Thursday, January 14, 2016

mrs. hayes

i only sort of wish i had a picture of this casserole for you to look at. i like to show you the things i tell you about, but it's not a very interesting casserole to look at.

my mom got this recipe in the mid sixties from mrs. hayes, who lived across the street and therefore to us the proper name of this casserole is mrs. hayes' casserole. it is a classic old dump stuff in a pan with cream of mushroom soup casserole and i love it.

of course, i my house i do not usually have leftover turkey or chicken because i really don't enjoy working with raw poultry and never have any.

but my mom makes a turkey for christmas and by some deep and lovely miracle i get custody of nearly ALL the leftovers.

so i make this. sometimes i make two or three pans of it, and freeze it, because it freezes just fine.

here's how you do it:

preheat your oven to 350.

take about two cups of cooked rice, and put it in the bottom of your dish. my casserole dish is 9 x 13, so that works well for me.

then you take a whole bunch of cooked turkey (or chicken. it's good with chicken.) and either cut it into small pieces or rip it into small pieces and put a whole layer of that over the rice, however much covers your rice and maybe a little more besides depending on how much turkey you have and how densely meated you like your casserole.

in a separate bowl you should mix a can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of sour cream (the two cup size), and it would pay you not to go with cheap ingredients here. you might think one can of cream of mushroom soup is pretty much like another can of cream of mushroom soup, but you would be wrong. check the labels. i use campbell's soup and cabot sour cream. there are probably other sour creams out there that are perfectly fine, but cabot is from where i live and i like to buy local.

spread the soup / sour cream mix over the turkey layer, and then top it with a layer of grated cheese. what kind of cheese you use is up to you, but i like cabot cheddar.

put some breadcrumbs on top of that and toss it in the oven for about 40 minutes, which is about when everything gets all bubbly and the top turns golden brown. you can dot the top of it with butter if you like; i don't.

when it's done, let it sit for a little while to let it settle. casseroles taste better if they get to rest a little and also you won't burn your mouth as much.

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