Around the house, this is simply known as "Casserole," because at the time I threw it together and had no idea what else to call it. Also, I'd never made an actual casserole, and this was just the kind of night that had "seeking comfort" stamped all over it. That was years ago, and this is, believe it or not, one of the few dishes that I make that my mister actually requests from time to time-though he keeps trying to connive me into putting sausage in it instead...well, that's another thing.
This is a great one dish meal, and I tell myself that really, it's not totally un-healthy, but really, you've got to go for it from time to time. It's really a very simple thing to throw together, and works fine made a day in advance too. My only regret was not taking a picture of the cooked end product, I'll just let you use your imagination...think ooey-gooey-cheesey-molten deliciousness. Or better yet, try this recipe yourself, it has a little kick in it.
|Uncooked, before the blanket of cheese...|
Here's what you need:
1 box of your favorite macaroni and cheese
1/2-3/4 # ground beef (80/20 OK)
1 larger sized can of crushed tomatoes
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 med/lrg onion, coarsely chopped
2 T oil (canola fine)
1/4 cup milk (for the mac n cheese, as directed)
2 T margarine (for the mac n cheese, as directed)
1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Here's what to do:
Boil and prepare the macaroni and cheese as directed by the box
(includes ingredients for Kraft's version listed above as 2 T margarine and 1/4 C milk)
Using a large mixing bowl to stir in the seasoning, milk, margarine
In a skillet, heat 1 Tbs oil, saute the chopped onion, just until tender, then add it to the bowl
Heat other Tbs oil, saute the chopped green pepper, also until tender, and add it to the bowl
Brown the meat in the skillet, until fully cooked, add to the bowl
Add the can of crushed tomatoes and the 1/4 C of Louisiana hot sauce to the bowl and stir it all together.
Grease with margarine the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 glass baking dish
Spread the mixture into the dish
Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese
Cover with aluminum foil
|Uncooked, before covering with foil|
At this point, you can either refrigerate this until you are ready, or go ahead and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Be sure to let it cool so that you don't burn your mouth on that delectable melted cheese!
It is also very good the next day, even cold...hence the lack of finished product pictures. Oops. This will surely feed 3 hungry men for dinner!