Monday, April 20, 2020

Casseroles and White Sauce

How ya'll are?  I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, physically and mentally.   Just a suggestion, I wouldn't recommend running around with plastic bags over your head, that probably won't have a good outcome.  Not to mention the havoc it would wreak on your coiffure.

During this coronapocalypse, I was thinking about how the heroes on this current 'war' front are obviously healthcare and true essential workers (and I don't mean coffee baristas and micro brewery pricks).  But on the 'home' front, the heroes are going to be us housewives. 
We already work from home.  We know that there are countless ways to fill the day, and not just with thrilling endless cleaning tasks,  but fun stuff too.  We can inject spontaneity and amusement to liven things up when needed. Part of our master skills involve creative cooking and stretching the food budget.  This is one area I have been really enjoying.  I thought I would share some of what was been working for me and it is all about casseroles and white sauces. 

I have only been to the grocery store twice in the past 2 months.  Each time was evoked by Mr. Husband calling me up and telling me I must go to the store right now because either the state was about to be "shut down" or he was having the national urge to hoard TP.  So I didn't really have a comprehensive list put together at that moment.  But that doesn't really matter too much because the stores are out of everything anyway.  It's more of a hunt and peck endeavor.  What could you make from a can of corn, bisquick, olive loaf, and pickled banana peppers?  A casserole of course!
But to make it really something special...add a white sauce!

I have really been having a fun time inventing all sorts of casseroles and dishes from the random bits I bought at the store about 3 weeks ago.
Meat products where vastly depleted so I bought one of the few things they did have in abundance, a turkey!  I had never made a turkey before and had been intimidated by the process for decades.  I have made a few roasted chickens in the past so I just went with the same technique and it turned out perfect.  I figured turkey would be a splendid source for leftovers.  I was able to squeeze at least 7 meals out of that bird, along with boiling the bones and making broth, and saving the drippings to use as a gravy/sauce in the future.

My casserole process goes as follows:  50% carb/starch/grain, 30% vegetables, and 20% protein.
The base could be made from brown rice, whole wheat pasta, or potatoes.  The vegetables are what ever is in the freezer section, and the protein can be vegetable crumbles, eggs, or even deli meat. Then top it all off with a white sauce....or mix the sauce into the whole dish!
To pull off the true casserole look, toss some bread crumbs (or cracker crumbs) on the top and bake!

I have even been monkeying around with what a white sauce is.  I ran out of milk over a week ago so I have been composing my white sauce from turkey broth and a scoop of greek fat free plain yogurt.

For the next few following posts I am going to highlight three dishes I recently made that are either simple 'make do' or spin offs of vintage recipes.

As I have always said when I make dishes on here, the recipe is only a serving suggestion so use what you have and experiment!

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