Sharing Mountain Recipes
by Randi Lee Levin
The fantastic thing about casseroles is that they provide a delicious means for using leftovers and are not very time-consuming to prepare. Years ago at a large holiday gathering, there was so much leftover food, the host handed each guest a large plate or container full of leftovers as we departed. The next night when the dinner bell clanged in my stomach, I put the leftovers into a casserole dish, added a tad of this and that and cooked it all together. De-licious!
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, divided into 3- and 5-tablespoon chunks
• 2 cups dried bread cubes
• 1/2 cup chopped onions
• 1/3 slightly rounded cup flour
• 2 cups light cream (heavy cream will work just as well and will supply a richer flavor)
• 1 cup milk
• 1/2 teaspoon sage
• 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1½ plus cups frozen peas
• 2 cups cooked cubed ham
• 3 cups cooked chopped chicken or turkey
• Salt and lemon pepper to taste .
Preheat oven to 350° F
1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the bread cubes, stir to coat them with the melted butter and set aside.
2. In a larger saucepan, melt the 5 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, add the onions and saute until tender. Whisk in the flour and cook a little more than a minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the cream, milk and spices, then return to the heat and stir constantly until this comes to a full rolling boil.
3. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the peas and meats.
4. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish or 12x7-inch pan and pour this mixture into the pan.
5. Spread the top with the bread cubes and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and the bread cubes are golden brown. Serve over pasta, potatoes or rice.
Variation: Substitute the peas with chopped broccoli and/or asparagus.