Comfort Casserole II

It is a southern tradition that when someone dies, has a baby, an illness in the family, or moves in to a new home, you bring food. I am sure that this is a tradition in all parts of the country, but since I have been raised to believe that all things good and pure come from below the Mason Dixon, I am going to claim this for my home territory. 

One can't have a life-altering event without plate after plate of fried chicken, homemade chili or a lasagna or two showing up on the door step attached to a friendly face that may want to gossip or offer comfort or peak to see if your baby is ugly. 

There was a brief time during my teen years when we attended a church that had what I called "a casserole committee." This group of gray haired ladies was ready at a moments notice to start the blessed phone tree and swoop in with a plate of food to whatever family disaster was stirring up at a church members home. Let's face it, all difficult transitions in life can be eased when sprinkled with cheese.  But I have rambled on too long.

Here we have what I like to call the Comfort Casserole II. Not to be confused with the Comfort Casserole I. (Although they both contain things one should never consume on a regular basis.)

What you'll need:

2 Red potatoes

2 Yukon Gold potatoes

1 pound ground pork (ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken or just good ol plain sausage can be used)

1/2 large onion

5 cloves garlic

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup shredded cheese, any variety 

Kosher salt and pepper

a smidgen of olive oil

Worcestershire sauce

Preheat your oven to 350 and have a greased pan at the ready!

Heat some olive oil in skillet over a low heat.

Peel your 5 cloves of garlic and mash them with a knife to release the flavors. 

Then chop like so. 

Put the garlic in the skillet and let heat up for about 1 minute before add your meat. Add a little Worcestershire sauce. 

While that is cooking go ahead and slice your potatoes and onion into little circles. 

In a bowl combine one cup sour cream and one cup Greek yogurt, add a little Kosher salt and pepper. Stir, stir, stir. 

Once your meat has finished browning you will layer your potatoes, onion, meat and yogurt sauce in your greased pan much like you would a lasagna. 

Sprinkle with cheese and place in your oven at 350 for 45 minutes. 

The leftovers challenge part 5: North Carolina Style BBQ Sandwich on a Homemade Roll



To visit the entire Pork Challenge Series and grab the button for your own blog, click here.

The Leftovers Challenge
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We are crossing this pork challenge finish line and I have to say, I am happy to see it go. I am not sure I want to look at pork for a little while, if that's okay. But, I hope I've shown you all the money-saving options you have.

The final dish I have is a BBQ sandwich on a homemade roll. Sorry, I don't have a picture of the actual sandwich, my husband ate it before I could snap it. I guess it was that good.

You keeping saying North Carolina BBQ, what does that mean? Well, good question. The Carolina BBQ Sauce is a vinegar based, not tomato. I chose this because most recipes for BBQ sauce begin with catsup (ketchup) or other BBQ sauce, and to me, that's not really making anything.

Let's get started with our BBQ sauce.

What you'll need:

1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 cup molasses

1 cup honey

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

2 tsp red pepper flakes

Pinch salt (I prefer kosher, but regular table salt is fine, too)

In a pan bring vinegar to low boil, add molasses and honey, bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil for 1 minute. Please, be very careful the pot can boil over. Reduce and let simmer, add seasonings and spice. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool for a few minutes and then place in fridge to thicken.

* Note that I use mostly store brands. I LOVE store brands.

Roll recipe:

This roll is rich, buttery and flakey. It is great, trust me. You will want to make extras and stick in the freezer.

What you'll need:

1 cup hot water

2 tablespoons butter

1 large egg

3 all purpose flour or 1/2 and 1/2 white and whole wheat

2 tbsp honey

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1 cup of flour for kneading

Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a pan. Go ahead and stick your pork in the oven because you will need to heat it up for about 15 minutes for you sandwich. Four sandwiches will use about 2 cup - 3 cups pulled pork.

In a bowl combine your water and yeast. Stir and let sit for one minute to activate yeast.

Then add honey and whisk together, add your egg.

In a separate bowl mix together your flour and salt. Pour liquid mix over flour and stir, stir, stir. At this point your dough should be pretty well combined.

