Sunday, December 26, 2010

Great Casserole Recipes For The Winter

Spinach Manicotti

1/2 package manicotti shells (7 pieces, or 4 ounces)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups firmly packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 clove garlic
8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 cup prepared tomato-based pasta sauce of choice
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook manicotti shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a small casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, spinach and garlic. Stir and toss until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, combine spinach mixture, ricotta cheese and egg. Mix well. Scrape cheese mixture into a quart-size, zipper-top plastic bag. Cut one corner off the bag to make a small diagonal slit. Using the bag like a pastry bag, squirt cheese mixture into both sides of each manicotti shell until filled. Repeat with each shell. Place filled shells into prepared casserole dish. Top with pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes or until heated through and beginning to bubble along edges.

Serves 3 generously
Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Courtesy of Kitchen Scoop

Another Recipe From JudijTexas

In my part of the world the King Ranch Casserole is always the favorite. However, it is a bit time consuming but today there are lots of ways to shorten the process, that were not around when the original recipe came out.

Pre-cooked, frozen chicken is a huge time saver and can be used in all kinds of chicken recipes, as well as buying a rotisserie chicken and putting that in. Lots of sauces are now available and can be used in casseroles. For those in Texas and near an HEB store, they sell a wonderful Green Chile Sauce that just needs fajita chicken, tortillas and a little cheese and one has a version of the KR that's so easy and good. But... for our friends who have not that luxury... Here is my original copy of the recipe that goes back to the late 60's.

1 large fryer chicken Purchase 1 pkg frozen fajita grilled chicken breast slices
1 med onion chopped Cut chicken into bit-sized chunks
3/4 c chopped celery
1 tspn salt mix soups with low-sodium chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
12 corn tortillas cut in pieces
1 chopped green pepper use frozen or leave out
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes with chiles mix with soups
1 c sharp cheddar cheese

Boil chicken, onion, celery & salt until chicken is tender
Remove chicken from broth and cool, remove bones, chop chicken
Boil broth down to 1 1/2 c & add soups & mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Arrange tortillas in pieces in bottom of buttered 8 x 12 in casserole Layer tortillas, chicken pieces and then soup/tomato.
Cover and heat until bubbly. Top with cheese and melt.
Cover tortilla pieces with chicken chunks
Sprinkle with green peppers
Cover with Ro-tel tomatoes
Pour soup mixture over all of it
Cover with foil & bake 35 to 40 min.
Remove from oven and remove foil
Sprinkle with cheese, return to oven, cook til cheese is bubbly
Serve hot


Another take on the Stuffed Cabbage casserole:

1 pkg ground turkey (don't get 100% breast meat as that can get dry)
1 qt bottle spicy red pasta sauce (I like Emeril's Kicked up)
1 small onion, chopped
equal amount of chopped celery and bell pepper
Or... buy frozen Cajun seasoning (it has all 3 and 1 or 2 pkgs will work just fine)
1 small head cabbage (coarsely shredded)
1 cup or more to taste, shredded cheese (I use fat free for dietary purposes)

Steam cabbage until soft. In a large skillet, saute the veggies in a little olive oil, put on a plate and then add in the turkey and brown it. Drain, if any extra fat is in the pan. Mix turkey, veggies and pasta sauce. Season to taste.

Layer cabbage, then sauced turkey in an greased 8x12 casserole ending with turkey, cover with foil, and heat at 350 until bubbly. Top with cheese and return to oven until cheese melts. Serve hot.

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