Looking forward to dinner tomorrow?

plllog

I was hoping to order in dinner tonight. No such luck. My mother wanted Thanksgiving leftovers, particularly stuffing. Sigh. It took a lot of thought to figure it out. I finally settled on multiple casseroles since there wasn't any way I could conceive of one. The tsimmis (cranberries, sweet potato, butternut, kabocha, corn, lima beans, rainbow carrot tips, parsnips, pearl onions, scallions, maybe something else) got mixed with eggs and poultry sausage and baked as its own casserole, and the little bit of stuffing left went in a chiquitito Corning with some stock. The slightly dry turkey needed to undry, so I pulled the greens out of the bit of (undressed) leftover salad and wilted them in the sausage fat, for the bottom, since I didn't want yet more starch, then I used up some dying mushrooms, and made a mushroom gravy, added the leftover chicken/turkey gravy to expand it, pulled some turkey bits onto the greens and poured the gravy over the top.


I brought some ww pastry flour/salt which was in a bag which never got used, to which I added some BP and soda, and my carton of buttermilk because the only way I could think to keep the turkey casserole moist was a dough top. I over wet it, so added some AP. So that all came out fine, but there were a couple who weren't at Thanksgiving who kept raving about the dinner and asked me where I learned the casseroles. Huh? Does one "learn casseroles"? I just look at what needs using up and what the objectives are and cook. I also brought the cranberry sauce, but we only ate half. Mother kept saying how good the turkey was. Duh. Mushroom gravy. Turkey is just an excuse for eating mushroom gravy right? They were all happy to eat the last of the blueberry apple pie, too.


Not that there's much left from T'day (we've mostly been eating other stuff lingering in the fridge), and I might freeze what there is, but I'm really looking forward to dinner tomorrow. I'm going to be near the place late tomorrow, so I'm bringing us home In-'N'-Out. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to a hamburger!

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foodonastump

The slightly dry turkey needed to undry,


I’ve got some of that to contend with. Note I didn’t post a follow up to my boned turkey thread. ;) Maybe I’ll do that curry we liked a little while back.


I don’t know anything about In-‘N-Out but can totally relate to craving a specific burger. Enjoy!

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plllog

Oh, no! At least you'll have the experience (leave the knife alone!) for the next one. Maybe it should swallow a whole, peeled, prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe? Meanwhile, the curry sounds fab! Very undrying like mushroom gravy. :)

Actually, the best burgers around here are from the barbecue joint, but there's something craveable (probably because they're salty) about a double double animal style from In-'N'-Out. :)

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John Liu

About this time of the year, I find myself craving salads...and simple foods like burgers. In fact, I think tomorrow's dinner will be green salad and burgers in lettuce wrap. Thanks for the ideas.

I would be one of those asking how you learned casseroles. I've never made them, other than Tuna Helper or similar when in grad school. SWMBO grew up with that sort of dish and thus she does the casseroles here.

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plllog

I miss lettuce. :/ John, a proper casserole (American) is a structure. You just need to adapt the mechanics to what you have to put in it. It's something I learned at my mother's knee, but what the guest meant was that she thought there must have been a recipe. I think the whole concept of "just cooking" or making up one's own recipes, is beyond her scope. Casseroles are a great way to clear the fridge. :) Good thing you have Ms. Be Obeyed to handle that. :)

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bbstx

Regretfully, I’m one of those who needs a recipe for a casserole. Daddy wouldn’t eat casseroles, so Mother never made them. He wasn’t a picky eater, but he wanted to know exactly what he was eating. On the other hand, DH *loves* casseroles of any sort, except the one I made last week. The recipe called for shredded chicken, corn, black beans, maybe something else, and barbecue sauce to bind it all together. It was truly yucky. Went in the trash!

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plllog

There's barbecue sauce and barbecue sauce. I'm not surprised that it was yucky. Probably way too intense. A béchamel or tomatoey sauce with barbecue spices would have been better.