Sprinkle a cup of flour onto a clean, flat surface and knead your dough for 10 minutes. This is a good way to release some pent up aggression.

After your are finished punching, I mean kneading. Place the dough back in the bowl and punch down some more.

Cover with damp, dark colored rag, and let sit for 20 minutes so that the dough can bulk back up.

Once that is complete pinch off a roll of dough and form a bun and place on greased cookie sheet.

You can spray the rolls with Pam and sprinkle with dried onion, poppy seeds, garlic, anything really. Bake for 15 minutes.

You will cut each roll in half with a  knife. Place the pork on each bun and cover in sauce.


Prosciutto and Kale with Orzo

Kale! Kale! Kale! It's not just for making chips and soup no one wants to eat. I was sure of that. I had half a bag of kale left over last week and since I am now living a waste not want not lifestyle I really didn't want it to go to waste.

So I thought and I walked around my kitchen and I pulled everything out of my cabinets and then it came to me! One of my favorite things to make is a pizza with caramelized onions and prosciutto. The salty and the sweet are incredible together.

What if I took my favorite elements of the pizza and made pasta I could throw in some baby bella mushrooms and the kale and the meaty baby bella and the bitter kale would balance each other. Right? Yes!

What you'll need:

Prosciutto a 3 0z package (I got mine on sale at Publix for $3.99)

1 medium size sweet onion

2 Roma tomatoes

4 cups Kale (it cooks down)

1 carton baby bella mushrooms (regular white button mushrooms or canned mushrooms could work too)

Garlic (duh) 3 cloves or one tbsp minced.


Get your Orzo going according to the instructions.

Heat up your oven for 350 and placed your Prosciutto in a greased cookie sheet. You will cook the Prosciutto in the oven for 8 minutes until it renders. (Becomes crispy.)

Break it into pieces and place in a serving bowl.

Heat up your skillet over a medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add your chopped onion. It will take 30 minutes to properly caramelize. (But that's not quick? I know. I didn't say this would be fast.)

Add your minced garlic once the carmelzation process seems good and almost done.

Chop up your tomatoes and place it in a bowl with the Prosciutto.

Add your kale and mushrooms to the skillet with the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. You don't want the leaves mushy.

Once your orzo is finished put it in the bowl with the Prosciutto and tomatoes.

Add the onion, Kale, mushroom mixture to the orzo and mix everything together. This is a really good mix of flavors. Believe me.

Print this recipe

One pot pork roast

Last week my grocer had pork roasts on sale for $1.99 a pound. As a rule I never pay more than $2.99 a pound for meat. The roasts were HUGE so I cut them in half, and had two -2 pound roasts.

We recently moved, and in a horrible twist of fate, my crock pot has gone missing. *clutches heart, sobs uncontrollably.

Let's all have a moment of silence for Clarese the Crock Pot.

Okay *sniffle* we can get back to topic. I pulled out the cast iron Dutch oven my husband gave me for Christmas (Yes, I am at the age where I get sexy gifts like Dutch ovens) and down to the business of making a sweet red pepper pork roast. A beef roast can be substituted if your family doesn't eat pork. This is an eight person roast, easy and costs around $10 to make. This is a great dish for company.

What you'll need:

1- 2 pound pork roast (or beef they both work the same for this recipe) ($4)

1 good sized onion($.99)

4 small sweet red bell peppers ($1.99)

1- 16 oz jar of salsa ($1.65)

A little smidgen of olive oil ($.09)

4 cups rice - not instant (to be served over) ($1.00)

Preheat your oven to 350 and oil the bottom of your pan. If you don't have a Dutch oven, a deep casserole dish will work.

Chop your onion and pepper into strips and line the bottom of the pan.

Place the roast over the onions and peppers and cover with salsa. Cover the dish and slide it into the oven. You will cook it on 350 for about 3 hours.

Cook the rice according to the package directions. (What? You need me to tell you how to cook rice?)

This is seriously delicious and ridiculously easy to make.