Tag Archives: casserole

Cheesy Chorizo and Potato Bake

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Chorizo and potato bake

Recently my friend Ruth and I have found ourselves sitting together in the stands at basketball a couple of afternoons a week, watching our boys play and getting to know each other while talking food, kids, faith and life in general. She recently shared a couple of recipes with me, the first of which was this lovely Spanish take on the old Potato Bake. Our whole family really liked it as a main meal, though my husband enjoyed pairing it with leftover pulled pork for lunch for a number of days afterward as well. Chorizos are frequently on half-priced special at the Woolworth’s deli, and when they are I tend to buy lots at once and freeze them in pairs, which makes each bundle about 200g, just the amount needed for this recipe. Even when using full-priced Chorizo this yummy dinner costs less than $10 to make and serves 6, even more when serving as a side dish. Thanks for sharing this lovely wintery recipe, Ruth.

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 200g chorizo sausage, sliced

• 1 red onion, sliced

• 1 red capsicum

• 1 kg potatoes, unpeeled, thinly sliced

• 1 cup cream

• 200g grated cheese – any is fine, but Gouda, Edam or Cheddar work well

• salt and pepper to taste

• Paprika, for sprinkling

1. Heat oil in a fry pan and fry chorizo, onion and capsicum together until golden and soft.

2. Overlap half the potato slices in the base of a large quiche or lasagna dish.

3. Layer with half the chorizo mixture, half the cream and half the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Repeat layers with all ingredients except other half of the cheese.

5. Cover with foil and bake at 200°C for 45 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

6. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake a further 30 minutes until golden brown.

7. Serve sprinkled with paprika if desired.

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Slow Cooker Chicken with Cashews

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This week where I live we’re having a heat wave, the temperature staying in the 40s for what feels like days on end, so I thought it worth sharing some more slow cooker recipes people have been kindly sending in. Huh? Slow cooker meals on ridiculously hot days? Have I gone mad? While it’s possibly true that I have, let me tell you why this makes sense: meals cooked in the slow cooker don’t heat up your kitchen on sweltering days, you can fill them up to make enough dinner for an extra night or two, and if you serve your slow cooked yumminess on rice, having cooked it in a rice cooker, with some greens quickly steamed in the microwave, you’ve managed to completely avoid adding to the heat in your house. Ages ago, my friend Sam sent me this very simple and tasty recipe which is perfect for hospitality: just put it on in the morning, when friends are coming over for dinner after work or church, or just divide into batches of family sized portions for freezing – for your own family or to grab at short notice when someone is in need (but do check that there are no cashew allergies among your recipients!). Doubling the recipe below two thirds fills a 5.5L slow cooker, and using the quantities below costs around $16 to make, even less when chicken breast are on special. Thanks Sam for a healthy, tasty, cheap and easy recipe. Serves 6-8.

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts (approx. 750g), cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp butter (optional, I don’t use it)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 200g sliced mushrooms (I prefer to cop my own, the thin sliced ones from the shop end up too small once cooked)
  • 1 x can condensed cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup (undiluted)
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce
  • ½ cup cashews, (approx. 100g, pre-roasted is a little nicer, but not necessary),
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1. Combine chicken, butter, garlic, green onions, mushrooms, soup, celery, soy sauce, and wine (if using) in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6 hours, or high for four hours. Alternatively, cook in a large heavy based casserole dish with lid on at 160 degrees for 2 hours.

2. Half an hour before the end of the cook time, add the cashews into the chicken. Season well with salt and pepper. If necessary, thicken with a little cornflour suspended in water, then add to chicken, stirring well. If desired, add chopped fresh parsley just before serving. Serve on steamed rice with a side of greens.

Crusty Chicken Casserole

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Last weekend we enjoyed the generous hospitality of my husband’s parents, and as always, it was so good to get away and enjoy some good times together – parents, kids and grandparents. My mother-in-law Pauline, is a terrific cook and like my own mother, has taught me lots about hospitality, both specifically and by osmosis. On this recent visit she cooked this delicious, almost retro, chicken casserole for us and it was so tasty, warming and comforting after the car trip from our place to theirs. Our kids devoured it that night and again the next. It’s dead easy and it’s one of those dishes that could easily stretch to serve more by adding extra veggies, rice or bread to the offering. For all these reasons, I’m pretty sure I’ll be making it often. Depending where you buy your veggies from, this dish costs around $18 to make (less still if you use a green grocer), and easily serves 8.

FILLING

  • 1 BBQ chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 rashers bacon, sliced
  • 60g mushrooms, sliced
  • 440g can of Cream of Chicken Soup (Campbell’s is nicest)
  • 300g carton sour cream (I use homebrand light)
  • Optional: 400g can corn kernels, drained (we love corn!)

