06 March, 2011

Hot Dish at the Table

Ever had a Hot Dish?

You might know it better by its other name, a casserole. In honour of my week in Wisconsin, via Minnesota, I made Hot Dish for dinner. Specifically, Beef with Wild Rice, Almonds, and Roasted Tomatoes.

Hot Dish is basically any one dish meal that can be prepared in advance, even frozen. Rice or pasta with a bit of veg and often a lot of meat and some sort of sauce bringing it all together. Common at the potluck table, the neighbours kitchen counter after a rough week, or for Sunday dinner.

Not exactly a fancy Sunday dinner, I realize. My flight got in at midnight last night and I needed to spend the day in precious snow play and cuddles instead of cooking. Oh, and actually reading a book during to naptime to take advantage of the quiet of broken cable. Dinner needed to come without a trip to the grocery store and contain real food for the. girls. Too many cookies and treats over the weekend.

I bought this cookbook in the airport. Totally cheesy, I know. Once you siphon out the recipes that include a can of condensed mushroom soup and past Tuna Broccoli Brie Hot Dish, there are some nice dinner ideas. Perfect for days when you want to read The Cat in the Hat again and again instead of making a roast with popovers. Also perfect for make ahead recipes for the days you want to pass on a meal for comfort. I'll be making a few more from the book this week for friends.

Dessert also came from the book. Conveniently called Busy Day Cherry Cobbler. Conveniently made with my own cherry pie filling in the pantry.

My time away from the family was very busy. My friend, my host, has a great family and they were incredibly welcoming. We did not have Hot Dish, but I learn how to make tortillas and had my fill of Wisconsin Smoked Cheddar.

In truth, I desperately missed my family. All the chaotic energy and even the spazzing, but it's all my spazzing. Dinner tonight was perfect. The Monster chatted far too much about her first trip to an amusement park to be interested in food. Smilosaurus was copying her sister but spooning in the food with sincere pleasure. Hubby and I rubbed our eyes for the tiredness, tried to talk, and could only smile. It was all mine. It was our perfect Sunday dinner.

Hot Dish with Beef, Wild Rice, Roasted Tomatoes, and Almonds
Serves 4-6

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion
4 celery stocks
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 orange
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup wild rice
2 tbsp fresh thyme
3 cups chicken stock
1 dozen roasted tomatoes*
1 cup almonds or pine nuts

1. In an oven proof casserole or large pan brown the ground beef. While the beef is browning chop the onions, celery, and garlic. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. As soon as the beef is browned, drain off any fat and push the meat to the side of the pan. Add the olive oil, onion, and celery. Cook over medium heat until light browned and soft. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
3. Juice the orange and add the juice to the pan to deglaze.
4. Stir in the rices, thyme, and stock into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a casserole dish, if necessary. Top with tomatoes and sprinkle the almonds over.
5. Bake for 1 hour.

*If you don't have slow roasted tomatoes on hand you could use a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes. Cut the stock used to 2 cups and add the tomatoes, juice and all.


Julie said...

I love cheesy old cookbooks! the very best kind of souvenir. Love the concept of hot dish!

amandajean said...

i love that you bought that book! it sounds like a true MN cook book from what you wrote. it made me chuckle. :) hope you are well. we loved having you here.

Shannon said...

This recipe was great, but I think it should say that it needs to be cooked covered. I cooked it for an hour uncovered and the rice was still raw. Luckily I saved it by adding mire water and cooking for almost another hour.