Home & Garden

Dining In: Casseroles make a perfect winter supper

recipes by Karen Diefendorf
For fast-moving families who want an easy-to-make, tasty meal for a cold winter night, these hearty casseroles are perfect.

Tamale pie
   1 lb. ground meat (beef or turkey)
   1 medium onion, chopped
   2 cloves of garlic, minced
   1/2 tsp. chili powder (or more to taste)
   Salt and pepper to taste
   3/4 c. yellow corn meal
   1 c. milk
   1 c. ripe olives, pitted
   1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
   Brown meat; add onion and garlic during last part of browning. Add salt, pepper, and chili powder. Mix in corn meal, milk, tomato sauce, and olives. Turn into 9x9-inch baking dish. Cook until firm, 30 to 45 minutes in 350 degree oven.
   This is very easy to prepare and the only way to spoil it is by overcooking, which will make it dry.

Cheese and pasta in a pot
   2 lb. ground beef
   2 medium onions, chopped
   2 garlic cloves, minced
   1 jar (14-oz.) spaghetti sauce
   1 can (1 lb.) stewed tomatoes
   1 can (3 oz.) mushrooms
   8 oz. shell macaroni
   1 1/2 pints sour cream (light or non-fat may be substituted)
   1/2 lb. provolone cheese
   1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
   Cook ground beef in large skillet. Drain. Add onions, garlic, spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes, and undrained mushrooms. Mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes.
   Meanwhile, cook macaroni according to directions. Drain and rinse.
   Pour half of the shells into a deep casserole and cover with half of the tomato and meat sauce. Spread half the sour cream over the sauce and top with slices of provolone. Repeat, ending with slices of mozzarella. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove cover and continue baking until mozzarella melts and browns slightly.

Crab, rice and tomato casserole
   1 1/2 c. crab meat (fresh, frozen or canned)
   3 Tbsp. butter
   3 Tbsp. flour
   Salt and pepper to taste
   1 1/2 c. cooked rice
   1 1/2 c. tomato juice
   1 Tbsp. onion
   1/4 c. green pepper
   1/3 c. mayonnaise
   Melt butter, add flour, and stir in tomato juice. When thick, remove from heat and add onion, green pepper, crab, salt, pepper, and rice. Fold in mayonnaise. Put in buttered casserole and top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Vegetarian broccoli almond casserole
   2 10-oz. pkgs. frozen, chopped broccoli
   1 10 1/2-oz. can mushroom soup
   1 c. mayonnaise
   2 eggs, well beaten
   1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
   2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
   1/2 c. slivered, almonds, toasted
   Salt and pepper to taste
   Ritz (or similar) crackers, crushed
   Defrost and drain broccoli well. Mix soup, mayonnaise, eggs, cheese, onion, and almonds together. Add seasoning. Stir in broccoli and pour into buttered casserole.
   Add layer of crushed cracker crumbs on top. Bake about 30 minutes at 375 degrees or until mixture is heated thoroughly. Serves 8 to 10.

Enchilada casserole
   1 dozen corn tortillas
   2 to 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
   3 Tbsp. flour
   1 10-oz. can mild enchilada sauce (or hotter)
   1 1/2 c. milk
   1 c. grated cheddar cheese
   1/2 c. sliced ripe olives
   1/4 c. sliced green pimiento stuffed olives
   1 lb. ground beef
   1 medium onion, chopped
   1 10-oz. can jalapeno bean dip
   Salt and pepper to taste
   1 large tomato, chopped
   Condiments: Shredded lettuce, thinly sliced onion, tomatoes, sliced avocados, sliced ripe olives
   In a small skillet, gently fry tortillas in 1 tablespoon of the oil, adding more oil as needed. Drain on paper towels.
   In a medium skillet, combine flour and salt and slowly stir in enchilada sauce until smooth. Add milk and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Add cheese and olives and continue cooking until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
   In a large skillet, brown beef and onion, stir in bean dip, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place 1/4 cup meat mixture and a small amount of the tomato in the center of each tortilla and cool. Place rolled tortillas, seam side down, in a 9x13-inch baking dish.
   Pour cheese sauce over top and bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until bubbly. Garnish with condiments when serving. 6 to 8 servings.

Beef and noodles
   1 8-oz. pkg. angel hair pasta
   3/4 c. stuffed olives, sliced
   1 can. mushroom soup
   1 1/4 c. milk
   1/2 c. chopped onion
   2 Tbsp. butter
   2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
   1/2 lb. cheddar cheese grated
   2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
   1/2 lb. chopped almonds
   1 c. chow mein noodles
   Salt and pepper
   Cook noodles according to directions. Drain. Mix soup and milk together. Add soup and milk, olives, and parsley to noodles. Mix well. Saute onions in butter. Add meat and brown together. Stir in grated cheese.
   Bake in a greased 4-qt. casserole dish in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Add nuts and chow mein noodles over top and bake 20 minutes more.

Chicken and bean casserole
   4 whole chicken breasts
   1 can cream of mushroom soup
   1/2 c. milk
   1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
   2 pkgs. green French-style green beans, thawed
   1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
   1 can (14 1/2-oz.) chop suey vegetables, drained
   1/3 c. chopped onions
   1 can (3 1/2-oz.) French fried onions
   Cook chicken breasts (in microwave or in boiling water) until done. Skin and cut into bite size pieces. Combine mushroom soup, milk, and salt. Stir until well blended. Fold in remaining ingredients, except French fried onions.
   Spoon into 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until beans are tender. Top with French fried onions and bake for 10 minutes more.

Pork chop casserole
   8 pork chops, 1 inch thick (or as many needed for the number being served)
   Salt and pepper
   2 Tbsp. butter
   2 stalks celery, chopped
   1/2 onion, chopped
   1/2 green pepper, chopped
   1 clove garlic, minced
   1 c. uncooked rice
   2 1/2 c. chicken broth
   Pinch of thyme
   Finely chopped parsley
   Brown chops in frying pan lightly coated with oil. Remove chops and set aside. Pour off grease. Into same pan, put butter, garlic, celery, onion and green pepper. Saute.
   When onions are translucent, add raw rice and stir. Add chicken broth. Stir and bring to a boil, while adding salt (to taste), pepper and thyme.
   Pour into casserole and place chops on top. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.