One of my co-workers told me she’s giving up cheese for a couple months with the new year.
I’m pretty sure that going without would be difficult for me. I’m the one who gives the waiter at the Italian restaurant a cramp in his hand as he cranks the Parmesan shredder over my pasta or salad, waiting for me to tell him to stop.
So, while I was thinking about not eating cheese, I was looking around for a couple of recipes ... with cheese.
With this week the in-between one, families are often home together and somebody has to come up with food to feed the growing teenagers back from college. I always think life is a bit more casual during this time between Christmas and the new year, so a hot-sandwich meal sounds good to me. Tablespoon.com offered up Turkey Caprese Biscuit Bake. The recipe uses refrigerator biscuits as its base, and while it says it serves 8, you may want to make two panfuls. Bet it disappears fast.
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The second recipe was meant for me, I swear. This is my idea of comfort food: Chicken Noodle Casserole. Basically, it’s egg noodles, cheese and chicken in a baked dish.
Enjoy this quieter week before 2017 makes its grand entrance.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, 618-239-2664 and follow me on Twitter @BoyleSuzanne. Write to 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427.
Turkey Caprese Biscuit Bake
1 can (16.3 ounces) refrigerated biscuits
1/2 pound (about 8 slices) thinly sliced deli turkey, diced*
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
1/4 cup red pasta or pesto sauce, optional
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 13-by-9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Place in dish, touching. Using sharp knife, cut two X-shape slits about 1/2 inch deep in top of each biscuit. Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through in center.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix turkey, cheese and sauce, if using. (The sauce will make the dish a bit moister.)
Cool biscuits 2 minutes. Spread and press each biscuit open to form a cup. Brush biscuits with olive oil. Fill each biscuit with turkey mixture. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake 11 to 14 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is hot in center. Sprinkle with tomatoes and basil. Serves 8.
*Feel free to substitute leftover rotisserie chicken for the turkey.
Chicken Noodle Casserole
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
12 ounces egg noodles, cooked and drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Stir in the chicken, onion, peppers, 1/2 cup each Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses. Add noodles and toss to coat.
Transfer to dish. Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake 10 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.
Freeze option: Sprinkle remaining cheeses over unbaked casserole. Cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165 degrees.
Yield: 6 servings.