Casseroles~A Triple Crown - Quick and easy recipes
Being female, from the south, and something less than a good cook can be a challenge at times. This is especially evident when wanting to be seen as a good cook, i.e. most of the time. Further compounding the issue exists the not so inconsiderable facts that I am not fond of cooking unless feeling somewhat domestic and nostalgic. Yea right, this happens maybe three times a year. On top of that at times I despise the vile task that is kitchen clean up. Even a novice gourmet such as myself knows the best way to avoid kitchen clean up is by not messing up the kitchen, hence my frequent flyer, platinum status in local restaurants.
The sad realities of life dictate that cooking must be done frequently. In an effort to balance the dreaded necessity with my miserly desire to hoard every second of time I can away from work for myself and not our bellies, I have firmly decided that casseroles are by far the best way to do this most heinous task for a very few simple reasons.
First, and foremost, casseroles, at least in my house, mess up only one main dish, cutlery aside. This is a major plus. Second, while they may take an hour or more to cook, I like to look at how much of my time is required. After all, once I put it in the oven, I’m pretty much done. The casseroles I chose to make take minutes prep time… Tra la la, out the kitchen I can go to surf Hubpages. Lastly, and most importantly, casseroles are the ultimate, best form of cooking, in my opinion, because they can be made for CHEAP.
Let’s face it, anything in today’s economy that stretches a grocery dollar can’t be bad! People used to say one could never be too rich or too thin. In modern times I feel the more practical sentiment would be one can never be too frugal or too well informed.
Enough of Vix’s random thoughts of the moment… on with the eats!
Pork Chop Casserole
Total prep time - less than five minutes.
DISCLAIMER - This is of course what I consider to be prep time, not how long it will be before you can eat… Geez guys! No, it takes under five minutes to throw it together and get it in the oven. You still have to wait for it to cook!
4 to 6 thawed pork chops
1 prepackaged box of dirty rice mix
Casserole dish with lid
Fire extinguisher (Hey! Keep your comments to yourself, thank you. I’m not that bad in the kitchen, though, yet, the others living in my home insist. I can’t fathom why. Just basic kitchen safety guys and gals. That‘s my story and I‘m sticking to it).
What you actually have to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a casserole dish large enough to accommodate all the pork chops laid out separately, empty the contents of the rice mix.
Using a whisk, mix the rice mixture in the recommended amount of water plus one quarter cup being sure to get any spice lumps out.
Ignore the box’s instructions to add butter or such.
Rub each side of each pork chop with the Cajun seasonings. (This can get hot if you’re not used to it so you might want to go easy the first time). Float the pork chops on the top of the rice/water mixture.
Put lid on casserole dish and bake for one hour.
Chilled applesauce and a light salad
Green beans and cold watermelon slices
Or, to change this up sometimes and have a complete meal in the one dish, add to the rice/water mixture before baking one of the following options…
Peas and shallots
Chopped onions, celery, mushrooms
Chopped red, orange, and/or yellow bell peppers
Mexi Melty Mess
Left over taco meat
Pinto beans (substitute any red bean really)
Shredded cheese (four cheese taco blend, or any cheddar)
1 can Rotell tomatoes w/ green chilies
Left over Spanish rice
Sliced Jalapeño (optional)
Large casserole dish with lid
What you actually have to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Layer ingredients in casserole dish. Begin with a few spoons of the Rotell to coat the bottom of the dish. Mix the onions, beans, remaining Rotell and Cilantro. Layer rice in the bottom of dish and cover with mixture. Sprinkle shredded cheese and Jalapeño slices to taste over top. Cover and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
Chips and salsa with fresh Avocado slices
Yea, right. I can cook. I never said I could do it well.
- Speedy Southwest Supper -The Best Way to Hide the Bodies
Once again I find myself held captive in the kitchen. We have to eat and the food lives here so I cant leave. I can feel the oxygen depleting, the walls closing in, hear the echoes of a freedom I once knew whispering bye bye.
- How to get them to eat?
Does the hopefully somewhat organized chaos of getting folks out of bed, dressed quasi appropriately, fed, washed up, and out the door close to on time sardonically say, hello dear, over your morning coffee?
- Buy pork chops in bulk when on sale. Divide into freezer bags and store to save money in the long run.
- Use coupons! Yes, those tiny, annoying, full of hard to read, itty bitty, fine print and impending expiration dates slips of paper. Typically, you can spend well over a dollar a box on rice mix. If you watch for sales, and then hit it with some coupons too, you can really get it for pennies. I don’t have to tell you that is the time to stock up. Boxed rice mixes will keep in the pantry for a very long time.
- Try mixing in leftover veggies to make food dollars go further.
- I have tried numerous brands of the boxed rice mix and honestly have found that the generics are just as good so you can save some there, but…The bagged rice mixes cost even less than the boxes and they will work for this recipe. I, personally, have yet to find a bagged brand we like as much. Something about the texture is just kind of funky. Sorry, no disrespect intended to proponents of bagged rice, bagged rice industry workers, producers, families, associates or affiliated subsidiaries. Please do not come after me for being politically insensitive to the plight of bagged rice mixes the world over.
Check out some of the fantastic things going on with coupons
- Extreme couponing: Student saves $300 a month - Jul. 18, 2011
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How do you really feel about having to cook every night?See results without voting
The real reason casseroles were first invented…
Was to save time and effort, so people could get onto to do fun stuff!
This is why casseroles were invented
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