I am going out of town to take a chicken class near Washington, D.C. It may seem sheer folly that I would travel hundreds of miles to take a chicken class, but I feel this is going to pay off. My friend, Mary Ann, one of the Chicks in Charge, is hosting me and we have decided that we might mean business this year. We always intend to mean business on the competition BBQ circuit, but it usually doesn’t work out. Maybe there’s too much alcohol involved. I’ll have to ponder that.
At any rate, whenever I head out of town I cannot leave Mark without a refrigerator full of food. I feel it is my duty as a wife to keep him fully fed even when I’m not here, despite the fact that he is a grown man and he can find his way to the Sonic without any difficulty at all. This is a syndrome all Southern women who cook struggle with. Sending Noah back to college with a fully loaded cooler. Filling the refrigerator before I leave on a trip. We just can’t leave well enough alone.
So today, I made Mark a surplus of sausage biscuits and a casserole to tide him over until I get back. Casseroles are the best fridge food, the gift that just keeps on giving. He will tell me, when I get back, that the casserole was absolutely delicious and that there’s not a scrap left (even if he dumped half of it down the disposal on Day Three because he was sick of it). He’s a good husband.
Casseroles, by their very nature in the South, are not healthy. This one involves both cream cheese and sour cream. Oh, and shredded Cheddar cheese. If you leave those three ingredients out, it would be considered healthy. But why would you?
1 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper
Half a can of tomato paste
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
2 cloves garlic minced
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
12 ounces egg noodles
3 ounces cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly
Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste, tomatoes , garlic and smoked paprika. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Prepare egg noodles according to package directions. Drain and add cream cheese, melting it into the hot noodles. Add sour cream and green onions.
Layer a 9-by-9 pan with half the meat mixture. Top with noodle mixture and end with the remaining meat mixture. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.