Monday, September 6, 2010

Cowboy Casserole - looks like dog food - tastes delicious.

Cowboy Casserole - looks like dog food.

I'm so happy that summer is ready to get the heck out of here. Those of you that know me, know that summer is not my favorite season. In fact, it's my least favorite of the four.

If it could just be kind enough to arrive without the heat and humidity, I’d really enjoy it a whole helluva lot more. Humidity is not my friend.

Bad. Bad. Bad. It makes my hair frizz. Frizzy hair is not a good look for me.

Fall, now that is my season. My hair does not frizz in the fall. This makes me happy.

I enjoy cooking and baking so much more in the fall. My kitchen is a little cozier when the oven is heating it up instead of the sweltering heat from outside.

I can barely wait for all the soups, stews and casseroles that are just around the corner.

Cowboy Casserole

I saw this recipe is an issue of Taste of Home and I literally couldn’t wait to make it. Luckily the weather wasn’t as hot as it has been over the past few weeks.

Now as you can see from the title…this is nothing to look at. It’s not a pretty looking casserole, but what casserole is really?

I changed it up quite a bit. This is the kind of dish that you can really make your own. It is what my husband would call a “stick to your ribs” kind of meal.

It’s comfort food on a fork. I've made it two times in 3 weeks. Think shepherd's pieish, with a wicked twist. A delicious mix of hamburger, cheese and corn sandwiched in between a layer of crunchy tots. It's the kind of dish Napoleon Dynamite would give 2 thumbs up too.

My casserole dish missed me. "sniff"

Cowboy Casserole 1

Cowboy Casserole
adapted from a recipe at Taste of Home
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 80/20)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (15.25oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 bag (30 oz) frozen tater tots (I used Ore-Ida Crispy Crowns)

Before I got ready to make this casserole, I let the Crispy Crowns sit on the counter to defrost for an hour or so. The original recipe used still frozen tater tots, but I felt they wouldn't cook as well if they were still frozen solid.

In a large skillet cook the onion until tender and translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beef and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain the mixture and place into a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the soup, milk and sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add to hamburger mixture and stir to combine. Add corn and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Gently mix to combine.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer half of the Crispy Crowns on the bottom, pour the hamburger mixture over the top and then layer with the other half of the Crispy Crowns. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.

*Note - The second time I made this I prepared it the night before and stuck it in the fridge overnight. I took it out about an hour before I wanted to bake it, just so it could come to room temperature a bit. I think it was even better than the first one!
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