Friday, August 19, 2011

Mmm, Casserole

So to keep me from going completely insane, I convinced my mom to let me make supper the other night. I needed to make something soft with no big bits of anything so my dad could swallow it. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer the other day, and he hasn't been able to swallow real food for a month now. I made a casserole that I had made in SC, but with some modifications.

I got this from a cookbook called "Favorite Recipes from Quilters". The recipe is called "Sue's Casserole", but I don't know who the heck Sue is, so I'm trying to come up with another name for it. I might just call it Noodle Casserole... or Torrey's Casserole... or something.

The recipe is:

1 lb. ground beef
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
3-8oz. cans tomato sauce
6oz. can tomato paste
4oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
8 oz. noodles
1 C. shredded cheese

1. Brown ground beef and drain off excess fat. Add garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, tomato sauce, and tomato paste to the beef. Mix well and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, and let simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

2. Cook noodles and drain.

3. In a bowl, combine sour cream and cream cheese. Remove the meat sauce from heat and stir in the cream cheese mixture. Toss this mixture with the cooked noodles.

4. Pour contents into a large baking dish, and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly.

I like this recipe because it's so versatile, and you can use whatever you have on hand. This time, I used spaghetti noodles, last time I used penne. It would be just as good with egg noodles, or anther kind of pasta. I also didn't have fresh garlic this time, so I just used garlic powder. I also let it cook longer - about 30 minutes, so it would be a little more set up.

I'm excited to make this again and experiment more with it. I think next time I'll add shredded cheese in with the sauce instead of just on top. My mom had the idea of doing it in layers with some sliced mozzarella.

It's a super easy recipe, and pretty fast. I think anyone who reads this should try it out, and let me know what modifications you make. I'm also open to suggestions for a new name for it!

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