Thursday, September 15, 2011

Survival of the Poorest! Casserole Time!

I must first note that the one thing I really don't like about casserole dishes is that they're not pretty when plated. Lasagna can look pretty but when they do the flavor from the sauce is lacking.

When I was thinking about my next blog I looked in my fridge and saw a bunch of food that needed to be eaten before I could go crazy at the grocery store again. Since I made spaghetti not too long ago, I thought why not make a dish of everything? So casserole time!

I was hoping to find some history on casseroles ie: the reasoning behind why they were made and continue to be dishes of yum. For me, when I make a casserole dish, it is often left overs and bits of other ingredients that I have left in the pantry. This dish is no different. :D

Canned Tomato sauce
1/2 jar of Alfredo sauce
1/2 bag of Spaghetti Noodle
Provolone cheese
1/2 frozen green peas
6 piece of chicken thighs
Herb mix of oregano and basil
Garlic Salt - its my cheat
Cayenne Peper - love the back of the tongue spice
Ketchup - use this to make it a bit sweeter because often times canned tomatos lack dept in their taste
olive oil or butter - only need a small amount


Chicken preparation:

1. Lightly boil the 6 thigh pieces of chicken on the stove until most of the pink is gone. Around 10 minutes.

Note: I'm kinda phobic of placing large pieces of uncooked meat in a casserole so I do an initial cook. Also, if you're feeling super crafty leave the skin on during the boil and collect the broth for a later use - this is what i'll be using next week.

Noodle preparation:

1. Break the noodles in half and lightly coat them with melted butter or olive oil

Reasoning: This will prevent them from sticking together once you make the dish.

Putting your casserole together:

Preheat Oven at 350
1. First coat the bottom of the casserole dish with 1/4 of the tomato sauce so things don't heat up too    much when its in the oven
2. Along with the sauce add spices : garlic salt, herb mix, cayenne, and a light ketchup drizzle
3. Scatter 1/2 of the frozen peas on top
4. Take four slices of provolone and evenly distribute
5. Next comes the noodles - evenly distribute them across the dish - this will guarantee that they cook evenly
6. Place chicken thighs on top and spoon Alfredo sauce on each piece.
7. Add the remaining peas & tomato sauce and add the salt, herb mix, and cayenne (basically redo the first initial layer)
8. Place into the oven for about an hour so the flavor comes out or until the top layer is bubbling
9. Spread freshly shredded Mozzarella on top and return back into the oven until there's a lightly crispy toast on top. (10-20 minutes)
10. Take the casserole dish out and allow it for cool down (15 minutes)

There you go! Some yumminess made from what you have lying around. Below are some pictures I took along the way.

* Because everyone lives soo far away and or super busy - this lasted me the entire week and then some.

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