Tag Archives: Casserole

Zucchini & Cheese Casserole

What a delicious surprise this recipe is i found in an old recipe book a good friend gave me.  In my search on how to prepare zucchiniwithout making a sweet bread, i stumbled on this one!  Have already made it multiple times to great reviews and made a couple more that i put into the freezer with cooking instructions written with a Sharpie marker on the foil covering it.

Zucchini & Cheese Enchiladas or Casserole*

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 large bell pepper chopped (optional)
  • 6 cups chopped zucchini
  • 16 to 18 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes

Directions:

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in the flour, chili powder, and cumin to make a thick paste.  Add the milk, a little at a time, using a wire whisk.  Slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add bell pepper and zucchini and sauté 2 more minutes.  Add ¼ cup of water, cover, and steam veggies until tender.  Remove vegetables from heat, and drain excess liquid.  Gently mix in 2/3 of the cheese sauce.  Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking dish.  To assemble, place two tortillas side by sade at one end of the pan.  Spread a generous amount of filling down the center of the tortillas, then fold them over and roll up the tortillas.  Place filled enchiladas seam-side-down in the pan.  Continue in this manner until you have filled the pan.  Spoon remaining sauce on top and garnish to tomatoes.  Bake, uncovered, for 20 -25 minutes.  Serves 8

*I prefer making this as a casserole since it’s much easier.  i do take the time to prepare freshly made corn tortillas with Masa Harina, then loosely layer the flavorful tortillas on the bottom of the pan, then top with half the zucchini/cheese mixture, layer another set of tortillas and spread the remaining zucchini/cheese mixture.  Spread the remaining 1/3 of cheese mixture on top, then dot the whole casserole with diced tomatoes.

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Home grown zucchini, canned diced tomatoes (my tomatoes are WAY behind in growth), and i found this Masienda brand of Masa Harina, bought it and LOVE it, then flavor is awesome.
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but i do find it challenging to make the tortillas.  I have greatly improved my technique and final product since taking this photo.
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Casserole ready to pop into the oven.
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Rolling Prairie Cookbook available from several vendors but published Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance in Northeast Kansas.

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To keep from needing to drain extra water out of the cooking mix, i chop the zucchini then set it inside a large piece of cheesecloth.  Let it rest at least 10 minutes, then squeeze the heck out of it.  A great amount of green flavorful water will be removed.  I freeze this water up for making soup later this winter.

Zucchini-Egg-Sausage Casserole

It’s zucchini season and time to pull out the plethora of excellent recipes to use this bountiful summer squash.  If someone secretly leaves zucchinis in your car or at home, be thankful!!

A bountiful number of bread and dessert recipes are found in cookbooks and internet and i will share a couple of our family favorites, but i’m focusing more this year on casseroles and main dish recipes.  Here’s one i just developed sort of combining two recipes I already have.  It turned out fabulously!!!  Not like pizza or anything, but definitely ranks high enough that it can remain in the regular lineup of meals.

ZUCCHINI-EGG-SAUSAGE CASSEROLE

From the kitchen of Tauna M (Falconer) Powell

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • ½ lb cooked beef sausage or beef brats* cut in small pieces
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325˚F.  Layer half the zucchini, onion, sausage, and cheddar cheese in a buttered oblong baking dish, 11 x 7 x 1 ½ inches; repeat.  Mix eggs, milk, mustard, pepper, and salt very well, then pour over the layered ingredients.  Sprinkle over top with Parmesan cheese.  Cook uncovered in oven until set, 45 to 50 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes then cut into squares for serving.

Note: Once assembled, this casserole can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours before cooking.

*I use all beef brats from Coleman Farms grassfinished beef.  However, it will also be good with my own home made beef sausage.

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I cut the brats into small pieces using scissors, then cook gently in a cast iron skillet.

Zucchini Egg Cheese Sausage Casserole

Zucchini Egg Cheese Sausage Casserole
I accidentally put the Parmesan on before i poured the milk and egg mixture over top. Oh, well…..
Zucchini Egg Cheese Sausage Casserole
Out of the oven after 50 minutes. Let stand about 10 minutes before cutting into serving sizes. YUM!

 

Cheese and Rice Casserole

An excellent non meat recipe.  But meat can easily be layered on and consider other vegetables.  Pictured here, I used sliced zucchini from my garden and added ground chicken breast from pastured poultry raised by my friends at Pigeon Creek Farm.

Cheese and Rice Casserole  (Riso e Formaggio) 

8 servings 

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked regular rice (or barley or couscous or any combination thereof)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper sauce (optional
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium onion (I used green onions)
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella or Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

 Heat water, rice, salt, mustard, red pepper sauce, and pepper to boiling, stirring once or twice; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 30 minutes.  (Do not lift cover or stir.)  Remove from heat.  Fluff rice lightly with fork; cover and let steam 5 to 10 minutes.

