Comfort Food

     We love casseroles because they save time and you can get multiple meals out of them.  The next day, you've got a delicious lunch or snack and it's 1 meal, 1 pan.  Friends, that's a deal.  In many parts of the country, it's been somewhat of a mild winter but cold weather is inevitable as many of you already know.  Being a warm weather hopeful, I get excited when the temperatures drop because my oven's going turned on to cook.  Without further ado, here are a couple of great casserole dishes we'd like to share with you. Have fun and enjoy!

Spinach Lasagna  (good veggies in this one)

  • 1 jar (24 ounce) marinara sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/3 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 32 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 ounce fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (10-oz.) packages fresh baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 12 lasagna noodles - cooked according to directions on package
  • 1 (12-oz.) jar roasted red bell pepper strips, drained

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 2 ingredients and 1 cup cream. Separately combine ricotta, next 2 ingredients, and 1 cup Parmesan. Sauté shallots in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Remove shallot mixture.

2. Add one-third of spinach to Dutch oven; cook over medium-high heat 1 minute or until wilted. Place spinach in a colander; drain. Repeat with remaining spinach.

3. Cook butter and flour in Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add 1 1/3 cups cream; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add spinach and shallots.

4. Pour 1/2 cup sauce mixture in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with 3 lasagna noodles. Layer half of spinach mixture, half of roasted peppers, 3 lasagna noodles, and half of ricotta mixture over pasta. Repeat layers; top with 3 lasagna noodles. Pour remaining sauce mixture over top. Place baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet.

5. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Top with 1 cup Parmesan, and bake 15 minutes. Let stand 30 minutes.

Chicken-and-Biscuit Cobbler

Makes 8 servings, Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 (8-oz.) packages fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sliced chives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
  • 8 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups chilled buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon (about 5 thick bacon slices)
  • Garnishes: chopped fresh chives and parsley

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion, and sauté 5 minutes. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add wine; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Slowly add broth, stirring constantly; bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cream and next 5 ingredients. Stir in chicken, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and remove from heat.

2. Whisk together 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour and 1/2 tsp. sugar in a medium bowl. Stir together buttermilk and 1/2 cup melted butter in a small bowl. Stir buttermilk mixture and bacon into flour mixture until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.

3. Return chicken mixture to medium-high heat; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Spoon mixture into buttered 3-qt. ceramic or glass baking dish. Drop biscuit dough by level 1/4 cupfuls, 1/2 inch apart, onto chicken mixture.

4. Bake at 400° for 30 to 35 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Three-Cheese Pasta Bake

  • Makes: 4 servings
  • 1 (8-oz.) package penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) shredded white Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and half-and-half; cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, and next 3 ingredients until smooth.

3. Stir together pasta and cheese mixture, and pour into 4 lightly greased 8-oz. baking dishes or 1 lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. (If using 8-oz. baking dishes, place in a jelly-roll pan for easy baking, and proceed as directed.) Top with remaining 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese.

4. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

*Swiss cheese may be substituted.

Note: To make ahead, proceed with recipe as directed through Step 3. (Do not top with remaining Gruyère cheese.) Cover and chill up to 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Increase oven temperature to 400°. Top pasta mixture with remaining Gruyère cheese, and bake 10 more minutes or until golden.

Note:  You can also add cooked chicken, shrimp or sausage to the pasta dish.  Serve with a green salad and fresh vegetables for a well-rounded meal.

 

      We value our comfort not only in our clothes but also in our food and home. It’s the best time of year to get cozy inside and spend time with family and friends. Share a delicious meal and enjoy the warmth of home. 

 

Thank you so much for joining us today! 

Stop by Tuesday for our next blog post

Quote to take with you for the week:

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Photos by:

Spinach Lasagna - Alison Miksch

Chicken Biscuit Cobbler - Alison Miksch

Thanks to Southern Comfort Food www.southernliving.com

Gail KhanComment