Saturday, September 26, 2009

Johnny Marzetti - Elementary School Flashback

Do you know Johnny? If you grew up in Ohio and ate in the school cafeteria I'm sure you do!

I had some ground turkey and couldn't think of what to do with it. In the recent past we have had meatballs, lasagne, tacos and sloppy joes. Hmmmm..... Then it struck me! Let's have Johnny over to dinner! Most of the recipes I found (on Allrecipes) called for egg noodles, but we here at Why Mom Why only had about 1/4 of a bag. But - a whole box of Mostacolli. It also usually calls for green pepper (which we didn't have) and olives - but um - yuck. I like 'em - but not here.

So - here we go!

Johnny Marzetti comes to Why Mom Why

12 oz pasta - I would use shapes - cooked

1 lb ground turkey or beef
1 diced sweet onion
1 T olive oil
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can diced tomatoes whizzed in the blender
1 can mushrooms or sliced fresh mushrooms
2 T worchestershire sauce
garlic or garlic powder
1/8 cup sugar
cheddar cheese

Brown and thoroughly cook turkey and onion in olive oil. Add in all other ingrediants except pasta and cheese and simmer for a bit. In a large sprayed dish mix pasta and sauce and bake for about 30 minutes. (again - we like the crunch factor - if you don't - use a smaller dish.) Sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Most of the recipes said to prepare the night before so I did. I had Seth sprinkle with cheese and put in the oven before I got home. I think he put about 1 teaspoon of cheese on it! I added more cheese and broiled until nice and melty.

Verdict: The kids liked it okay. Maya asked for leftovers the next day. Scott and I liked this. It's a nice change of pace from something like lasagne and a flashback to my childhood at Edwin D. Smith School in Oakwood Ohio!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Baked Rice

Do you know Tastespotting? I'm addicted. This rice dish is loosely based on a Tastespotting recipe.

1 cup long grain rice
1 T olive oil
1 finely chopped sweet onion
1 can or some fresh sliced mushrooms
2 cups chicken stock or a mixture of stock and water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
grated sharp cheddar cheese

saute onion in olive oil. When it is nicely brown (I WAY over browned mine!) add in rice and toast until golden.

Cook rice as you usually do. I use a Pampered Chef microwave rice cooker. I love it. It's a no brainer - you can stick the rice in the microwave and forget it until your food is ready - even up to 1 hour before! Just cook it for about 13 minutes and leave it in to steam until you are ready.

Mix in mushrooms and place rice in a 9x13 sprayed pyrex pan. Dot top with undiluted soup and bake at 350 for about ½ hour. Top with cheese and bake for about 15 more minutes. I use a large pan for maximum crunchiness. If you don't like yours so crunchy - cook for about 15 minutes the first go round and use a smaller dish.

I am not really one for making side dishes, even though I love them, usually more than the main dish. Everyone liked this. We had it with some boneless beef ribs at what may be our last grilled meal of the season.

I explored some baked rice dishes in which you do not cook the rice beforehand. I smell a yummy experiment coming up!