Grandma’s chicken casserole
3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ half cup mayonnaise
2 cups grated cheddar (if I have said it before, let me repeat: grate your own cheese; the pre-grated in the stores has filler in it, like ground up wood or something to keep it from clumping; I have this on the word of the cheese monger at Central Market).
3 cups finely crushed Ritz crackers
Layer in a greased baking dish and bake 20-30 minutes at 350o
A couple of lessons learned: the recipe called for two cans soup, but I misread (who, me?) and only had one. It was fine the night I served it, but the leftovers were a bit dry. So I suggest the compromise of a half cup of mayonnaise. You can try the two cans of soup, but your casserole may get soggy.
I baked this in my toaster oven in a high-sided round casserole dish, which was a mistake. Somehow that dish focused too much heat on the surface of the casserole, and some of the topping burned. I advise a low, rectangular baking dish—the largest one that will it in your toaster oven, if that is what you, like me, are restricted to using. And maybe lower the temperature to 325 and bake a bit longer.
Which reminds me: one of the best gifts anyone ever gave me is a jelly-roll style pan—like a cookie sheet but with a lip—that fits exactly in my toaster oven. I use it all the time.
Quick and easy appetizer spread
4 oz. crumbled feta
2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
In small food processor, blend feta and yogurt until smooth and creamy. (You can experiment with the amount of yogurt—start small and increase if you need to). Chill. When ready to serve, drizzle lightly with honey.
Herb sauce for everything and anything
Sometimes I buy a fresh green herb—often parsley or cilantro—for a specific recipe that calls for, say, 2 Tbsp. finely chopped. Then the rest of the herb (and they’re not cheap) sits in the vegetable crisper until it gets old and I throw it out. Here’s a better idea:
1/2 cup mixed herbs
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt (I always use Kosher)
1 large garlic clove, grated with microplane
1 small shallot, finely chopped
Use on fish, steaks, vegetables, whatever strikes your fancy. May be doubled easily. Will keep a week in the fridge.
Happy cooking and stay cool!