Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekly Menu 10/8: Low Brow Chow

You know what I mean by low brow chow, right? We're talking food with a hint (or a hammer to the head) of W.T. that tastes soooo good. With temps dropping and comfort food working its way back into menu planning, I wanted to share some of my personal favorites.

The common thread among dishes like this is that they are warming and yummy, and often nostalgic. The Bacon-Macaroni Casserole recipe was given to me on a recipe card by my grandmother at my wedding shower, one of many favorite dishes documented by friends and family to create a collection for me in my new home. That dish was my #1 favorite meal as a kid, and I love to recreate it as an adult. The Chicken and Biscuits might be the first dish I made that won over my husband years ago, plus it's been my go-to when taking a meal to a friend who's just had a baby.

What low brow dish are you proud to dish out?

Asian Beef and Noodles, Chicken and Biscuits, Bacon-Macaroni Casserole and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Bacon Macaroni Casserole

Macaroni and cheese casserole with bacon


I can't imagine what you'd do to lighten this dish, so please, don't even try. Just love it an all its bacon-y, cheesy glory. I always double this recipe.

Sides: This can be a one-dish meal, but something cool like a green salad on the side would work well.




  •  Buy pre-chopped onion found in produce section
Make Ahead Notes
  • Cook pasta ahead of time, rinse well in cold water and set aside, covered, to use later
  • Chop onion
  • Cook bacon and onions
  • Assemble casserole ahead, refrigerate and bake when ready
  • 8 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can of condensed tomato soup
  • 1 cup milk
  •  Preheat oven to 375.
  • Cook macaroni according to package directions. (Note: It's actually better to slightly under cook pasta that will be baked. If the package calls for noodles to be boiled for 9 minutes, cook them for 6-7 minutes instead.)
  • Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to drain on paper towels. Reserve two tablespoons of bacon drippings in pan. Cook onion in reserved bacon drippings until tender. 
  • Combine macaroni, bacon, onion, cheese, tomato soup and milk.
  • Turn into a two quart casserole and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Cover lightly after 30 minutes if bacon is becoming too browned.
 I have no idea where this recipe came from originally!

Easy Asian Beef and Noodles

Ramen noodles with ribeye steak and sliced green onions

As I plan my weekly menus and shopping list, I'll ask for any special requests from my kids, and my oldest inevitably asks for this. It comes together SUPER fast, especially if you do a small bit of prep ahead of time. I recommend doubling the recipe.

Sides: This is a one-bowl meal, so you don't really need sides. If I do serve a side, it's usually fresh sliced oranges, Asian pears or other fruit.

Make Ahead Notes
  • Trim and slice rib-eye and set aside in fridge for later
  • Cut green onions and set aside for later
  • 1 (8-ounce) rib-eye steak 
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions  
  • 2 cups prepackaged coleslaw (the kind without dressing)
  • 2 (2.8-ounce) packages beef-flavor ramen noodle soup
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • Trim fat from steak; cut diagonally across grain into thin slices. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and onions; stir-fry 1 minute. Remove steak mixture from pan; keep warm. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil until hot. Add slaw; stir-fry 30 seconds. Remove slaw from pan and add to the cooked beef; keep warm.
  • Remove noodles from packages; reserve 1 seasoning packet for another use. Add the water and remaining seasoning packet to pan; bring to a boil. Break noodles in half; add noodles to water mixture. Cook noodles 2 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Stir in steak mixture, slaw, and soy sauce; cook briefly until thoroughly heated. Service with fresh green onions as a garnish.
 Recipe from MyRecipes

Chicken and Biscuits

Chicken pot pie topped with buttermilk biscuits as the crust

One of my kids doesn't like this dish (too many items combined, I guess), so I use rotisserie chicken in the recipe and just set some chicken aside along with plain biscuits when I make this. No need to make two dinners.

Sides: Spinach salad

  • Buy pre-chopped onion found in produce section
  • Use rotisserie chicken (I swear by this shortcut for chicken and biscuits)
Make Ahead Notes
  • Combine flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside
  • Chop onion and refrigerate for later
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 (10 1/2-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (8 1/2-ounce) can green peas, drained
  • 1 (8 1/4-ounce) can sliced carrots, drained
  • 1 (4 1/2-ounce) can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • Preheat oven to 375 
  • Melt margarine in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Gradually add milk and broth, stirring with a whisk until blended. Try to break up any lumps. Cook 4 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Add chicken, onion, peas, and carrots; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  • Carefully slice biscuits in half horizontally; place over chicken mixture. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
 Recipe originally from Cooking Light

Extra Credit: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

This makes a huge batch, but the muffins freeze well, so stash half in the freezer and pull them out to thaw the night before you need them for breakfast or lunchboxes.

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 cups canola oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
  • Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Yield: about 2 dozen muffins.

Recipe from Taste of Home

No comments:

Post a Comment