80s Style Chicken Broccoli Noodle Casserole

I am in a mood to share recipes recently!  I don’t know if I should add a tab just for recipes or not!  Eh, probably not.  A lot of the recipes I have posted have been reviews.  Or maybe I should do a review tab?  Hm.

Anyway, this recipe was devised during the late 80s, meant to fill up a young child and a hungry husband and be nutritious on a meager budget.  It ticked off all those requirements and managed to be delicious!  While the budget has expanded somewhat, this dish is a perennial favorite and still ends up on the dinner table for busy evenings.

Yummy, yummy!

Yummy, yummy!

8 oz. dry egg noodles

1 pound broccoli

½ red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 10 ½ oz. cans cream of chicken soup with herbs

1 can milk

1 can chicken broth

1 tsp herbs de provence

1 ½ – 2 cups cooked chicken, cut up

1 ½ cups of grated cheddar

 

Preheat oven to 350°F, spray a 9 x 13 baking with oil.

1.)  Fill Dutch oven 2/3 with water and 2 tablespoons of salt.  Put on the stove to boil.

2.)  In the meantime, chop the onion and put into a medium-hot pan.  Mince the garlic while onion is cooking.  Sauté onion until almost tender, then add the garlic.  Cook for another two minutes, turn off the heat and set aside.

3.)  Water should be close to boiling by now.  Prepare the  broccoli and chop off the big stems, then put in the water with noodles and stir.  Let those cook by themselves for about 8 – 9 minutes.

4.)  While that’s cooking, mix the chicken soup, milk, chicken broth and herbs de provence in a large bowl until well blended; set aside.

5.)  For the chicken, I use leftovers or you can use canned or rotisserie.  It just makes things easier.  You can also cook up two medium sized chicken breasts.  Either way, chop it up at this point.

6.)  Check the noodles and broccoli; they should be done.  Let drain for a few minutes – nothing worse than a watery casserole!

7.)  You now have time to grate the cheese.

8.)  Everything is ready to put together!  Dump the noodles and broccoli back into the Dutch oven, along with the sautéed onions and garlic, sauce, chopped chicken and about 2/3 of the cheese.  Incorporate the ingredients well.  Pour into the prepared baking dish, then top with the rest of the cheese.

9.)  Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges.

 

Enjoy!

Chile Rellenos Casserole and Green Rice

For those of us who love our chile rellenos, but cannot handle actually making them (gringos), I’ve concocted my own recipe.  In my version, I put this together with the intent of staying as true to the original dish as possible.  Of course, since we’re talking about a casserole here, there are elements that would feel more at home in a Yorkshire pudding than your favorite Mexican restaurant, but I think this captures the spirit.  Do not be discouraged by the detailed instructions!  That’s mostly the chile handling and preparation.

I’ve also thrown in a newly discovered favorite of mine, green rice.  This is a variation on the more common red Mexican rice that for some reason I’ve just really taken to.

Will feed about 4 people with lunch leftovers!

Chile Rellenos Casserole

9            Poblano, Anaheim or pasilla chiles

10 oz.    casera cheese (queso fresco)

2              cups shredded cheddar cheese

6              eggs

1              tsp. baking powder

¼             tsp. salt

¾             cup flour

½             cup milk

  1.  Char your chiles on a comal, or in a cast iron frying pan or over an open flame.  Do not be afraid to toast these suckers good.  What you are doing here is giving the chile flavor and making it possible for you to skin the chile with ease.  When they are burnt to your liking, put them in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and let them sit for at least 30 minutes.
  2. During this rest time, grate the cheddar cheese and make the batter for pouring over the peppers.  Get your favorite 9 x 13″ pan and spray it with oil or grease it down, then turn on the oven to 350F.
  3. Now that the chiles have sat, they should be ready for prepping.  Important:  If you are not accustomed to handling peppers, BE CAREFUL.  I’ve handled peppers all my adult life and by and large, they don’t bother me, but they may bother you.  To be on the safe side, get yourself some medical gloves or rubber gloves or whatever and make sure you DO NOT rub your eyes with the gloves still on!  It hurts!!!  I know, this may seem a bit basic for some, but having to flush your eyes with water and possibly damaging your cornea is not worth it.  Granted, these are mild peppers, but you’ll notice as you’re seeding and skinning, you’ll need to sneeze, or you’ll feel it in the back of your throat, so there is some heat there.
  4. The chiles will be limp and require no special paring tools, especially if you’ve given them a good char.  Because they can be fragile, carefully remove the skin – I like doing it over a clean sink under some cool, running water.  They can be very slippery! – with your hands, and then, if you need to, make a slit in the pepper using your finger and remove the seeds and any fascia.  This is when you’re going to notice the burn, if any.
  5. Now comes the easy part.  Bring out your casera cheese and cut into sticks to fit in your chile.  That’s why I didn’t have you do it earlier. Each chile will be different, and you want it to wrap around and completely cover the cheese.  This may not be 100% possible, as there will most likely be some tearing in the earlier cleaning process, but do what you can.  They’ll be covered up anyway!  Arrange them in the baking dish and cover with the batter.  Top with the cheese and put them in the oven for 30 minutes.

For an extra kick, I like using El Pato Mexican tomato sauce.  I didn’t have any at the time, or the pictures would have looked different!  Also, just to let you know, the casera cheese will not be melty – it’s fresh, so it won’t melt.  But there, I was being true to the spirit.  If you must have melty cheese, use a decent Monterey Jack.

