had ingredients in it such as green pepper and celery that we just don’t enjoy. Wonder of wonder there was also no Old Bay in the recipe! I can’t imagine crab cakes without Old Bay! Linda also mentioned she did not like pie crust and asked what I could suggest in it’s place. Oyster cracker crust seemed to be the perfect pairing,so off I was  to recreate this gem. . If you love crab you have to make this. The flavor is everything you  love in a traditional crab cake, without the hassle of making cakes and frying. Simple yet elegant, don’t be daunted by the ingredient list, this comes together quickly and easily. It’s light and fluffy, crispy crusted, sweet and slightly lemony with just a hint of Old Bay singing in the back round. I wish I had a slice now!

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Crabmeat Filling
7 1/2 oz. crab meat, I used 3 cans, 2 lump and one white
1/2 C. assorted peppers, finely diced (we don’t like green – use what you like)
3 scallions. diced, save some of greens for top and garnish
2 carrots, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sour cream
1/3 C. panko
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
zest from lemon
1/2 T. parsley
1/2 T. dill
1 t. coriander
1 t. Old Bay
1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper

Get all your veggies diced and ready. Drain your crab but do not separate the lumps. If you can get all lump fresh crab by all means do so. I think the white crab which is more shredded holds the filling together better, so try to get at least 2 oz. of that as well.

Add the veggies, cheese and panko  to the crab and gently combine, once again not breaking up the crab lumps as best that you can.

Beat the eggs well. Add the sour cream, lemon juice and zest, and beat until creamy. Add the seasonings to this and stir well.

Combine your egg mixture to your crab mix and yes.. stir g-e-n-t-l-y!! You should still have crab lumps in your mix!

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Oyster Cracker Crust
1 1/2 C. ground oyster crackers
1/2 C.  unsalted  butter – melted
1/8 cup cold  water
a few shakes of dill, Old Bay and onion powder

Crush the crackers leaving some texture to them. Combine with butter and seasonings.
Add a little water at a time until the mix slightly sticks together. You don’t want it to be too wet or sticky. Pour into a 9″-10″ pie plate and press evenly onto the bottoms  and up sides, making sure there are no gaps.
Bake 8 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven until lightly browned.

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Pour the crab mixture into your baked crust. It does not have to be cooled. I sprinkled a bit of paprika on top for color.

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Bake in a pre heated 35 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, add topping and back for 15 minutes more.

Topping
1 T. panko
1 T. shredded cheese for top
2 T. scallions tips

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Serve with fresh lemon wedges, and more scallion tops for garnish.

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Cheesy Vegetables and Chicken

October 13, 2014

Another one of the clean out the fridge recipes, you will have to control yourself on the portions of this. The original recipe (no clue where I got it from) was also a throw together, but I have skimmed down the cheese and sour cream, added a ton of additional veggies, and most definitely achieved perfection. (My lovely cousin Marcia says she makes this with plain yogurt )There is still a reasonable amount of cheese. Since it is evenly dispersed in 4-5 servings ( or less if you have a teen age son!) the overall quantity per serving is not substantial, and it is of course very low in carbs. The original recipe also called for a 13 x9 pan. I scaled it down to a 9×9 pan so there is less area that needs to be covered by cheese. You can switch up your choice of vegetables. This is what I had on hand last night. It comes together quickly and since every thing is pre cooked, the bake to serve time is minimal.

2 boneless chicken breasts

1 can diced tomatoes, drained well.

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets and lightly  steamed

1/2 large red pepper

8-10 mushrooms, sliced

2 C. fresh spinach, chopped

3/4 C. sour cream (or plain yogurt)

1 t. black pepper

3 t. smoky paprika

1 1/2 C. shredded cheese – Mexican blend. Cheddar, Monterrey Jack (anything but Mozzarella)

Put the cauliflower in a large frying pan and sauté a bit after steaming. Add remaining vegetables in according to the length of time they need cooked. Mine went in the pan in this order: red pepper, mushrooms, diced tomatoes  and lastly, spinach.

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I made my chicken in the Foreman grill.. I love my Foreman grill.. Four minutes- done enough  as it will cook more in the casserole.

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Cut it up in bite size pieces, and add it to the vegetables in the pan.

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Mix in your sour cream and add 2 teaspoons of the paprika, and pepper. Combine well and put in a 9×9 pan.

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Bake covered in a 350* oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, top with shredded cheese and sprinkle with  paprika.Return to oven until cheese is just melted. I shut the oven off and left it in  for  about 5 more minutes.

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We had no sides with since there are so many vegetables in it. If you want to add carbs,  rice would be wonderful as there are plenty of juices from the tomatoes.