Layer half the rice mixture in bottom of greased 11 x 7 x 1 ½ inch baking dish.  Top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (and 1 cup vegetable if desired); repeat.  Whisk together 4 eggs and 2 ½ cups of milk then pour over rice mixture.  Sprinkle with ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese.  (Casserole can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours at this point.)  Cook uncovered in 350°F oven until set; 45 to 50 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into squares.

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Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole

Sometimes a stumbled upon recipe in a catalogue or magazine or flyer  really resonates with your family and it becomes part of the regular menu lineup.  This casserole is one such that i found probably 20 years ago.  The beauty of it, is that it is easily modified to accommodate your own tastes and whatever you have on hand (within reason of course!)

The original recipe is pictured way below, but the one i made yesterday included my home raised green beans and home grown grass finished ground beef.  For chopping the vegetables i use a mini food chopper and even chop the green beans if i’m preparing for Sunday’s meal with Allen’s 98-year-old Aunt June.  She has lost her teeth and can’t keep track of dentures – so it is what it is.

Family sized version:

2 lbs grass-finished ground beef

1 medium sized onion – chopped

3 medium sized carrots – chopped

1-2 cups Asian long pole green beans – chopped

1 24 oz jar of Eden Organic tomatoes  (normally i use my home raised tomatoes, but i’ve already run out!)  Eden’s brand is excellent, but, honestly, to open them, i either need my stout son, Dallas, to do it, or i go get my long handled Channel Lock pliers.  It’s really ridiculous.

2 cups of your favourite cheese, divided – 1 1/2 cups to stir into veggie/beef mix, 1/2 cup to top off the casserole.  Or stir in 2 cups of cheese to melt – whatever your choice!

Brown the ground beef in a 4 quart pot and add all the vegetables, including the tomato sauce, throw in maybe a tablespoon of salt (check your tomato sauce – it may already have salt in it – i try to use straight tomatoes) and a teaspoon of black pepper -whatever suits ya, and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Add 1 1/2 cups of your favourite cheese and stir to melt.

Once the mix is ready, pour into a 9×13 inch pan, level it off, then top with biscuits.  I make my own, but you can buy some to use.  Then sprinkle about a cup of shredded cheese on top.  Then add a sprinkling of parsley, basil, or oregano if you like.

Bake in a preheated oven of 375 F for about 28 minutes until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden brown.  This makes 6-8 servings.  Takes about an hour to make and bake, but if there are leftovers, it’s still a time saver.  What does it cost?  that will totally depend on the quality of ingredients you purchase.

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i mix my own biscuits up, then roll the dough to 1/4 inch and use this small juice glass to make 2 inch diameter biscuits.  But you could make larger ones, just not thicker- remember the heat to cook the casserole is reduced so thicker biscuits may not cook through.
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After pouring the beef/veggie/cheese mix into a 9×13 inch baking dish, top it with the biscuits.

 

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Then add about 1 cup of shredded cheese
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Sprinkle on some parsley if you like, then bake in a 375 F oven about 28 minutes.
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Finished casserole – YUMMY!
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Here’s the original recipe i cut out of a magazine a couple decades ago!

Buon Appetito!

 

tauna

Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole

Time to clean out the frig!  There were some leftover green beans, but i added another 10 oz bag, had some organic carrots that were starting to get soft, so sliced them thinly to steam.  Browned 1 1/2 lbs of home-grown grass finished ground beef, added about a cup of organic chopped onions and let simmer.  Earlier, I had thawed out an ice cream bucketful of cooked tomatoes I had cooked up from tomatoes friends and neighbours had given us last summer, so that needed using.  All the players fell into place to make this dish and it is one of our favourites.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 lbs grass-fed ground beef

1/2 cup organic chopped onion

15 ounces or so of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce or juice – whatever you have

20 ounces total of green beans or carrots, or okra, peas, whatever – although we don’t particularly like broccoli in this dish

Stir in about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat together and simmer until thickened consistency, then pour into an 8×13 inch baking dish. After arranging biscuits and cheese on top, bake at 350ºF for 27 minutes.

Adjust ingredients to match your crews’ hunger level!

Biscuits

1 3/4 cup of flour

1/3 cup organic butter

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon Real salt

Mix these together, then add about 3/4 cup of milk from grass fed cows to make a soft dough.  Roll out thinner than usual, then cut and arrange on top of casserole as pictured (or just however you want to – make a smiley face!).  Then scatter another cup or so of your favourite cheese and sprinkle with oregano.

Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole
Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole