This week’s money-saving tip is how to make a basic casserole!
As you know casseroles are an inexpensive way to feed a family. So, what makes up a casserole or “hot dish” as we say in Minnesota?
The basic casserole or hot dish consists of a starch, meat, veggie and a soup mix.
One of the easiest, cheapest, and tastiest casseroles I make is Shepherd’s Pie. This casserole originally called “cottage pie” and became quite the hit in Ireland around 1791, (thanks wikipedia) when the potato was being introduced as an edible and afforadable crop for the poor. The term “cottage” was coined because most rural/low income workers lived in cottages during the time. In early cook books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind, veggies, and always a mashed potato crust on top.
This easy shepherd’s pie variation is made with green beans and tomato soup.
1. Brown ground beef and onion in frying pan.
2. Mix in tomoto soup and green beans.
3. Place all in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
4. Spread mashed potatoes on top.
5. Top with slices of American cheese (or shredded cheddar)
6. Bake at 350 degrees until center is warmed and cheese is melted.
I might throw out some wine terms here and there and if I do, I will make sure that I give you the definition and try to explain them to the best of my abilities. My goal is to share some tasty wine picks with the world and hopefully encourage some of you out there to try a new wine. No bottle shall be discriminated against, price is no matter (with in reason), and this is just going to be all about exploring the world of wine.This last weekend was quite a treat! My husband’s parents live in the Black Hills of South Dakota and I was lucky enough to spend some time with them while my husband attended a conference in a nearby town. We explored all over the Black Hills and stopped by Prairie Berry Winery, a nice local winery in Hill City. When you walk in you are greeted with a large open room, crates of wines, a roaring fire, and of course a little counter serving wine tastings and some delicious hor’dourves.
The winery was closing for the day when we arrived, so we weren’t able to try all of the different wines, which was quite a disappointment. Lucky for us, they had a nice art exhibit put on by their own employees called the Prairie Berry Homegrown Art Show. We were surprised to see all the creative artists that work at the winery. They were eager to give us a glass of their award winning Three Red Necks wine and encouraged us to look around at all the art exhibits. I met one great artist in particular, Sarah, who had a nice film exhibit of super 8mm footage taken of her Grandfather. Everyone we met there was very friendly and like I say wine is meant to be savored and enjoyed and there is no better enjoyment then a nice glass of wine with some new friendly faces.
This week’s wine is:
Prairie Berry Winery’s 3 Red Necks
This wine was delicious and very different then what we expected. The wine is considered a Cabernet Sauvignon but it tasted much lighter and sweeter then a normal Cabernet. It seemed more like a Pinot Noir to us. There was a hint of some fruit, maybe some raspberries or cherries, but really no particular type of fruit stood out in the flavor. I thought I could taste a hint of some spice, maybe some cinnamon or cloves. For a person who has never enjoyed a Cabernet, maybe due to the dryness and full bodied quality, this would be a good starter wine as an introduction to the Cabernet family.
Would I buy it again? Yes, we really enjoyed this wine. Most Cabernets are very full bodied and much of the time the flavor is better with a side of cheese or a dark chocolate. This wine, because it was a lighter than normal, made for a great sipping wine. Also, I just love the fact that the wine is made from local South Dakota grapes and fruits. I love supporting locally grown food. I think it just gives the produce an exceptional taste and freshness, plus it’s a great way to strengthen your local economy and support endangered small family farms.
In our effort to count calories my husband and I made this dish the other day. It was delicious! With only 292 calories per serving it is a great, healthy weeknight meal! Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke
1 1/2 cups frozen blanched shelled edamame (green soybeans)
6 turkey bacon slices
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, split lengthwise and cut crosswise into thin strips
2 cups frozen corn kernels
3 tablespoons white wine
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Prepare edamame according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain.
2. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; crumble bacon.
3. Reduce heat to medium; add celery, onion, garlic, and jalapeño to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Stir in edamame, corn, and wine; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Add shrimp; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring frequently.
6. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and pepper; sprinkle with crumbled bacon and parsley.
The Skinny: Serves 4 @ 292 calories
Spicy Romano Chicken
1 pint heavy cream
4 T Butter
2 t salt
1 T pepper
1/4 cup Romano cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 t Cayenne pepper
*for extra zip add 1 to 2 tsps red pepper flakes in addition to cayenne (I added one “shake” of the red pepper flakes and it was plenty spicy!)
10 ounce package of bowtie pasta cooked and drained according to package directions – al dente.
1 1/2 T melted butter
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 small jar artichoke hearts – drained
1 7-8 ounce precooked sliced grilled chicken, sliced
1/8 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 oz heavy cream
To Prepare The Sauce:
Melt butter in saute pan or skillet. Add cream, salt and pepper, heat to a boil. Remove from heat and fold in cheeses and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter, then add mushrooms, green onions and sundried tomatoes. Stir for one minute. Next add artichokes and chicken. Stir. Stir in 1 ounce heavy cream and 1/2 of the sauce. Add bowtie pasta followed by rest of the sauce. Stir gently. Serve.