So, constructing a casserole (American): There's usually a bottom layer that kind of ties it together, and it's often a starch. Done well, it doesn't stick to the dish, which makes lifting out somewhat tidy portions easier (do oil the dish first, though--it's not magic). The greens in mine were only a thin layer, and worked for this too. I've been known to prebake some seasoned up leftover rice into the bottom. I keep thinking it'll be crunchy Persian, but either it's just that my filling is too moist, or that I just don't have a deft hand at the rice (likely).

Anyway, you can have layers of filling, which I often do for even distribution, or just dump stuff in. It should have a binder/moistener, like eggs or mornay/velouté/béchamel/bordelaise or regular gravy, or a bunch of grated cheese stirred in. If you want to really bind it and make it cuttable more than scoopable, use eggs. It can be eggs and, but a 9" square needs something like four eggs and a good bake to make cut squares.

Then there's a top layer that's there to get hard and keep the filling moist (though, for instance, I made my T'day stuffing as a casserole, letting the bread on top get hard and be its own topping, or what one guest called "crouton"). Normally, it'll be a cheese or bread crumb or crumble topping (grains, plus). Usually, there's fat in the topping to help ti spread and brown and stay somewhat moist.

The rest is just imagining what will taste good together. You can start by interpreting other flavors, like the bbq sauce one sounded like a taco salad or similar before the sauce. I think it would probably be good with a Mexican or cheddar cheese sauce (easy on the cheese--it's for flavor not "food") and taco seasoning. Sometimes there are things you want to use up but just won't play together--listen to your instincts. Seasoning is really important. The elements may be well seasoned, but combined, the seasoning may float away in the sauce. Keep what's already in the ingredients when you make your sauce, but make sure there's a lot of flavor in the sauce.

The rest is experience. Practice makes perfect. :) And sometimes you' have an order pizza moment when you guess wrong. :)

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bbstx

HA! Love “order a pizza moment.” That is what I tell friends when I’m using them as guinea pigs to test a recipe. The “guinea pig” friends know they are testers.


Thanks for the template. I’ll give it a try as we have leftovers!

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plllog

Good luck!

So, being truly realistic, the (T'day) turkey and swiss on tortilla I made for lunch was objectively better than the double double animal style, but eating that burger was heavenly!

INO is known for having few ingredients but doing whatever you want to them (though they no longer do the 100x100, which I guess was an issue with tying up the line, or maybe getting paid, or wrapping for to-go or some other logistical deal. I knew if I was cool with a basic iceberg and tomato salad it was possible. Finally, the Prince of the Parking Lot (the order taker who goes down the line with fancy tech so your food is ready when you get to the window), figured it out. It's a veggie animal (with pickles, grilled onions, mustard seed) protein style (no bun, wrapped in lettuce). That's a salad in a lettuce leaf with "spread" (1000) in a hamburger sleeve. :)

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nancyjane_gardener

I made a pepper casserole (basically a destructed stuffed pepper, easier to eat and the kids would eat it for some reason and not a stuffed bell!) Chopped a red, green and orange pepper (or whatever you have on hand) into 1 1/2", blanched in boiling water for about 4 minutes, then cooked the rice in the pepper water. Cooked ground turkey, added onion then garlic, a couple of big cloves. mix in a can of diced tomatoes, as much cheese as you like, mix it all together, add a little more cheese to the top and bake til hot, about 25 minutes. Easy as pie! (Except I don't bake pie!)


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annie1992

I made chili, having sent nearly all the Thanksgiving dinner leftovers home with others. Elery's daughter took the last of them yesterday, other than enough ham to make a batch of split pea soup, which will happen tomorrow or the next day.

Annie

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plllog

There was an extra burger from yesterday. I disassembled and zapped it for lunch. It was better than yesterday's! BTW, the turkey casserole is excellent cold from the fridge. :) I always think that's the real tell. Just about anything can be good hot from the oven, but if it's really good, it's good cold from the fridge. :)

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