Sunday, December 14, 2008

King Ranch Chicken Casserole (p. 96), Cream of Broccoli Soup (p. 144) , and Tomato Soup (p. 132)

I wanted to make a few recipes that would feed Josh and I for multiple meals, because I knew I wasn't going to want to cook this week (I have two doctor's appointments and two procedures this week before driving home to Iowa for the holidays). The first thing I decided to make was King Ranch Chicken Casserole (p. 96).

I wasn't sure about this recipe. Reading through the ingredients made me feel like Sandra Lee (it especially would have made me think of SL if I dumped a bottle of vodka into it and made some sort of "tablescape"). American cheese? Cream of mushroom soup? Cream of chicken soup? Canned tomatoes? All in the same recipe? Wow.

I had a decent amount of chicken from making a recipe of chicken stock and I needed a big, filling dish...and this recipe fit the bill.

First step, layer corn tortillas (cut into quarters) in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (greased with butter!).

Next, sprinkle cooked chicken on the tortillas...

Then a layer of onions...I only put onions on one side because I don't really like them (a theory that didn't work because I've eaten from both sides)

And a layer of shredded American cheese. Good luck shredding the cheese--American cheese does not shred easily. It would be a lot easier to layer really thin slices.

A gloppy mixture of condensed cream soups (both chicken and mushroom), chicken broth, and tomatoes (there are also supposed to be green chiles but I didn't have any) are then mixed together. And it is not pretty...(we certainly won't mention that it looks like vomit)...

The liquid is poured over the top and then another layer of tortillas, chicken, onions, and cheese, plus the soup mix.

And it's ready to be popped in the oven:

I know it looks like there are a ton of steps but this is a really easy recipe. Lots of steps but no skill required!

So how was it? Suprisingly good! There is nothing attractive about this dish. It looks okay in the picture but as soon as you cut into it, it oozes. But it was satisfying in a very comfort food way and heated up perfectly. It's already produced four meals and has at least two left.

I also decided to make a couple soups. Soups are so fast and easy to make and I had a bunch of chicken stock to use (and I know that Josh won't use it once I leave for the holiday). So I made Tomato Soup (p. 132) and

The tomato soup was super super easy. Cook an onion in olive oil, then add two 28-oz cans of tomatoes.

Cook it down for about a half hour.

And then puree it (this is a great time to use that awesome immersion blender!):

Isn't that an amazingly easy recipe? Almost too easy...

What did it taste like? Tomato sauce. It was like eating a bowl of marinara sauce. Sadly (and this is how you know I'm not a real foodie) I would rather have tomato soup out of a can...or at least a less thick recipe.

I also made Cream of Broccoli Soup (p. 144). I figured this would have a 50/50 shot of working--the Cream of Asparagus was delicious while I thought the Cream of Carrot was WAY too sweet for me.

The recipe is exactly like the Cream of Asparagus recipe except for the vegetable.

Saute celery and onion in butter...

Add the broccoli, cook for five minutes, and then pour flour over the top...

Add chicken stock an then cook it for about a half hour, until tender.

It's time for the immersion blender again! Pour in the cream to make it a "cream of" soup...

Stir and it's ready:

Delicious! Make sure salt is added really brings out the flavor (I noticed the asparagus soup needed a lot of salt too). And it heats up extremely well.

I'll be heading back to Iowa at the end of the week which will give me some opportunities to make food that Josh and I don't like--but mom does (stuffed peppers, for example!).

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  1. I just discovered your blog on the Leftover Queen and I just had to comment on your hilarious take on Sandra Lee. I think she should ditch the whole Semi-Homemade thing and host a late-night Food Network show called "Cocktail Time!"

    Great blog!

  2. Thank you! I totally agree about Sandra--and her cocktails are always about 90% alcohol--no filler for her!


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