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Monday, January 16, 2012

Corned Beef Hotdish

My mom is the one who first taught me how to cook, but strangely, all the recipes I crave belong to my grandma. One of her somewhat "signature" dishes is called Corned Beef Hotdish.
Here's a quick rundown of the "official" recipe:

1 can corned beef
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can french cut green beans
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1 package egg noodles
2 cups milk
3/4 cup shredded cheese.
Onion rings - the breaded kind - to put on top.

Cook noodles with celery and onion, drain and set aside. Mix cans of soup, milk, and corned beef. Add noodles, and top with the cheese, then mix thoroughly but not so you break up or mash the noodles/celery/onion. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, place onion rings on top, bake 15 more minutes.

Ok that's the off the top of my head version - but I just discussed this with grams, so I think it's pretty accurate. Anyway, I wanted to screw with the recipe so that NUMBER 1: I didn't used the caned soups, and NUMBER 2... Well I just didn't want to wait for it to bake. I mean it's pretty much cooked when it gets assembled, right? This was a bit of a mistake because the baking thickens and congeals the sauce, and maked the dish taste better.

So anyway, here's what I did:
1 can corned beef - I haven't found an uncanned version nearby.
2 cups chicken broth I made specifically for this using leftover chicken bones from the other nights dinner.
2 cups water from the noodles. Next time, I will only use 1 cup ESPECIALLY if I don't bake it! I added a half spoonful of garlic powder and 2 scant spoonfuls of onion powder so I had something like cream of onion soup.
     (Note: the water from the noodles provides salt since I salted it, and some starch to thicken the end result.)
1 can organic french cut green beans because I have never found a frozen french cut bean, and I prefer the style.
I didn't have celery.
1 Onion
No milk because I had enough liquid. But I did add sour cream to turn my broth/noodle water into cream of soups. I added 5 generously large dollops, and that worked well
1 box organic rotini noodles because I didn't have egg noodles on hand
I used closer to 1 full cup shredded cheese... maybe more.

Here's how it was assembled. I cooked the noodles/onion. Drained them - saving some of the water - and set them aside. In the pot from cooking the noodles, I tossed the green beans, the chicken broth, the noodle water with the garlic and onion powders, and then stirred before adding the sour cream. I stirred again, and then added the corned beef.

I sliced my finger a tiny bit on the can of corned beef, so hubby comes to help, and decides that he wants the other can of corned beef in there, WHY? He shrugs, WTH not? Ok, I can live with that.

Finally, I added the noodles and the shredded cheese. I stirred, and set the pot back on the burner to warm up/cook a bit.

The verdict? Definitely not as good as grandma's, but not because of the ingredients, because I had too much liquid, didn't bake it, and didn't have the onion rings on top. They are necessity, lol! However, it was tasty, and took me maybe a half hour total to prepare. Probably closer to 20 minutes (not counting the time I previously took to make the chicken broth - which I used to make chicken noodle soup for dinner last night).

Gotta love Grandma's recipes! Next on the list, Russian Tea Cakes, mmm...

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