Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cookbook Challenge Goes Catholic: Leftovers During Lent

We had a considerable amount of leftover ingredients from our ravioli experiment on Sunday and were searching for a recipe to clean out the fridge. I found a recipe from a cookbook Keith has owned for quite awhile: the St. Martins Catholic Church cookbook from 1992. I'm not Catholic myself but I suppose its still kosher, er, ok to cook up a Catholic recipe.

The cookbook compiled recipes from members of the Jefferson City church and includes entries that date back to 1968. It's a kick to read many of the recipes that were clearly a sign of the times...casseroles play a starring role, butter is typically listed as "oleo", and cream of mushroom is a primary ingredient (which ain't just a Catholic thing, it was a big ingredient at my house when I was growing up as well). I found a recipe that best utilized a lot of our leftovers: Casserole of Ham, Macaroni and Broccoli by Ann LeCure.

One would think that all of this cooking and writing about food would cause me to mature in the kitchen a bit but last night proved that I'm still not immune to cooking meltdowns. Preparing this meal was certainly much easier than our ravioli from scratch on Sunday, but a long day at work precipitated some distracted agitation and that reminds me that I still need to practice some relaxation when cooking. The meal still turned out delicious. We used mostiaccoli we had on hand as opposed to macaroni and used a Mexican blend of cheese for the sauce. Otherwise, I'll include the recipe as printed.

No, I have not converted to Catholicism nor was I moved to go to confessional following the creation of this casserole. Confession would mean I would have to compile the list of sins, then add footnotes, a glossary of references and then tease the next installment and well, there's only so much time in the day. Keith's family IS Catholic, however, so it was cool to recreate a recipe from their family church cookbook without having to worry about giving up anything during Lent. This recipe is Cookbook Challenge #36.

Also, I'd be remiss not to mention the result of Keith's latest creative spark. He designed and made a beautiful stained glass piece for one of our kitchen cabinet doors. The K-Man outdid looks awesome!

Casserole of Ham, Macaroni and Broccoli

3 tbsp oleo
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tbsp grated onion
3 cups of milk(we used skim)
2/3 cup grated cheese
8 oz. elbow macaroni
6 oz cooked ham (we used our leftover meat filling from ravioli-salami, ham, ground beef)
1 pkg frozen broccoli, cooked
grated Parmesan cheese

Melt oleo in large saucepan; blend in flour, salt, pepper, dry mustard and onion. Gradually add milk and cook until thick. Remove from heat and add cheese. Cook macaroni; drain. Add ham, broccoli, macaroni to cheese sauce.
Place in 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; bake at 375 for 20 minutes.


Kristy said...

Please, please, please do NOT go to confession lest I be guilty by association as referenced in your footnotes. The cabinet door that Keith made is one of the most beautiful pieces of art I think I have ever seen in my life. It's simply phenomenal but of course it was made by Super K!

Lyd said...

I am soooooo going to try making this dish! I agree with Ethel, stunning craftsmanship! Go Keith!

Confounded Cook said...

Oh, my dear the memoir of my sins, you would hardly be relegated to the footnotes. You ARE guilty and not just by association, evil woman.

Kristy said...

Well I guess the cat's out of the proverbial bag now. Thanks a LOT and likewise I'm sure (i.e Ronnie's blind grandmother, the Willow Island Locks and Dam, The Silver Spur, Charleston, Morgantown....need I go on?) P.S. You get a few redemption points for performing the Heimlich Maneuver on Lena when I let her choke on a cashew.

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