CHEESE BATTER TOPPING

  • 1 cup SR Flour
  • 1 capsicum (can be half red, half green)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • ½ cup milk
  1. Remove chicken meat from bones while chicken is still warm (much easier), and shred or chop meat roughly.
  2. Place chopped onion, shallots, celery and water in pan, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer covered for 15 mins (Pauline’s alternative tip: stick the lot in a covered microwave safe dish and zap for 2 mins).
  3. In a hot frypan, add bacon and sliced mushrooms and cook for 3 mins (again, Pauline suggests cooking the bacon and mushrooms in same covered microwave dish for about 2 mins)
  4. Combine the soup, sour cream, chicken, cooked vegetables, corn (if using) and bacon mixture.  Pour into ovenproof dish.
  5. Make cheese batter: Mix flour, capsicum, lightly beaten eggs, cheese and milk until just blended.
  6. Spread cheese batter on top of casserole and bake uncovered in moderate oven for 30-40 mins. Serve with rice and salad.

Butter Chicken

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My friend Cathy is a great example of someone who practices hospitality. She knows how to make food taste good and she cares for others by unashamedly choosing do-able meals that aren’t trying to impress, but instead hit the spot in ways that don’t break the bank. Recently Cathy sent me a number of her favourite recipes that do all these things and I’m excited to share the first of these with you. The Butter Chicken recipe that follows is delightfully easy – choose to cook this crowd pleasing favourite in either the slow cooker or in a sealed casserole dish for a few hours in the oven. Doubling the measurements listed below neatly fills a 5.5L slow cooker, and doing so is my favourite time saver, fulfilling more than one purpose with just one venture in the kitchen. If you decide to make extra to freeze, here’s a tip I read in a magazine years ago: spray the inside of plastic containers with olive or canola spray before filling. This will create a film that protects the containers from the stain of the red coloured sauce. The quantities that follow serves 10 people and costs under $15 to make.

  • I kg chicken thighs, chopped into chunks
  • I onion, roughly chopped
  • I jar of Patak’s Butter Chicken paste (not the sauce)
  • I x 400g tin of diced or crushed tomatoes
  • I x 420g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 150ml cream
  • Handful of chopped coriander
  1. Brown chicken and onion in frypan.
  2. Put in a slow cooker or a heavy based casserole dish (covered) with the whole jar of butter chicken paste, tin of tomatoes and chickpeas.
  3. Cook for 2 hours in the oven, or 3 hours on high in the slow cooker or most of the day if set to low.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and add cream and coriander just before serving.
  •  Serve with basmati rice and microwaved pappadums.
  • Raita (natural yoghurt mixed with grated or chopped cucumber) is also a yummy accompaniment.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

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Beef Stroganoff is a winter staple in our house. It’s a great choice for warming up on a cold night and it’s the sort of dish that stretches easily to accommodate others at the last minute. The recipe that follows started out as a Woman’s Weekly recipe from the 80’s but has morphed over the years into something that works in the slow cooker and takes my family’s tastebuds into account (we like it quite tomatoey). Please know that this recipe copes well with the addition of veggies such as carrots and green beans, which stretches it even further and improves the nutritional value – simply throw them in the slow cooker about an hour before serving. If you don’t have a slow cooker or need to make this in the late afternoon, simply halve the amount of beef stock and cook the whole thing in an electric frypan. The only catch is, that you will need to let it simmer away for no less than 1 hour to ensure the beef is nice and tender. Finally, a couple of comments about slow cookers: remember the versatility of using a slow cooker. I’ve often made this recipe after dinner when there’s less disruption and let the stroganoff cook overnight on low. In the morning it’s ready to divide up and freeze, refrigerate until dinner time or even give away to someone who needs it. Also, it’s important to know that getting something like this going in the slow cooker can take a good half an hour (though, that’s all it will require of you), so consider increasing the quantities to completely fill it – providing you with lots of meals for the future and the most economical use of your time. Doubling this recipe completely fills a 5.5L cooker. With the quantities listed below this dish will cost under $15 and serves 8.

  • 1kg beef – rump (dearer) or chuck (cheaper) steak, diced or cut into thin strips
  • 3/4 brown paper bag mushrooms, peeled and quartered
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • half cup plain flour or cornflour
  • olive oil for browning
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • half a large jar tomato paste
  • half cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Toss strips of beef in flour and brown in a frypan on very high heat, a little at a time until the whole batch has been browned.

2. Add sliced onions, garlic, mushrooms, stock, tomato paste and stir well. Allow to simmer for a few hours or put it all in the slow cooker on LOW for around 8 hours.

3. Just before serving, stir through the sour cream and serve on either rice or fettacine.