26 July 2009

I've been missing out!

So this morning, I had a few friends over for brunch, and my friend Sara brought over a hash brown casserole that completely rocked my world. How have I missed the joy that is hash brown casserole for all these years? I feel deprived.

Thus, while I haven't made it yet, I feel compelled to share the recipe just in case there are others who also have not yet discovered this culinary phenomenon. (Judging by the number of hash brown casserole recipes already out there on the interwebs, I apparently am the last to know, but hey.)

This is a vegetarian version, obviously; Sara was incredibly thoughtful and made a portion for me without cheese, which rocked.

I'm hoping this is close to what Sara made, because she told me the ingredients and, like a fool, I didn't write them down til later. I'm also guessing at quantities based on the other recipes I found online.

Hash Brown Casserole

1 bag frozen hash browns (2 lbs, thawed)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 c sour cream (1 16 oz container)
1/2 to 1 c chopped onion
1 1/2 c vegetarian sausage
1 c cheddar cheese (optional for me...)
1-2 c crushed cornflakes
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all the ingredients except the cornflakes together in a bowl. Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Pour the mixture in, then top with the cornflakes. Bake for one hour. Try not to faint from happiness.

Note: I saw another recipe that included chopped fresh chives, which sounded like a good idea to me. I'd guess 2-4 T. I'd probably also throw some cayenne in there with the salt and pepper, because I pretty much put cayenne, salt & pepper in about 80% of the dishes I cook. But that's just me. : )

22 July 2009

This one's for Neela : )

So my friend Neela and I went to school together from 5th through 12th grade. Today, she informed me that my mom makes the best tuna casserole ever, and that she's been trying to recreate it for the last 10 years to no avail. Did I have the recipe?

I am slightly embarrassed to say that I don't even remember eating this casserole - shocking to say the least, especially since it involves tater tots, which normally struck a resonating chord in my young life. But having gotten the recipe from Mom, I have to say, it does sound delicious. I'm going to have to make up for the startling gap in my childhood memory by making it in the near future.

Thanks, Neela, for reuniting me with this long-lost culinary delight!

Mom notes, "These can sizes are probably not exactly what's sold today--I first made this recipe in 1974!"

Update: I just made this for the first time and made several changes to it, basically just updating it from 1974 to 2010 food culture, and increasing the overall quantity a bit. It is soooo tasty. Go Mom!

 Skipper's Casserole

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onions
3 Tablespoons flour
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 can (13 oz. ) evaporated milk
1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms
2-3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cans (6.5 oz. each) chunk light tuna, drained and flaked
1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas, partially defrosted and broken apart
1 package (16 oz.) tater tots

~ Updated ingredients ~
1/4 cup butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dill (I substitute marjoram when out of dill)
1 teaspoon pepper

1 can (13 oz. ) evaporated milk
1 8-oz carton button mushrooms, sliced
I Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons water
2 12-oz cans chunk light tuna, drained and flaked
~1/2 of a 16-oz package frozen peas, partially defrosted and broken apart
up to 2 packages (32 oz. total) tater tots (I used about 1 and 2/3rds pkgs, enough to cover with a single layer)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 2-quart oblong casserole.
2. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and cook onion until tender but not brown.
3. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and dill until blended. Gradually stir in evaporated milk, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, white wine vinegar and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
4. Add the tuna, peas, and mushrooms. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Spoon mixture into casserole dish.
5. Arrange frozen tater tots in a single layer on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly in the center.

Makes 6-8 servings. (Consistently a big hit at potlucks, too.)