Saturday 22 July 2017

RECIPE: Cheeseburger Casserole

Easy batch cooking recipe from a Hertfordshire food blog cheeseburger casserole vegetarian friendly based on Skinnytaste

Oh, hello! Life continues to be busy, but actually I've been doing the total opposite of busy lately. I've just come back from a week's holiday in Spain where I did precisely nothing, and it was brilliant. We ate cheese, lay down a lot and read tons of books and drank sangria every day, and it made me realise how important taking time to just stop is. It's super important. Make sure you do it.

We then finished up our holiday with a few days at Latitude Festival, which was ace. I'm going to try and get a post up about it soon. But anyway. Let's jump right in with a recipe, shall we?

Easy batch cooking recipe from a Hertfordshire food blog cheeseburger casserole vegetarian friendly based on Skinnytaste

This is a weird-ass recipe, but it works. That's the only way I can really describe it. I know, a cheeseburger casserole sounds... questionable. And honestly, when I first saw it, I had visions of McDonalds cheeseburgers layered in a casserole dish and baked... ugh. It's not that. It's basically all the flavours of a cheeseburger in a pasta bake, and it pulls it off. Nope, you won't eat this bowl of pasta and be convinced you're eating a cheeseburger – it's not quite that magical. And honestly, if you want a cheeseburger, you should definitely have a cheeseburger. But if you want some meaty, tomatoey, mustardy, cheesy goodness... have this. Unless you don't like any of those four things, in which case this totally won't be your thing. But I'm a fan, so hopefully you will be too. I think it would work with Quorn mince too, but I haven't tried it - if you do, please report back!

I first posted it on Where Are My Knees a couple of years ago, and adapted it from SkinnyTaste who adapted it from Bobby Deen... so it's done the rounds! In my opinion, it's best if you're super liberal with the mustard as it mellows a little in the bake, and served with extra gherkins on the side. Oh, and obviously, you need to be liberal with the cheese – that's just a rule for life.

NB: I've allowed 50g of pasta per portion, but feel free to go higher, as always.

Cheeseburger Casserole(originally from here)
500g extra lean mince
300g pasta

200g mature cheddar cheese
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, chopped or crushed
1 carton/can chopped tomatoes
1 jar pickled gherkins
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika

Serves 6

1. Preheat the oven to 150c.
2. Cook the pasta according to package instructions and drain.
3. In a large frying pan or wok, cook the onions in a little oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the garlic and the mince, and cook until browned.
5. Add the pepper, and any other vegetables you fancy.
6. Stir in the tomato puree, then add the salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, chopped tomatoes and the mustard. Let the mixture bubble slightly until it's slightly thickened – a few minutes. Stir frequently to make sure it doesn't stick.
7. Give it a taste and add any extra seasoning you think it needs (I often add extra mustard at this point), but if you're happy, chuck the pasta in with the sauce and stir it together. I also like to chop up half the gherkins at this point and stir them in at this point, too, cos I love 'em.
8. Spread the meat and pasta mixture into the prepared dish, and top with your grated cheese.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and brown.
10. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pickles over the top and a little oregano and black pepper, if you like, and serve with a big leafy salad.

I sometimes hold back on the cheese and pop it in the freezer, then heat it up in the oven with fresh cheese. I also usually hold back on topping it with the pickles until it's heated up and ready to eat. sauce, too).

Easy batch cooking recipe from a Hertfordshire food blog cheeseburger casserole vegetarian friendly based on Skinnytaste

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