Name That Casserole

Name That Casserole

As you can tell by the name of this entry, tonight’s dinner is still in search of a name.  It’s the new year, 2011,  and I while I make mental goals each year of upcoming goals I’d like to achieve, clearly one of the items that should be tops on my list is better and more timely meal plans.

Today we were having fun as a family playing Super Mario Galaxy 2.  We started playing around noon, took a small break to put Brenna down for a nap close to 2pm, and the next thing I knew, it was 5:15pm and suddenly dinner had to be dreamed up and prepared.

Nothing had been thawed out.  Neither Marc nor I had any real desire for anything in particular.  Eli, as always, was eager to throw his vote in for Burger King but with the outside temperature hovering around 5 degrees and wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour, leaving the house was out.  So, I did what many a woman has done… I stood before the pantry willing it to give me some inspiration.  That’s how “Lumberjack Hash” or “Hodag Casserole” was born (sort of a shepherd’s pie).

Bottom Layer - Turkey ManwhichThawed (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my microwave which has an excellent turbo thaw feature) 1lb of ground turkey meat and browned it in a skillet adding a bit of salt and pepper. 

Because the turkey was very lean, there was no grease or fat to drain, so once browned, I immediately added one can of Manwich and warmed it through.  That became the bottom layer in my casserole dish.

Corn!Next I drained the juice from a can of corn and dumped it in the skillet that I had used to brown the meat without even rinsing it out -gasp!  I have to admit that I love corn… and I especially love the smell of roasted corn.  [As an aside, THE BEST PIZZA I ever had was in Ireland where they put corn on it as a topping along with the peperoni and black olives we had requested.  It was amazing!!] 

Second Layer - Warmed CornOnce the corn was warmed through, it became the second layer of the casserole.

By this time, I felt things were starting to come along quite nicely.  I mean, how can one go wrong with Manwich and corn??  But still, something seemed lacking…

Third Layer - Cheese!We are in the cheese state after all!  So, I added 6 slices of cheese.  It was quite beautiful.  Oh sure, I used Kraft, but if one was really making this for royalty, then I’d suggest using real Wisconsin cheese.  I had slices on hand.  And if you recall, it was too darn cold to venture out.  Kraft slices it was to be, and that was that, giving us the third layer.

Fourth Layer - Cornbread StuffingDeciding from the beginning that this was just a variation of a shepherd’s pie, I wavered briefly between the choice of mashed potatoes or cornbread stuffing before deciding on the cornbread stuffing.  While the corn has warming in the skillet, I had prepared the stuffing according to the package directions.  Now, I added it as the fourth layer.

Final Layer - Sprinking of CheeseThe final layer was a sprinkling of shredded cheddar.  Popped it into the oven which had been preheated to 375 degrees. 

Hot and BubblyAfter roughly 15 minutes (give or take because I multitask and therefore it’s nearly impossible to keep an accurate eye on the clock), things were warm and bubbly.

It looked and smelled good to me – all it needed was something green paired with it like a tossed salad… and the next time I fix this, I will do just that.  Instead, we had green beans.

Here are some final pictures…

Upclose Finished Casserole


What about you?  Have you ever had to improvise a meal because you either forgot to plan one or time got away from you or you just weren’t in the mood to cook anything?


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2 Responses to “Name That Casserole”
  1. Gina says:

    I also didn’t want to run to the store the other night, so I put together tator tots, kielbasa, 1/2 cup of sour cream, one can of cream of celery soup, one cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and a good dash of minced onion. I baked it for 30 minutes at 350 and then sprinkled with more cheese (yep, we LUV our cheese) and baked it for 5 more minutes. Everyone was pleased.


  2. Heather says:

    My kids still don’t like their food to touch on the plate. So when I panic for dinner, casseroles aren’t an option. It’s usually Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese, or Pizza, or hot dogs. I also hope I get back on track with weekly menu planning for 2011. I’ve found that doing a rough month at a glance plan helps me immensely.


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