Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Victory Garden Casserole

Maybe I should call it a hot dish, as that's what they do in Northern MN and that's where this recipe originated.  Its one of my favorites that my grandmother made for us when we visited summers when I was growing up.  Both of them had quite a few veggies in their garden and they wound up cooked in all sorts of "hot dishes".

This also happens to be one of the first things I ever cooked on my own.  The basic recipe that my grandmother used is simpler than this.  Veggies, fresh in the summer, veg-all in the winter, browned ground beef and a can of cream of celery soup.  How simple is that.  Very and its tasty too.

As I've kicked it up a bit.  Don't ever use canned veggies as they have way too much salt in them, lack flavor and color.  Canned is gross and here in SoCa we are pretty much the land of never ending fresh produce so its hard not to go that route. If you can't go that route then by all means use frozen thats been thawed in the microwave so you can keep your oven time reasonable.

Mincing garlic has gotten easier.  Consider this your tip of the day. Take  your garlic clove and run it over a fine toothed microplane right over the pot you are going to cook in. Voila instant minced garlic without the hassle and stinky hands.

casserole before final layer of onion rings
Victory Garden Casserole

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 bunch green onions sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 carrot, small dice
  • 1 1/2 c trimmed green beans
  • 1 c peas
  • 1 1/2 c corn kernels
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 can half and half
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 oz can french fried onion rings

Preheat oven to 350F

Crumble beef into a skillet, add salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat stirring often until well browned.  Stir in onion garlic and cook 1-2 minutes until onion turning translucent and wilted.  Reduce heat.  Add soup and half & half.  Stir until dissolved.  Fold in veggies.  Grease a large casserole dish with cooking spray.  

Add half of the veggie mixture to the casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Top with 1/2 can of french fried onion rings.  Top with remaining veggie mixture and even out in dish.  Bake covered for 25 minutes.  At end of this baking time remove lid and spread out remaining half can of french fried onion rings over the casserole.  Return to oven for 5 minutes more and bake until golden and crispy.  Serve hot.

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