Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Broccoli Casserole

  If you want to impress yourself and try to make people you are a decent cook then casseroles are always an easy way to go. I know it sounds like what you would expect little old ladies to bring to a Sunday church social or picnic but believe me when I say you can get a lot of mileage out of a casserole. 

  One of my favorite casserole dishes is also one of the easiest to make - Broccoli Casserole! It is also easy to change it up to suit your tastes. You can leave out the rice, or add in more chicken or more broccoli or even add in a can of mushrooms. For our purposes here though we’re going to make a basic broccoli casserole. So get your ingredients, put on your old t-shirt (cause guys don’t wear aprons you know!) and let’s get started!


2 10oz. Cans Cream of Mushroom soup

1 12oz. Can Chunk Chicken breast

1 10oz. Box of Frozen Chopped Broccoli

1 Cup of Rice (uncooked)

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  Pre-heat your oven to 450°.

  First of all you need to either thaw or get out your Chopped Broccoli and once thawed set it aside. Next, go ahead and cook your rice. Bring a cup and a half of water to a boil on the stove top and add in your 1 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil then slowly pour in the rice. Cover and let come to a boil again. When it reaches boiling point turn the heat down and let it simmer. If you want an easier way to make rice I highly recommend buying a microwave rice cooker, these things are fantastic! If you have one then just cook your rice in it in the microwave!

  While your rice is cooking either on the stove or in the microwave you can prepare the rest of the dish. Open your cans of Cream of Mushroom soup and empty both into a 2 quart casserole dish. Next drain your can of Chunk Chicken Breast then empty the chicken into the casserole dish with your Cream of Mushroom soup. Add in your Chopped Broccoli and mix all this together by hand. Sometimes the chunks of chicken may be a little large so feel free to cut them into smaller pieces if you desire. Once your rice is done add it to the mixture and again stir by hand until it is well blended.

  If you prefer more broccoli or chicken or actual mushrooms then this would be the point you would add them in and stir it all together. 

  Take a piece of aluminum foil and cover the entire dish then put in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. Remove the dish and remove the foil. At this point you can add a little flair if you like and sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on top or even some canned french fried onion rings. At any rate once you have it uncovered stick it back in the oven and cook it again for another 5 to 10 minutes or until you either get a slight browning or your cheese is well melted. Then remove and let cool a few minutes before spooning out a generous portion and enjoy!

  One additional note… I don’t care to add salt or pepper when I prepare this particular meal since the mushroom soup may be salty enough so I leave that chore to each person when the food is on their plate.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

KK - Kielbasa and Kraut!


 Sauer Kraut isn’t for everyone, but if the tingly sour delicacy does tickle your palate then you’ll find this quick and easy recipe to be a wonderful addition to your growing collection of “Dude Foods.” When you find yourself socked in during a cold rainy winter day Sauer Kraut and Kielbasa is an excellent choice to fix for lunch and if you’re like me you won’t eat it all in one sitting so pack your left-overs away into zip lock freezer bags and air tight containers and put away into the frig and enjoy it as again tomorrow!



1 lb. link of Kielbasa Sausage (Polish sausage will work too if you prefer)

1 lb. Bag of Sauer Kraut

1 Bay Leaf (broken into 4 pieces)

1 TSP Ground Peppercorns

1 Green Onion (chopped)

1 Cup White Wine (A good dry white is best but any white can work)


1 12oz. can of your favorite Beer

2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  First preheat an electric skillet or frying pan. Slice your Kielbasa sausage up into 1/2” segments. Then pour your 2 TBSPs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil into the skillet, then tilt the skillet several times to make sure the entire bottom is coated with the oil. When the oil is up to temperature add in the sliced Kielbasa. Spread them all around the skillet to get each one coated with oil. Let them brown on both sides so you’ll have to use a spatula to flip them over. During this browning take your Green Onion and chop it up if you haven’t done so already. Once the Kielbasa is browned add in your sauer kraut, including any water that is also in the bag. Add in your Bay Leaf, Ground Peppercorns and chopped Green Onion then stir the mixture to make sure the Kielbasa is mixed in well. 

  Now, take and pour yourself a glass of the wine… you might as well enjoy it since you’ve got it opened, or open a can of your favorite beer and drink it! Having done that add in your Cup of White Wine OR your 12oz Can of Beer, again stirring the entire mixture. 

  Let the whole thing simmer and stir it every few minutes until the water and wine or beer have mostly evaporated out. If you spot the bay leaves you can take them out now and discard them. Grab a spoon and plate and ladle yourself a heaping helping of this wonderful mess, pour yourself another glass of wine or open another beer and savor this most excellent treat! 

  For an added flavor put a dollop of mustard on the side of your plate and dip your Kielbasa into it as you eat.