Green Rice

2              cups chicken broth

2              cups water

2              tsps. salt

2              cups medium grain rice, if possible

½             bunch of fresh cilantro

3              cloves of garlic, peeled

½             of a medium onion, peeled and wedged

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth, water and salt to a boil.  Stir in the rice, and wait for the water to boil again.  Reduce the heat to low, stir one more time, and cover and let cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Toss your cilantro, garlic and onion into a food processor and puree to your heart’s desire.  I actually pureed some  more after taking the picture because I noticed a little chunk of onion.
  3. After the 15 minutes is up, remove the rice from the heat and let set for another 10 minutes – do not lift the lid!
  4. When the rice has set, you may remove the lid!  Fluff the rice, and put in your puree at that time.  I used maybe 1/4 cup.  You may want more or less – it’s up to you.

Serve!

Crock Pot Red Robin French Fries “Review”

This must be one of the most simple recipes you’ll find.  The potatoes aren’t even peeled, you just have to make sure they’re clean and you have most of the spices.  I say “most” because I never have garlic salt.  I just use garlic powder and salt.  Why bother with a review?  I really like french fries and any short cut is right there on my list of recipes to try.

While there isn’t much to critique in the concoction itself, I would beg to differ about the use of the term “French fries”.  They are tasty, but the crock pot method makes the potatoes a bit too moist for my liking.  Maybe the slow cooker used for the presentation cooked on a hotter “high” setting.  I ended up using a fork to eat them instead of my fingers, but as you can see, I ate all of them.

Will I make them again?  Yes and no.  I’ll use the preparation and seasonings, but I’ll pass on the slow cooking method and just toss them into the oven for 30 minutes!

 

MexiCali Squash Casserole

Mexicali Squash (1)At my home, we’ve been incorporating more and more organic foods to our pantry and fresh fruits and vegetables. This means we have had to severely curtail our intake of meat, as there just isn’t the room for it in our budget. But that’s ok. As I’ve talked about before, I’ve been trying to cut it out of my diet as much as possible anyway.  That means I’ve had to get creative, and sometimes, the results haven’t been so good.  But we keep trying.

And then, out of the smoke haze of failed dinners past, comes a creation so good, it’s worthy of sharing.  Not only that, it makes a goodly amount so there are delicious leftovers for lunch.

But I wax poetic and you just want the recipe!  So, without further ado, here it is.

 

 MexiCali Squash Casserole

2              lbs yellow or zucchini squash, cubed or sliced

4              eggs

½             cup of milk

1              lb. Monterey jack cheese, shredded

1              tsp. salt

2              tsp. baking powder

3              tablespoons flour

½             cup chopped cilantro

4              roasted, chopped poblano chiles

1 ½         cups of crushed tortilla chips

 

Cook squash in water until barely tender.  Drain.  While squash is cooking, combine all the other ingredients, minus the chips; pour into a greased or Pammed 9 x 13” baking pan.  Put half of the chips on the mix, then top with squash, then sprinkle the rest of the chips on top.  Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.

 

Serves 6 – 8-ish

I served it with my version of Mexican rice.  If enough of you want the recipe to that, let me know and I’ll post it also.  That is a tried and true dish that is sure to please.

Enjoy!

Biscuits and Gravy Bake Recipe Review

How many of you have seen this recipe in your Facebook feed?

For me, it was love at first sight.  I adore biscuits and gravy, eggs and sausage.  I imagine if you’re reading this, you’re a bit of a fan also.

I did have my doubts about mixing it all together like the recipe shows, but I thought – eh. *shoulder shrug*  How bad could it be?  Of course, the video made the whole process look easy, but there was a bit of work in cooking up the sausage and grating the cheese.  It wasn’t all whisk, whisk, pour and eat, but close enough.  From start to eating, it was about an hour and ten minutes.

 

As you can see by the pictures, it looks just like it does in the video, and yes, it was as delicious as it looked.  I will definitely be making this again, but I may modify it a bit.  No matter how a good a recipe is, how bloody fantastic I think it tastes, I’m always looking to tweak it a little bit to make it even freakin’ better!  I was thinking of doing biscuits from Bisquick, but that would probably require several runs to get it just right.  Not only that, it would definitely stretch out the prep time, but I’m willing to give it a shot at least once.  And maybe some green onions or chive sprinkled on the top for a little brightness?  At least if that goes south, it’s easy enough to remedy.

Have you tried this?  If so, what was your take?

It’s National Spaghetti Day

Another year has gone by, and I still will not be eating spaghetti on its own special day. Sigh.  I’m sick as a dog and Noodles and Company is having a buy one get a free spaghetti dish – today only, of course.  Click on the picture to get the recipe for this lovely dish at Julie’s Dish!  (pst!  her pictures are better!)

 

Shrimp, tomato and spinach pasta in garlic butter

Shrimp, tomato and spinach pasta in garlic butter

But all is not lost.  I’ve arranged for a soiree on Saturday in honor of this annual event, a few days late, but, hey! it’s better than missing it altogether!

So what did you do on this auspicious day?

Making My Own Job

I know that a lot of you spend a significant amount of time online, mostly checking on your social media. I mean, who doesn’t like to spend hours on Pinterest, getting new ideas for your next big project, after you purchased all the goods needed for the last big project, which you haven’t started yet, before going back on Pinterest and discover new ideas for that next big project!  Uh, wait – Am I the only one who does this?

With the onset of cooler weather, business at the cannabis clinic has slowed down, so I’ve been able to spend even that much more time online, and it’s driving me crazy!  So with that in mind, I approached the owners of my favorite Mexican eatery, Cafe Luna, and asked if we could do a trade in kind.  As their Facebook page was seriously neglected, I offered to do their social media in exchange for their wonderful food….and they accepted!  It’s been a whole week, and I think I’ve upped their game.  I’ve also had two free meals there %-D.   One happy camper here.  Seriously, if you’re in the NorCal area, you need to check this out.  Wonderful, excellent food.  But don’t take my word for it; check them out on Yelp!, the reviews on their FB page and Trip Advisor