Five Island Sojourners

A blog about Homeschool, Cooking and Life in the Tropics

A Basic Casserole Recipe: The Sauce is the Boss

on July 22, 2012
My kids’ favorite casserole dish goes a little something like this.  Grab a 9×13″ pan.  Add 2-3 cups of cooked brown rice.  Then, top that with 2-3 cups of boiled, diced chicken (I always keep several bags of boiled, diced chicken in the freezer– so handy to have around).  Then, blanch and chop 2 broccoli heads (cut off the stem)– spread the broccoli out in the pan on top of that chicken.   (Don’t skip the blanch!  I love to say the word blanch!  But, seriously– don’t do it!)  If you don’t know how to blanch, just start a sauce pan boiling with 1/4 c of water and throw the broccoli, cover the pot and leave it in until it turns bright green– usually 1-2 minutes.  You’re not cooking it, you’re just giving it a little head start to make sure it’s cooked and not too raw in the casserole.
Top that with Sauce: 1 cup of Mayo, 1 cup of yogurt, 1 can of cream chicken or mushroom soup, 2 T lemon juice (or juice of two lemons), 1 Teaspoon of curry powder, 1 T chicken broth powder.  Spread that all around.
Now you’ll need something crunchy– there are two options for this and I will place them in order of my preference:
1) Crumbled 1 cup of ritz crackers, mix with 1/4 cup melted butter.  HEAVENLY but also, not very healthy.
2)  Mix together 1 cup panko bread crumbs with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and a little olive oil.  Sprinkle that on top.  This is the more healthy option, and provides that extra bit of crunch this casserole needs.  Thanks to Sarah J. for teaching me this little trick!  BTW– true panko bread crumbs are made from whole grains!
{This is a great moment to throw that casserole into the freezer.  Just put the crumb topping into a little baggy so it doesn’t get soggy.  Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and throw the crumb-topping baggy on top of it.}
Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes (1 hour if frozen}– until that casserole is bubbly around the edges and golden brown on top.  Remember, everything is already cooked, it just needs to get hot.
Voila!  Now you are a Master of the Hot Dish.  But don’t ever forget: The sauce is the boss!!

One response to “A Basic Casserole Recipe: The Sauce is the Boss

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