Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekend Cooking - Week Night Supper

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish at Beth Fish Reads and it is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.

This past week I was not very successful in my cooking endeavors...the only days I managed to stay on track were Sunday night and Wednesday night.  *Heavy sigh*  In my defense there are some days that my children wait until 15 minutes before to tell me some activity is happening...whether or not I've made dinner plans is a moot point then.  My husband's job requires him to work day and night most of the time, I'm on my own.  We are lucky if we happen to have one night during the week when we are all home and can sit down together.  Needless to say, I depend a lot on casseroles and my crock pot during the week. 

I have quite a cookbook collection, but I have even more foodie magazines.  I'm a magazine freak as I've mentioned before...I've even started my own little series on my blog called "Magazine Monday" to help myself not feel so guilty about subscribing to so many magazines. Last week I reviewed Everyday with Rachael Ray, and this week's post will be about a wonderful regional magazine called Southern Lady.
When I'm done with my magazines, I take them to school and share with my college students; the magazines that are left after a year or so go to the preschool at our college which is always begging for old magazines.  Just a couple more ways I help myself justify buying more magazines :)

One of the two nights last week that I managed to stay on task I made chicken and wild rice casserole, a dish that I make frequently.  There is plenty in this recipe for the entire family and usually enough for me to take for lunch the next day.  The best part is that you mix up all the ingredients, dump it in a casserole dish and bake.  Toss a salad and you've got supper.  You can even mix this one ahead of time and just store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake.  I found this recipe a couple of years ago in the Quick Supper annual issue from Paula Deen's magazine.

When I share recipes, I like to show my pictures...I'm a visual person so I just assume everyone else might be too ;)
I've typed the recipe at the very bottom for anyone who wants to give this a try and would rather just scroll on down to the recipe :)

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Boil a chicken or breasts or simply buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery story...for me, it just depends on how much ahead of time I've actually thought about making this...below is a bowl of chopped up rotisserie chicken.  The recipe calls for 2 cups, but I'm pretty sure this is more...

I always make more than I need because my little food critic is always on hand to test the rotisserie chicken and make sure that it's ok for everyone to eat ;)
She's very serious about her job as you can see in this photo :)

I am so NOT Rachael Ray or any of those other Hibachi choppers on television...I chop 1 cup of onion and 1/2 cup of celery into chunks and throw them into one of my favorite Cuisinart food processor (Thank you, Mommy)

This is particularly helpful if like me you have members of your family who are very picky about hunks of celery or onion in their food...or even those who will refuse to eat if they see any hint of onion or celery (Hello, middle child!)

I use Uncle Ben's fast-cooking long grain wild rice (6.2-ounce box) and make the rice separately.

After I slice an 8 ounce package of Baby Bella mushrooms, I'm ready to start sauteing.

Melt 1/4 cup of butter (I use real live just can't beat the taste...and the good news is that in moderation, real butter is actually healthier for you...I read somewhere that the chemical makeup of some margarine is akin to plastic :/)

Then, add the onions, celery and mushrooms to the butter and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the veggies are tender.

Add 3 tbsp of all purpose flour

Stir it around really well for about 2 minutes.

Then, add 3/4 cup of milk and stir constantly for 2 more minutes. 

Not sure what some people have against cream of mushroom soup, but this recipe uses 1 can.
Get over it. ;)
This recipe is worth it.

Add 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers (I buy the kind that comes in a jar) or you can roast your own. 

Add the chicken

1/4 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper...

Finally, add the rice.

Mix all this goulash together and pour it into a casserole dish sprayed with no-stick spray, my best friend.

Use sharp cheddar cheese as the topping...we ALWAYS use more than the 1 cup the recipe calls children demand it!

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes and wallah!
Yummy goodness!

Paired with a spinach salad, fresh cucumbers, carrots, grape tomatoes and crumbled bleu cheese...Whoa, Nelly!

My buddies at work always appreciate it when I cook this casserole because I pack up 3 servings and take for lunch the next day :)

Here's my plan for this week...we have a lot going on again this week so I'm going to just go ahead and admit that we'll probably only get to eat together a time or two.  I'm recycling some of the dishes I didn't get around to last week :)

Sunday - PW's pot roast
Monday - pork loin sliders
Tuesday - PW's chicken parmesan
Wednesday - Last Minute Lasagna...I promise I'll explain ;)
Thursday - Treats in the Street (our college's annual Halloween carnival)
Friday - away football game (last game of the season, Thank Heavens!)
Saturday - Halloween at Granny's

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole (the non-visual version)
Makes 6-8 servings

1 (6.2-ounce) box fast-cooking long grain and wild rice
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Cook rice according to package directions; set aside and keep warm.

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a 2 1/2 quart casserole or 6 individual serving dishes.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add onion, mushrooms, and celery; cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender.  Add flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add miilk, and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Stir in soup, chicken, red pepper, salt, pepper, and rice.  Spoon into prepared baking dish; sprinkle evenly with cheese and bake 30 minutes.


  1. That looks delicious and not to difficult to make!

  2. It DOES look delicious! I love the simplicity. Oh, and I love cream of mushroom soup. I use it in lots of stuff. I get the low sodium and low fat version, it makes me feel better.

  3. Very simple to make and looks like your whole family loves it. What could be better?

  4. This does look yummy, even though I'm not a big fan of chicken. I'm with you on your butter comment-the real thing (in moderation) is much better for you. I love to take leftovers to work-many of my coworkers eat those little boxed freezer meals-and mine usually grabs their attention!!