Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Breakfast Casserole in the Crock Pot and Corn Casserole

We had our office Christmas brunch party today, and everyone brought something. In the planning of said party, the planner was worried there wouldn't be enough space in the kitchen for everyone that wanted to bring something hot. For the record, we have a full size kitchen at work, with a microwave, toaster oven, and residential-type stove and oven.

To try and make things easier for her, I told her I'd bring something in my Crock Pot, that way, I wouldn't need the oven or a burner to warm it up. She liked that idea and even forwarded a recipe she wanted to try, that she had seen on Facebook. Can't get much easier than that!

Ingredients:
1 bag 26 oz. frozen hash browns
12 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 16 oz. roll sausage: maple, sage or regular sausage.
Salt and pepper
16 oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. Spray crock pot and evenly spread hash browns at the bottom.
2. Crack 12 eggs in a large bowl.
3. Mix well (and slowly) using a whisk.
4. Add the milk.
5. Go ahead and sprinkle in the ground mustard. This might sound like a weird ingredient, but I've come to love (and use) this in most of my recipes. I didn't have any mustard, so I substituted some cilantro in there. I like mustard, and there have been times I've actually used a squirt of mustard right out of the container, but I was feeling anti-mustard this morning.
6. Add plenty of salt...and lots of fresh pepper. Mix well and set aside.
7. Cook the sausage on high heat, drain and set aside.
8. Add sausage on top of hash browns.
9. Is this enough cheese? Maybe? Probably. Throw the whole big bag in there.
10. Mix it up well. Or good, depending on where you're from.
11. Pour the egg mixture over everything in the crock pot. Using a wood spoon, even everything out so it's spread evenly.
12. Turn the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. Something to keep in mind about the cooking time: how old is your Crock Pot? Today's slow cookers cook faster and hotter than those of several years ago, which is a shame. If you're like me and your slow cooker is at least five years old, you may only need to cook this casserole on low for 4-5 hours and shut 'er down. Based on the time of our brunch today, I had my husband wake me up at 5:10 AM when he was leaving for work so I could get this started. Minus the half hour the Crock was turned off while I drove to work, my total cook time was about 4 1/2 hours and that was just about right. The edges were browning up around the inside of the Crock. Cooking for six hours would have equaled a burned breakfast.

Some fun variations of this recipe. Before cooking (during prep), you can add: chunks of sourdough bread, diced chilies, salsa, or diced green onions.

Plus, I need to add this recipe here too: Corn Casserole. It's a recipe from one of my co-workers, Teresa. While I haven't made this one yet, I did have it this morning and it was pretty good.

Casserole
1 small bag frozen sweet white corn – recommend Food Lion Super Sweet Cut (thaw and drain)
1 10 oz can green beans (drained) I'm not much of  a fan of cooked green beans (I like them raw) but I didn't even notice there were beans in this casserole!
1 small can cream of chicken soup
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup minced onion
1 stick real butter melted

Thaw and drain the corn, then pour the hot melted butter over the corn and let it sit for 5-10 minutes- stirring occasionally. Add the green beans, chicken soup, cheddar cheese and onion- stir well.

Topping
One sleeve of ritz crackers crumble
One stick of real butter melted
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Mix cracker crumble and melted butter and pour over top of the casserole . During the last 5 minutes of baking, spread the ½ cup cheese over the top.

Cook at 350 for 30-40 minutes. You don’t want it to be runny.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Salsa Baked Chicken

In my infinite cooking wisdom earlier this evening, I found a recipe in a cookbook I wanted to try out. I thought I had cooking wine but it turns out I didn't, so that idea went out the window. I mean, who the hell would actually figure out if they had the ingredients for a recipe ahead of time, amiright? I figured it was time to improvise...WWBCD? What would Betty Crocker do?

I want to throw out right now that I don't know if this is already a real recipe...it probably exists somewhere on the Internet, but I'm too lazy to look it up to find out for sure.

So here is Salsa Baked Chicken!

Ingredients:
1 package of chicken breasts, thawed
2 packets of taco seasoning
1/2 jar of your favorite salsa
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. I cut the chicken breasts into chunk pieces so they would cook faster.
3. Spray a glass cooking dish with olive oil and throw your chicken in there.
4. Give them a good coating with the taco seasoning, flip them over and coat the other side.
5. Cover the top of the chicken with your salsa, and then throw the cheese over the top of that.
6. Bake for 40 minutes and then check them for doneness. I didn't cover them with foil, I just let the dish go topless. :)

Usually, I have a hard time getting chicken to cook through properly.  At the 40 minute mark for me, I was close. I gave them another 6 minutes, because I was cooking something in the microwave.

7. When these were done, the pan had a lot of good chicken juices in it. No dry chicken here!