Snoozefest Casserole – The Lamest Dinner in Chicago

3 Aug

I cooked something last week that wasn’t very exciting. I’ve been debating whether I should post about it – should I use this blog to only post my cooking successes? Or should I feature everything, cooking flops, warts and all? I figure I’m not a world-class chef on Food Network – I think 80% of my cooking ability is being able to follow a recipe. So everything I cook is not going to turn very well. So I figure as long as I post about it honestly, and do that well and in the right context, then the less-stellar dishes have a place here as well.  with that in mind, the dish in question was Pizza Casserole. Sounds great, right? It’s not. It sucked.

I’m actually a big fan of casseroles. If I’m making a casserole, I usually make it big. And heavy. And I usually eat myself into a food coma, rendered immobile in front of the TV, with food dripping down my chest. Maybe that’s an exaggeration (or maybe not).

This seemed like a great recipe on paper, but the execution was lackluster and boring. It was just . . . dumb. And not that I’m trying to push this dumb recipe on you, but I’ll tell you how what I did and you can let me know what you think.

Chicago Snoozefest Casserole - Pizza Casserole Ingredients

Pizza Casserole Ingredients

It called for a tomato-ey beef sauce which I made from ground beef, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. I chopped an onion, sweated that with some fresh garlic and italian seasoning. Added the ground beef and some mushrooms – I cooked it up and made the sauce. I also boiled a package of egg noodles and layered the noodles with the ground beef sauce and mozzarella cheese. By the way, the recipe called for 1/4 cup of cheese. Really? That probably should’ve been my first indication that this was going to turn out lame. I wasn’t having that, so I added a full pound of shredded mozzarella. So there.

Chicago Snoozefest Casserole - Pizza Casserole Tomato Beef Sauce

Tomato Beef Sauce

So I layered it all up and topped it off with puff pastry. I think that’s the big thing that really intrigued me about this casserole – I like cooking with puff pastry and thought it was a good excuse to use it. I even cut the puff pastry into strips and made a nice woven lattice topping. FUN!

Chicago Snoozefest Casserole - Pizza Casserole Layers

Pizza Casserole Layers

So I threw it in the oven, pulled it out at the right time, just as the puff pastry was perfectly brown and the cheese was all bubbly on the sides. And I remember thinking that I hoped it was gonna be more interesting and more like pizza than it seemed . . .but I quickly dismissed that thought, I guess hoping that Captain Puff Pastry would fly in and save the day. Then when I served it up, it just seemed bland. The noodles were ok, the pastry on top was ok . . . it was all just ok. It seemed like Italian Night at Shady Pines Nursing Home.

Chicago Snoozefest - Pizza Casserole

Pizza Casserole

Chicago Snoozefest Casserole - Pizza CasseroleI would say to try it if you want, but the idea of writing out the whole recipe kind of wears me out, because A) it didn’t seem very pizza-like and B) it was a piece of crap. (Didn’t stop me from eating 2 big plates full of it though . . . . sigh.) If anyone actually wants the recipe for this sorry excuse of a main dish, shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to send it your way.

Chicago Snoozefest Casserole - Pizza Casserole

Pizza Casserole - The Lamest Dinner in Chicago

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4 Responses to “Snoozefest Casserole – The Lamest Dinner in Chicago”

  1. Corey Trautvetter August 3, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    I should try it, because your cooking at its worst probably beats mine at its best! I miss those summertime dishes you used to make around here.

    • billpeeler August 3, 2011 at 9:59 am #

      I’ve had your cooking and it ain’t half-bad! I was thinking about our little Flag Day parties awhile back . . . (oh, it’s ‘FLAG’ Day!)

  2. sandy hollifield August 6, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Anything with a pound of cheese of any kind in it has to be good. I don’t think you are giving yourself enough credit for this dish. I will try it and make my own opinion. I will be sure to add a pound of cheese.

    • billpeeler August 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

      Thank you Sandy – let me know what you think when you give it a whirl!

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