Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Joey's Corned Beef and Cabbage Casserole

 One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is a casserole. It's always warm and comforting, and it always hits the spot. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you can pretty much throw anything into a casserole and it'll be fabulous! Usually, I like to include something creamy, something cheesy, and some sort of starch, protein, and vegetable. In this case, I decided to make a St Patrick's Day inspired casserole! Lots of corned beef and cabbage in a creamy cheesy sauce, tossed with wide noodles and baked until bubbly and golden on top. Doesn't that sound awesome? It's heaven in a dish! Plus, it's a great way to use up your leftover corned beef and cabbage, giving you a great round two dish that feeds a crowd. And it's a total do-ahead, so you can assemble it ahead of time and then bake it when you're ready to serve. When I told my Jeanie and Daniel what I was making, Daniel said "Theres's no way that's bad" and Jeanie had made a similar casserole too, only she used rye bread crumbs. Great minds, huh? I'm fairly certain my Mom was talking to us. I think she'd have liked this one. You will too!

1 lb egg noodles
1 onion, chopped
1/2 of a green cabbage, chopped
8 oz corned beef (or ham), diced
8 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of milk (roughly 1 1/2 cups)
 pinch or two caraway seeds, optional (fennel seeds would also work!)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbs melted butter

Heat oven to 350F.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the noodles until al dente. Drain well.
While the noodles are cooking, saute the cabbage  and onions in a large skillet until tender. In a large bowl, stir together the corned beef, shredded cheese, soup, milk, and salt and pepper. Add cooked onions and cabbage along with the drained noodles to the bowl. Add caraway seeds, if using. Gently toss everything until well combined. Place in a 9x13 baking dish. In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of your casserole. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until slightly browned on top. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

When you boil your noodles, make sure to cook them only until al dente. They will continue to cook in the casserole so you're really only partially cooking them at this step. Oh, and be sure the water is well salted!
If you're using leftover boiled cabbage, don't saute it for as long. Just chop it up and add it to the pan with the sauteed onions. You really don't have to saute it at all, but doing this will help evaporate some of the water in the cabbage.
 For a little extra something, add crisped bacon!

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