Diane Prather

Diane Prather

Diane Prather: Make potato puff ground beef casserole

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Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

Potato puff ground beef casserole

• 1 pound ground beef

• 1/2 medium onion, chopped

• 1/2 cup celery, chopped

• 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, unthawed

• 1 can cream of asparagus soup

• 1/2 cup milk

• Salt and pepper, to taste

• 1 (16-ounce) package frozen potato puffs, unthawed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium-sized skillet, over moderate heat, cook crumbled ground beef until it loses its red color. Add the onion and celery the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain grease. Add the frozen peas. Mix the milk and soup together until smooth. Add to the meat mixture. Add salt and pepper. Put it in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Arrange frozen potato puffs on top so that they are close together and cover the entire casserole. Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

This morning, over a cup of coffee, I checked out my files looking for some main meal recipes. I always seem to get into a rut when it comes to planning meals this time of year. I don't know why, but for some reason I can't seem to think of anything to cook.

That's how I came across a recipe written on a half-sheet of wrinkled white paper. I had forgotten all about it. The recipe is one of those for using frozen potato puffs, but it has different ingredients from the usual.

"Potato Puff Ground Beef Casserole" ingredients are: 1 pound ground beef, 1/2 medium onion (chopped), 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1 package (10-ounce) frozen peas (unthawed), 1 can cream of asparagus soup, 1/2 cup milk, salt and pepper (to taste) and 1 package (16 ounces) frozen potato puffs (unthawed).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a medium-sized skillet over moderate heat. Crumble beef into the skillet and cook until it loses its red color. Add onion and celery during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Drain grease.

Add the frozen peas. Mix the soup and milk together until smooth. Add the soup mixture and salt and pepper to the meat. Mix well. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart casserole. I used a 9 x 13-inch casserole.

Arrange the frozen potato puffs close together on top. Cover the entire casserole. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Usually the potato puff casseroles have some cheese sprinkled just under the potato puffs. I didn't use any for this casserole, but you could try it, if desired. The asparagus soup and peas are a tasty combination.

I also found a recipe for a meatloaf that comes from "Watch Your Curves: Colorado Beef Recipes," put out by the Colorado Cowbelles in 1973.

The ingredients for "Mushroom Meat Loaf" are: 2 pounds ground beef, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup milk, 1 can mushroom soup, 3/4 cup oatmeal, 1 egg, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Combine all of the ingredients except the soup. Form into a loaf. Bake for 2 hours in an oven preheated to 300 degrees. The last half hour, pour the mushroom soup over the top. Brown.

Don't forget to send your recipes to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626 or call me at 824-8809.

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