Potato+Leek+Artichoke Casserole

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We had a nice bit of Fall weather in September, before the Indian Summer fell upon us and made the apartment unfit for cooking. While it was still cold enough to use the oven, I did some side dish experimentation, and made this truly delicious casserole to accompany pork chops.

Potato, Leek and Artichoke Bake

  • 1 TBSP olive oil, plus 2 TSP or a mister
  • 3 Leeks (white and light green portion only), thinly sliced into half moons and rinsed of all dirt.
  • 1 14oz can of atichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3.5-4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, thinly sliced (via mandolin)
  • salt and pepper to taste

I adapted this from a recipe in Everyday Food. I omitted the celery and changed up the cheese including decreasing its amount, and bumped up the amount of leeks.

Preheat oven to 425. Brush 1 1/2 quart baking dish with olive oil and set aside.

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat; add leeks. Cook 8-10 minutes until softened. Add artichokes, broth and cheese, and stir until combined. Remove skillet form heat, add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange half the potato slices in overlapping rows to act as the base for your casserole. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the artichoke mixture, making sure to evenly spread it out across the potato slices. Layer with remaining potatoes. Mist with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake 40-45 minutes until mixture is bubbly and edges of potatoes are crispy and golden in color. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

The leftovers from this made a great addition to my lunch as well. Reheated for 2 minutes in the microwave at work.

Surviving Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving has long been one of my favorite holidays. But the catch has always been getting through the week without having to go buy a new pair of jeans due to overindulging. Keeping that in mind this year, I planned some easy and low-cal casseroles to get us through the week, and leave me to freely indulge in all my turkey day favorite dishes.

First though, I need to do a shout out for my favorite side dish at this year's Thanksgiving dinner table: Martha Stewart's Sweet Potato and Sage Casserole. And yes, I brought home a hefty glad storage container full of it.

Black Bean and Corn Casserole

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz corn kernels
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed/drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 12 tortilla chips, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375. Spray your casserole dish (shallow and wide works better than a deep round for this) with your non-stick spray of choice (I use an olive oil spray.) Using a non stick pan on medium heat, cook the onion, garlic and bell pepper, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until both are softened. Remove from heat and stir in the corn.

Whisk the eggs and egg whites, milk, hot pepper sauce and ricotta together in a large bowl. Add the beans and the cooked vegetables. Spread evenly in your casserole dash, top with the cheese and the crushed tortillas. Bake until browned and bubbly. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and freshly ground pepper on top. Serves 6.

Turkey Tetrazzini

  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 8 oz fettuccine, cooked per package directions, drained
  • 1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375. Spray your casserole dish (use a deep round if you want it more creamy, a shallow and wide dish if you like the crispy noodles) with your non-stick spray of choice (I use an olive oil spray.) Season the ground turkey with garlic powder, salt and pepper then brown in a non stick pan. Set aside.

Whisk broth and milk together in a medium-size saucepan. Stir in one tablespoon of butter. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened and boiling (8-10 min.) Add salt and pepper, remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and ricotta.

Add your noodles, vegetables and turkey to the cheese sauce. Stir together until everything is coated with the sauce. Pour into the casserole dish. Top with the mozzarella. Bake until browned and bubbly (20-30 min.) Serves 6.

Taco Pie

A recipe in the current Everyday with Rachael ray magazine inspired me to make a quickie taco pie last night. It's like a pizza, but with tortillas and taco fixings as toppings. My version has very little prep, and is ideal for a night when you want to pop something into the oven for a half hour and sit down to some comfort food.

  • 1.5 lb cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 lb chorizo, crumbled (i.e. slice off the sausage casing and rip the meat into chunks)
  • 1 jar taco sauce (I used Fronterra)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cans refried beans (I used the taco bell ones, for nostalgia's sake)
  • 6 thick organic flour tortillas (can double up 2x regular soft taco tortillas)

Preheat oven to 375. Coat large baking sheet (one with a lip is preferable) with butter. Layer your tortillas to fill the baking sheet, overlaping as necessary. Put a few fork pricks into the tortillas to keep them from puffing up while baking. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese on the tortillas. Bake for 10 min.

Crumble or thinly slice your chorizo. Slice your onion into thin, bite-sized individual slices.

Remove your "crust" from the oven. Apply a thin layer of cheese, then the refried beans, onions, chorizo. Drizzle taco sauce across the pizza, keeping in mind how hot the sauce is, and how much of it you would want in a mouthfull of pizza. Top with the rest of the cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes. Let sit for a minute, then cut into individual plate-sized pieces. Makes 6 servings.