Tag Archives: Casseroles

Mexican Mac & Cheese – Chapter 2

23 May

For the second chapter on macaroni and cheese I am writing about a new twist on an old favorite, Mexican mac & cheese! A coworker told me about a recipe called Queso Chicken Pasta on the blog www.mangeratrois.net, I checked it out and decided to change a few things like adding ground beef instead of chicken (the chicken seemed a bit boring) and few other slight adjustments and voila! a hearty, tasty mac & cheese that is definitely a meal.  Check it out for yourself and I am sure it will delight you…

1 lb Penne pasta

1 lb ground beef

2 Tbls olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

2 Tbls flour

2 2/3 cups milk

2 tsp salt

8 ounces cream cheese

12 ounces shredded cheese (Cheddar, Mexican blend, Colby, Jack or mixture of any) I have found that I like to use 8 ounces of Colby or Jack to 4 ounces of Cheddar, it makes it creamier. 

1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained

Heat oven to 350 degrees and  thinly coat a large casserole dish with oil-I like to use olive oil but vegetable will work just as well.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta 2 minutes less than directed. Drain well and place in the casserole dish.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium heat and brown the ground beef, until cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes and drain well. Add the browned ground beef to the pasta.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet adding the onion and garlic.  Cook until the onion becomes soft, about 3 minutes.  Add cumin, coriander and salt.  Cook until spices become fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. (Add a touch more olive oil it seems to dry.)  Gradually add milk and stir until smooth.  Increase heat to medium-high and simmer until thickened.  Turn heat down to low heat and add cream cheese and 8 ounces of shredded cheese, stirring until melted.  Stir in Ro-Tel tomatoes.

Add the cheese mixture to the pasta and ground beef and stir well until fully incorporated.  Top with remaining shredded cheese and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.  Let stand for 5 minutes (if you can) and then ENJOY!

Hotdog Casserole, it’s a real weiner!

11 Apr

I have lots of great memories from my childhood that revolve around food which I find to be very common.  There is one memory that I love and causes at least three of my seven siblings to gag-Hotdog Casserole! I hadn’t thought of or eaten it in many years until my husband reminded me about it when I told him I was writing a food blog.  It is one of those recipes that I thought was unique to our family and when I mention it, people often look at me in disbelief.  My brother John actually wrote a paper about it in high school and got an A.  Google it, there are many recipes out there which I was absolutely shocked to see.  My husband was very skeptical that it could taste good but I assured him that with several of his favorite foods in it; potatoes, onions, hotdogs and tomato soup that he would love it.

Here’s how it goes:

1 package of your favorite dogs

2 cans tomato soup (I like Campbell’s, and you don’t need to dilute it)

1 large onion-thinly sliced

5-6 medium eastern potatoes-thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread a thin layer of tomato soup on the bottom of a casserole dish. Then layer potatoes, onions and hotdogs spread with tomato soup and continue to layer, it should make 3 layers. For the top I put a layer of potatoes with a thin layer of soup on the top.  Put the lid on and bake for 40 minutes then remove lid and bake for another 20 minutes.  It will be a mass of bubbly goodness! Keep in mind to slice the potatoes nice and thin so they cook completely.

Well, my skeptical husband is now a convert, he loved it! The flavor of the onion that mixes with the tomato soup and is soaked up by the potatoes and hot dogs is just delicious!  I believe it will now be added to our regular rotation of meals along with spaghetti and meatballs and pot roast, his other favorites.  If you make it, please let me know what you think! Enjoy!

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