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 Casserole!

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soothsayer
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PostSubject: Casserole!   Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:57 am

First, I want to say that this isn't a from scratch recipe. I've made those, what with the base and the flour for the sauce and whatnot. Those are pretty good. But no, what this is is my casserole recipes, what I came up with.

What You'll Need
1. First, what you'll need is one of the larger 13x9 glass casserole dishes
2. Two to Three cups of meat. Diced. Not loosely put in the cup, but kinda pressed, just not compacted.
3. Two cups of shredded cheese
4. Two cans of condensed soup; has to be the same flavor
5. Two can of vegetables
6. Some seasoning
7. 10oz of elbow or shell noodles
8. Large mixing bowl
9. Option: french dried onions
10: Option: cooking spray

There's a reason why there isn't anything specific in that list; I'll get to that later in the post.

What you'll need to do

1. Start the preheating of your over to 325*
2. Begin boiling a pot of water for your noodles
3. While the water heats up, prepare your meat. Dice your meat; once diced, but into the large mixing bowl.
4. When boiling your noodles, don't let them get soft. You'll want to drain them when they are somewhat soft / not too soft.
5. Put the two cups of cheese, two cans of (drained) vegetables, and two cans of condensed soup into the bowl. Sprinkle in seasoning. Mix with a spoon or ladle.
6. When noodles are good to go, after draining (but do NOT rinse) put them into the mixing bowl. Stir away, making sure everything is nice and coated and well blended.
7. Spray the casserole dish with the cooking spray. I prefer the buttery flavor spray. Dump your mix into the dish, spreading things about evenly. Kinda lightly flatten into place, put don't press into place. If you like, sprinkle broken up handfuls of the french dried onions as a topping.
8. Bake for roughly 20 - 25 minutes.

The reason you don't want the noodles to be completely done / soft when boiled is because they will continue to soften while baking. Now, the reason for the vague description of ingredients: I have made a lot of different casseroles, all using this basic procedure, and depending on what you have, the items will change. You are free to alter things to suit your tastes, but this is what I have done so far, on a repeated basis.

1. Ham Casserole - diced ham, cheddar cheese, cream of mushroom soup, french cut green beans
2. Sausage Casserole - sliced sausage (or kielbasa), three cheese blend, cream of potato soup, regular cut green beans
3. Chicken Casserole - diced chicken, cheddar cheese, cream of chicken soup, mixed vegetables
4. Mexican Casserole - ground hamburger (made as taco meat), mexican blend / taco blend cheese, I forget the name of the soup but it's either fiesta something, or cream of - (keep the mexican theme), sante fe style vegetable mix; topping would be salsa

I've made this with pork chops as well, sometimes with a little bit of everything (or, as I call it, left over casserole). Cream of Broccoli, Cream of Asparagus, and so on are all good, but you'll want to try to complement the different flavors of what you're all putting in this. For seasoning, I like to use pepper, Italian seasoning, oregano, sometimes a dash of crushed red peppers (pizza seasoning). Just mix things up, make what you like... this is just a guide, after all. I've even made a pizza casserole, using italian sausage and pepperoni / some olives, green peppers, onions, other / blended cheese / cream of mushroom, just to try things out.

Whatever you choose, do not use shredded mozzarella! This overpowers the taste of everything else.

Also, if you want to make a casserole in one of those smaller square dishes, simply cut the ingredients in half. Another thing is, the casserole is good to go without baking; I bake mine to essentially heat everything through, to finish cooking the noodles, and to get the cheese melty. To make without baking, just boil the noodles until soft. When you mix things, the heat from the noodles should be good to "reheat" the meat; with everything else being stored at room temperature, there really isn't a need for much else.

Total prep time varies, depending on what you're all doing. But, if it helps, it's pretty much how long it takes your noodles to cook, as every other prep step takes place while things are boiling. By time everything is done and mixed, your oven will be good to go (so there's no waiting).

Enjoy!
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