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Poblano,Chicken, and Sausage Casserole

April 26, 2014

Several weeks ago, someone in one of my cooking groups posted a recipe for a Chili Releno Casserole. There was no link, just a recipe. so my concoction is loosely based on her recipe, with several changes made by me (as usual, I can’t make a recipe without some alterations!) Having plans for a hamburger based meal later in the week, I decided this casserole was a good for for two lone sausage in my freezer  along with a boneless chicken breast. Black beans were added for  texture and more flavor. Are you getting the idea that this is  an extremely flexible recipe?  It can be done vegetarian using two cans of beans. Skip the sausage, and use two chicken breasts. Be conventional and use hamburger. Double the ingredients  and make a 13×9 pan to take to a Cinco De Mayo Party!  Very flavorful, not too spicy and could be enjoyed by any crowd.

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1 large boneless chicken breast, cut in 1″ cubes

2 sausage links, any kind, cut in 1″ cubes

1 can black beans, drained

3 Poblano  peppers, cut in 1″ pieces

1 onion, small dice (not pictured- I didn’t have one)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 eggs

1/8 C. flour

3/4 C. milk

1 T. chili powder

1 T. oregano

2 t. cumin

2 t. black pepper

2 C. and mixed  Cheddar, Monterey Jack or shredded “Mexican” cheese

Sour cream for garnish

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)

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In a large frying pan, sauté poblanos (reserve 1/4 C. for top, and dice them smaller) and onion with sausage. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the garlic and chicken. To the pan, add 1 teaspoon of each of the seasonings (chili powder, oregano, cumin and black pepper). Toss well to distribute seasonings. I think it is  important to season the ingredients  while sautéing, adding the rest  when baking. It enhances the flavors and brings out their oils. Cook for just another 3-4 minutes.

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Combine eggs and flour and remainder of seasonings. Whisk until no visible  lumps of flour are gone. Add milk next. I find the flour combines more smoothly when done in this order.

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Spread your meat and peppers in the bottom of an 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Top with the drained and rinsed black beans.

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Top with cheese and the reserved 1/4 C. of poblanos.

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Pour egg, flour and milk mixture over all. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

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Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a dash or red pepper flakes.

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Tamed Tuna Casserole

March 10, 2014

I  know, I know…you’re turning up your nose. No one “loves” tuna casserole, in addition to the fact that it is loaded with  fat and carbs. I encourage you to try this version.. just once.. I guarantee you will put it into your menu cycle.  With Meatless Mondays, Lent, and the cost of meat soaring, now is the perfect time to try this. Using half spaghetti squash and half pasta you are cutting your carbs significantly. Because the  spaghetti squash brings a creamy texture to the dish, you can also cut down on fat from added  cheeses and milk.. No flour-y roux in this either. And if you “really” can’t stand tuna, cooked chicken is  always a viable alternative. The end result was such a hit I do not  have step by step pics,  but thought it was  worth sharing.

1/2 lb. angel hair or spaghetti, cooked and drained

1/2 roasted spaghetti squash, made into strands (directions here)

1 large can solid white albacore tuna, in water

1 C. Ricotta cheese

1/2 C. Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

1/3 C milk (I used 2%, fat free  would work as would cream)

1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (any salty dry cheese will work )

1 t. Old Bay

1 t. dried dill

1 t. pepper

1 T. butter

1/4 C. bread crumbs or panko

A sprinkle  more of  Old Bay, and dill for the top

Combine ricotta, milk , Parmesan and seasonings. Prepare pasta and drain. Mix with strands of spaghetti squash.While pasta and squash  are still hot, mix in ricotta until it is evenly distributed throughout.

Add the tuna, and break the chunks up so it is also evenly distributed  throughout the pasta and squash. Pour into a 9×9 pan.

Optional: Dot with  a little butter and sprinkle bread crumbs or panko on top.

Pre heat  350 degree oven. Bake 40 minutes until brown and bubbly.

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Served with some asparagus on top, this looks like a gourmet dish!

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I made this tonight with a few tweaks.. added some peas and carrots, a little more spaghetti squash and some Whites Only eggs..I didn’t think I could improve on this but it was even better than the other times I made it. Topped tonight with  scallion greens, red pepper flakes and sriracha on the side…

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Cranapple Sweet Potato Casserole

November 20, 2013

Thanksgivukkah. This  year  Chanukah begins on Thanksgiving. A once in a life time occurrence , this event calls for some  different  festive combinations. Here is one that will be on out table this year. A crispy on the outside, tender on  the inside  sweet potato and apple combination, kicked up  with the  tart and tangy cranberry.

