Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Cheesy Noodle Ham and Broccoli Dish (*Note about cheese)

This is what I'm having for breakfast today-- weird, huh!  Well,... it was done in time and I won't be getting hungry while I'm running errands in town.

  • 4 cups uncooked medium wide egg noodles
  • 2 (14 oz. each) cans chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped (I like using a mixture of the red/orange/yellow peppers I get at Aldi's-- in fact when I buy the pre-packaged group of all three, I chop them up and put them into the freezer for times like this.)
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2½ cups cubed (small cubes) cooked ham
  • 1 (10¾ oz.) can Campbell's cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules OR soup starter (I omitted this because the soup has enough 'chemicals', already.)
  • Salt and black pepper to your taste ( ½ tsp. salt?   ¼ tsp. pepper?)
  • *8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  1. In  large pot, heat chicken broth and add noodles; bring to a boil and then lower to simmer for 7 minutes; DO NOT DRAIN!
  2. While that is cooking, saute the chopped onions and peppers in butter until tender crisp (about 3-4 minutes).  
  3. Place rinsed/washed broccoli in a glass bowl, cover with a wet paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  4. To the cooked noodles, stir in ham, cheese soup, chicken bouillon (if used), salt and pepper.
  5. Add cooked onion and bell pepper blend, and the steamed broccoli florets.
  6. Stir IN only half of the cheese and pour into sprayed or greased 9x13 inch baking dish.  This is what your mixture will look like:
  7. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese, cover loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes until hot and bubbly like this...
   * Note about cheeseWhile watching some cooking show, I learned that if we want cheese that 'ends up creamy' in casseroles, we should buy a block of the recommended cheese and shred/grate it ourselves.  Why?  Because, they said, the cheese that is already shredded and grated has had a sort of 'waxy' thing added to it so that it won't clump or stick together in the package.  That same 'waxy' thing keeps it from blending smoothly 'creamily' in baked dishes.  So,.......if that information is correct, I guess we need to decide between 'convenience' and 'creaminess'. 

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