Broccoli Casserole

I remember as a kid having a casserole with nearly every supper. While they’ve fallen out of fashion, I still have fond memories of all the things my mom could do with a can of cream of mushroom soup. Here is a recipe for a side dish that is sized for a small family – double everything if you’re feeding a crowd!

Broccoli Casserole

1 box frozen chopped broccoli or 1 head of fresh, cut into florets
1 small onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup (for more broccoli umph, use cream of broccoli soup)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons butter, cut into thin slices
Crushed Ritz crackers, for topping

Steam fresh broccoli for 5 minutes (frozen doesn’t need this step). Thaw ad drain well if frozen. Sauté onion in a little olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Combine soup, egg and cheese in a large bowl and mix well. Add in broccoli and onion and stir well. Pour into a quart casserole dish. Sprinkle crushed cracker crumbs on top and dot top with butter. Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour, until golden and bubbly.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

For breakfast this morning I made some sweet potato pancakes. They were sweet enough to need only a splash of maple syrup and they went really well with some salty, smokey bacon.

To get the sweet potato mash, Michelle fills a crock pot with rinsed sweet potatoes and puts them on low overnight (6 to 8 hours). Don’t pierce them or anything or you’ll get a mess in the bottom of your crock pot! The next day, use a spoon to take the peel off. After mashing them, she stores them in 2 cup servings in zip top bags in the freezer. Perfect for making a side dish for dinner or adding into crescent roll or biscuit dough or, like here, in pancakes.

I didn’t have any buttermilk, so I used a combination of Greek yogurt and milk. You could also use sour cream in place of the Greek yogurt. If you have buttermilk, use 1 1/2 cup in place of the milk and Greek yogurt/sour cream.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 1/4 cups mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Place sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, milk and egg in a medium bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and add to the mixture. Whisk to combine.

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until mixed. Do not overmix and, for best results, let the batter stand while you heat griddle and preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a griddle over medium heat. Add batter by 1/4-cup measures. Cook until the first side is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until browned on second side and pancakes are puffed, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and set in the warm oven and repeat until all pancakes are cooked, adding more butter to the griddle as necessary. Serve immediately with a little maple syrup.

Fried Green Tomatoes Fannie Flagg Style

I’ve posted about frying green tomatoes before, but I recently reread Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and decided that this time I would use Fannie Flagg’s recipe from the back of the book (page 403).

Michelle picked the tomatoes from her garden, so they were particularly good.

Fried Green Tomatoes Fannie Flagg Style

1 medium green tomato per person
Bacon drippings

Slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick. Season each side with salt and pepper and then coat both sides with cornmeal. In a large skillet, heat enough bacon drippings to cover the bottom of the pan and fry tomatoes until lightly browned on both sides. If you don’t have bacon drippings (and, why not?), use vegetable shortening to fry them in.

As Fannie Flagg wrote, “You’ll think you died and gone to heaven!”

Creole Glazed Mushrooms

My friend Beth gave me this recipe and it is rather delicious. I did cut the butter and Worcestershire sauce amounts down a bit (but not too much). I served them with roast chicken and mashed sweet potatoes for a tasty, tasty dinner.


Creole Glazed Mushrooms

1 lb button mushrooms
12 tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (I prefer a lower salt version)
hot sauce to taste

Toss mushrooms in melted butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes.

Apple, Sweet Potato and Bacon Deliciousness

A lovely side dish to accompany the Apple Cider Roasted Chicken recipe I posted yesterday. You want to make sure you have equal amounts of sweet potato and apple and to make a smaller dice than you see in the picture.


Apple, Sweet Potato and Bacon Deliciousness

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
Olive oil
Kosher salt
4 to 6 slices thick cut bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add the sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat and arrange them on a baking sheet. Roast the sweet potatoes until they are soft but not mushy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.

Add the bacon to a large skillet and place over medium heat. When the bacon has started to get crispy and brown, add the onions, season with salt and sauté until the onions are translucent and aromatic. Add the apples and sauté for about 10 minutes or until they soften. Stir in the sweet potatoes and the cinnamon and sugar. Sauté until the sweet potatoes are cooked through and starting to become crispy, about 7 to 8 minutes. Taste for seasonings.

Herbes de Provence Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Zucchini

Herbes de Provence is a seasoning blend featuring many of the herbs which grow abundantly in the Provence region of southeast France. The blend typically includes lavender, savory, rosemary, marjoram and thyme. Some blends also include fennel seeds, sage and tarragon.

As can be expected, it goes well with poultry and vegetables. Tonight’s dinner is a roasted chicken served with potatoes and zucchini, all liberally sprinkled with Herbes de Provence.


Herbes de Provence Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Zucchini

5 lb whole chicken
3 to 4 good sized potatoes
2-3 medium sized green zucchinis
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried Herbes de Provence

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Using scissors, cut out backbone from chicken and press down to flatten slightly. Rinse off and pat dry.

In a mortar and pestle, combine the salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence. Crush together until well mixed and highly fragrant.

On a mandoline slicer, cut the potatoes into 1/8 inch rounds and the zucchini 1/4 inch rounds. If using a starchy potato like a Russet or Idaho, rinse the potato rounds in cool water, then drain before next step. Waxy potatoes like Yukon golds or red potatoes don’t really need to be rinsed. Place potatoes and zucchinis in a large mixing bowl with all but a tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle a quarter of the herb mix over the veggies and toss to combine. Set out the rounds in rows on a rimmed baking sheet, alternating potato and zucchini. Roast on the lower rack of the oven for 45 minutes or until soft and tender.

Use remaining tablespoon of oil to coat the chicken. Sprinkle around a quarter of the remaining herb mix over both sides of the chicken. Set the chicken breast side up on a roasting pan. Roast for one hour or until thigh temperature is 170 degrees F.

Store leftover herb mix in an airtight container for later use.

Roasted Jalapeno Poppers

Michelle made 17 half pint jars of pepper jelly the other day and had some jalapeño peppers left over.  We didn’t want to have to fry anything so we looked for jalapeño popper recipes that roasted or baked them instead. One of the ones we found was this one from Rachel Ray. It provided a good stepping off point for the ones we ended up making and then enjoying out by the pool with our mojitos.


Roasted Jalapeño Poppers

12 jalapeno peppers
¼ cup onion, chopped very fine
5 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped pretty fine
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Cut one third off lengthwise from each jalapeño pepper. Scrape out all the seeds and ribs from each jalapeño with a spoon. Mince the small pieces of pepper. Coat the larger pieces (from here on out called jalapeño pepper boats) with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine minced jalapeño pepper, onion, bacon, cream cheese, ¾ cups cheddar cheese, cumin and garlic salt in a mixing bowl. Stir well. Taste for seasonings before spreading into jalapeño boats. Sprinkle a little extra cheddar cheese on top.

Roast for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is brown at the edges and bubbly. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before eating or you’ll burn your mouth!