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes

2 Granny smith  apples

3/4 C. fresh cranberries

1/2 lemon , juice and zest

2 T. olive oil

1 T. fresh grated ginger

1 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. nutmeg

Sunflower seeds,

almonds or candied pecans for garnish (optional, but nice texture contrast)

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Peel and grate potatoes and apples. I keep my ginger cut in one inch pieces in the freezer. When I need some I grate (or cut)  them frozen. Toss with lemon juice and zest. Stir in cranberries. Add oil and seasonings, and combine well. This smells amazing before it’s even  cooked, and looks so pretty too.

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Lightly oil a 9×9 pan or equivalent and spread mixture evenly in pan. Leave it loose, don’t pat it down in the pan so it gets crispy, almost like a latke.

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Bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 30- 40 minutes, until nicely browned.

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Slice into squares and top with sunflower seeds, or almonds …or even candied pecans  if you have no allergies in your family!

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Spaghetti Squash Casserole

September 2, 2012

One of my top ten favorite veggies! It is still fascinating to me how the flesh of this delight separates into long golden strands. You can use this in the same manner you would “real” spaghetti,without having to worry about gluten or carbs.I love it with a light red sauce,a group of sauted veggies,or all by itself! Though not sweet like butternut, spaghetti squash does have a slight buttery taste.I don’t add a lot of seasoning to this dish, so that the natural flavors shine through.This time I have combined it with some other favorites and baked it,making a perfect one dish entree’.A great choice  for a weekday meat free meal.

1 1/2 -2 spaghetti squash- depending on size

1 C. canned artichokes,drained,rinsed and roughly chopped

1 C. sliced Crimini mushrooms

1/2 C. sun dried tomato,finely  chopped

1 sweet onion,medium diced

1 T.butter

1 T. olive oil ,plus a little to rub on squash before baking

1 egg

1 C. sour cream

1 C. sharp cheddar,shredded

Pre heat overn to 375.Cut squash in half.Scrape out the seeds. Coat lightly with olive oil.Sprinkle a bit of black pepper on top.Turn upside down on baking sheet and roast for approximately 30-40 minutes,or until a knife slides in easily.

While squash is roasting, prep and saute the vegetables in the butter and oil.Begin with the onions as they take the longest.Then add the sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, and lastly the artichokes. Saute for about 10 minutes,just until onions begin to get soft.

When squash is done,turn them (carefully!) over and allow to cool for about 10 minutes,if you value your fingers. Holding the squash in one hand, gently scrape the flesh with a fork.You should end up with roughly 5 cups.Whatever is left,can be frozen and used in soup.In my case it never makes it into the soup, and I have it later on in the week for lunch with some tuna and grated cheese on top.

In a bowl combine the egg,3/4 C. of the cheese, sour cream and squash. Add in the vegetables.

Put in a lightly buttered (no margarine!!) casserole dish.Give it a few shakes of pepper.

Bake for 30 -45 minutes. A lower sided casserole dish or pan will take less time to heat through than a higher sided one-I insert a knife and then touch the knife to see if is hot. Remove from the oven and top with the rest of the cheese.Bake for another 15 minutes, until the cheese has browned a bit.The crunch of the cheese makes a nice texture contrast to the spaghetti squash.

This is a meal for us,but it would make a wonderful side to any meat. Enjoy !

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Savory Cornbread Casserole

January 16, 2012

This recipe as a “meal”, came from a recipe shared by a friend for cornbread stuffing. I switched it up and the result was a deliciously satisfying casserole, perfect for the chilly winter months. Tired of the same old comfort foods? This is the answer…

  • 1 package Jimmy Dean sausage ( I used the sage flavor)
  • half of a 8 oz.container of baby Portabella mushrooms
  • 1  large boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
  • a few tablespoons  finely minced jalapeno
  • 1/2 C or so of shredded Monteray Jack / Cheddar
  • 1 box corn bread mix (or if you make your own -enough for a 9×9 pan)
  • paprika

Brown sausage and drain well. Remove from pan.Add raw diced chicken and brown (I left it a little underdone since the casserole is baked.Saute mushrooms in same pan for about 3-4 minutes.

Combine: Sausage,chicken,mushrooms,jalapenos,soup and cheese.Put in a 9×9 pan.

Prepare cornbread according to package directions.Add a tablespoon or more of the jalapenos to it, depending on your love of heat.I added a tablespoon of  jarred minced jalapenos to both the sausage mix and the cornbread and it was spicey. Cover the sausage blend with the cornbread, taking it all the way to the sides and spreading evenly.Sprinkle with some smokey paprika.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until the cornbread is baked through and the mixture is bubbling up underneath it.

Cut in squares and serve with a chilled green salad.

Classic comfort food kicked up a notch. Enjoy and stay warm!