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making my way through the kitchen, one dish at a time
Nov 17, 2012 10:35AM

Green Bean Casserole (with sausage) - Holiday Yummies

So I normally only make this dish for either (or both) Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.  Sometimes though, I think I should make it more often, it's rather easy.

Standard Ingredients:

2 Green beans
1 smoked sausage
1 medium size onion
3 cloves garlic
2 cans cream of mushroom
French's fried onion
1 8oz bag mild chedder cheese
salt
pepper

Generally, the green bean to cream of mushroom ratio is 1 to 1, in case you need to make a larger portion.  The amount of cheese you use is up to you, but I use about 1 cup per cheese layer.  You can also use any type of sausage, but I prefer Pork Kelbasa (for this size serving, I use half of the sausage).

How to make it:

Saute onions in oil with a sprinkle of sale.  Add garlic.  Cook garlic and onions.  Then add sausage.  (I cut mine up in quarters.)
Simmer for about 5 minutes.

Drain green beans and then add to sausage mixture.  Mix in the cream of mushroom.
Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set to low heat for ~10 minutes.

In 9x13 pan, layer the bottom with French's fried onion.  Take half of the green bean mixture and use that as the 2nd layer.
The next layer is the cheese.  Then repeat with remaining green bean mixture.

Cook in the oven under 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, lower the heat 350 minutes.
And a layer of cheese and top it off with French's Fried Onions.

Baker for ~10 minutes or until cheese is melted and French's Fried Onions are golden brown.

Cool and serve.

0 Comments ~ Posted By missiza
Jan 3, 2011 10:31PM

Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs for Plenty (remix)

Note:  This is an update to my first posted recipe.  Sometimes when you make things even better, you just have to remember it ;-)

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I have often tried to come up with/find recipes that can serve 1-2 people, but this recipe is made for either family gatherings, potlucks, or if you're just itching to have some meatballs for quite a while.

This recipe is derived from 2 great recipes on allrecipes.com - Italian Spaghetti Sauce & Meabtalls (I took the sauce part) and The Best Meatballs.  For my recipe below, it's VERY IMPORTANT to use freshly ground meat and freshly grated cheese.  I recommend getting the meat from a butcher shop and the cheese from an Italian deli.  It makes a big difference.

The cooking time is approximately 3-hours - from prep to cook time.  And yes, that is a pretty long time to be in the kitchen, but this is also a great recipe to involve loved ones, since 4+ hands definitely make it better than 2.

Ingredients:
Sauce:
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, rough chop (I prefer a mixture of finely chopped and big chunks :-))
olive oil
1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes (I use San Marzano)
1 24oz jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I uze San Marzano Marinara sauce)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 bay leaves
1 12oz can tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Meatballs:
1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground veal
1/4 pound ground pork
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 egg
1 freshly cup grated Romano cheese (I get the one that is sold at the grocery deli)
2 1/4 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
3/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
lukewarm water
olive oil

Directions:

SAUCE

  1. In a large pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent.  The pot should be large enough for the sauce and meatballs to simmer later.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, sugar, and bay leaves.  Stir in the peeled tomatoes.
  3. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer with cover on for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, remove cover and use a potato masher to mash the peeled tomatoes.  Continue this until you achieve your desired tomato chunkiness.
  5. Stir and continue to simmer for 30 more minutes with the cover off.
  6. Remove bay leaves.  Add tomato paste, basil, pepper.  Stir in tomato paste thoroughly.
  7. Continue to simmer with cover on for another 30 minutes, or until meatballs are ready to be added.

 

Durng the 30 minutes intervals, stir sauce occassionally.

 

MEATBALLS

After the initial 60 minute simmer period (up to Step 5 from the Sauce directions), I start prepping the meatballs.

  1. Using freshly ground meat, combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Slowly add salt and pepper, eggs, garlic and parsley.  In that order :-)
  2. Add the freshly grated cheese, 1/2 cup at a time.  Mixing into meat mixture thoroughly..
  3. Slowly add bread crumbs and water into meat mixture.  Do it in 1/4 cup, alternating items.  (First 1/4 cup of bread crumbs.  Mix.  Next , 1/4 cup of water. Mix. etc.)  Do this until you get to the second 1/4 cup of water.
  4. Before adding the last 1/4 cups of breadcrumbs and water, gauge the consistency f the mixture.  The mixture should feel very moist, but be able to hold its shape if rolled into a ball.  Do a test meatball to check on desired consistency.  If the meatball appears to dry, add more water in 1/4 cup intervals.  If the mixture appears too wet (can't hold it's shape) add more breadcrumbs annd cheese, 1/8 cup each.
  5. Shape into meatballs of desired size.  This recipe gives about 17-18 medium-large meatballs.
  6. Heat olive oil in a large pan and cook meatballs in batches.  Place on paper towel to cool and drain.
  7. After cooling, add the meatballs to the sauce.
  8. Continue to simmer sauce and meatballs for 30 more minutes, with cover on.

Make sure to give some time for the sauce to cool down before serving. You can either serve with spaghetti (cooked while meatballs are simmering in the sauce, step 8) or with a nice roll or baguette, ala a meatball sub

As a generally note for noodle cooking, salt is not required.  The sauce and meatballs themselves are pretty tasty and do not require any additional seasoning to the noodles.

Enjoy!

0 Comments ~ Posted By missiza
Filed in: Meals, pasta ~ Tagged with: spaghetti, meatballs, dinner
Dec 24, 2010 2:28PM

From Thanksgiving to Christmas....Holiday Menu review

Since I've actually gotten into the habit of preparing both Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners, I have now realized the value of the Thanksgiving meal.  In addition to the giving thanks and all that good, warm fuzzy, thanksgiving cheer and appreciation, I also use the meal "service" as a dry run for Christmas.  Sure Thanksgiving dinner may involve more fanfare and extra large dish servings and a multitude of choices.  But because of this over-indulgence, it makes it easy for me to narrow down the dishes to make for following Christmas celebration one month later.

So to the right was the infamous Thanksgiving dinner.  More food than 2 people could ever eat in one sitting (yes my holiday meals are made for 2).  And aside from the switch of Thanksgiving Turkey to Christmas Ham....tonight's Christmas Eve menu will consist of the following holiday meal staples:

  • Candied Yams
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Creamed Corn
  • Biscuits

 

Yet another indulgent meal, but it sure does sound good now, doesn't it?

Happy holidays everyone!

0 Comments ~ Posted By missiza
Filed in: menu, Dinner ~ Tagged with: christmas