Over A Cup: A hearty meal for the cold winter months

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Diane Prather

‘Whole Meal Ground Beef Casserole’

To make “Whole Meal Ground Beef Casserole,” you’ll need:

• 1 pound ground beef

• ½ medium onion, chopped

• ½ cup chopped celery

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

• 1 can (10 ¾-ounce) cream of asparagus soup

• ½ cup milk

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 1 package (1 pound) frozen potato puffs (Note: You will not use all of them.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Crumble the beef in a skillet and cook with the onion and celery until the meat loses its red color. Stir occasionally. Drain off the grease. Add the frozen peas that have been separated into small pieces. Mix together the soup and milk until smooth. Add to the meat mixture with the salt and pepper. Mix well and then transfer into a 1 ½-quart casserole dish.

Arrange the frozen potato puffs close together on the meat mixture so that the entire casserole is covered. Bake, uncovered, in the 375-degree oven for about an hour. Serves four to six.

Recently, over a morning cup of coffee, I checked out my files and cookbooks, searching for main meal recipes to cook for supper.

It seems like I always have a struggle deciding what to cook after having all of the luscious food during the holidays.

So, I found a recipe for “Whole Meal Ground Beef Casserole” that I’ve made one time before. I cut the recipe from some newspaper a bunch of years ago.

The recipe gets its name because the casserole dish has meat, a green vegetable, and potatoes, everything to make a whole meal. It’s a variation on other potato puff casseroles.

To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients: 1 pound ground beef, 1/2 medium chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas (unthawed), 1 can (10 3/4 -ounce) cream of asparagus soup, 1/2 cup milk, salt and pepper (to taste), and 1 package frozen potato puffs, unthawed.

(Note: The potato puffs are available under different brand names. Most are shaped like nuggets, though some are coin-shaped. The recipe calls for a pound package, but you will not use all of them.)

Crumble the beef into a skillet. Add onion and celery. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat loses its red color. Drain off the grease. Add frozen peas which have been separated into small pieces.

Mix together the asparagus soup and milk until smooth. Add soup, salt and pepper to the meat mixture. Mix well.

Transfer the mixture to a 1 1/2- quart casserole (smaller than a 9-by-13-inch casserole).

Arrange the frozen potato puffs close together on top of the meat mixture so that they cover the entire casserole.

Bake, uncovered, in a 375-degree, preheated oven for about 1 hour.

This makes about four to six servings. Serve with a lettuce salad and/or rolls, if desired.

My husband and I have been enjoying sandwiches made from roast beef and cheese. I use French rolls (or other kinds of rolls) for the bread.

After simmering thinly-sliced roast beef in broth (in a 250-degree oven), I pile the roast beef on the rolls. My husband likes Jalapeno peppers, so I put sliced, canned peppers on top of the meat, followed by slices of American cheese.

The rolls are wrapped in foil and then placed in the oven until the cheese melts (about 300 degrees). We enjoy roast beef fixed this way.

I’m looking for recipes for clam chowder. If you have a favorite recipe for clam chowder that you’d like to share, call me at 824-8809 or write to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626.

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