Thursday, September 30, 2010

Instant Classic: Hamburger Noodle Bake

Good evening everyone! It's Thursday once again, and tonight Maggie took over the kitchen for her second recipe of the week. Like my recipe last night, Maggie's recipe comes from Taste Of Home magazine, and if my recipe last night set any precedent - Taste Of Home knows a thing a two about delicious recipes. After tasting Maggie's dinner tonight it's clear that precedent is deserved.

The Recipe: Hamburger Noodle Bake
Original Recipe From: Taste Of Home magazine, August & September 2010

What You'll Need:

2 Cups Uncooked Egg Noodles
1/2 Lb. Lean Ground Beef (90%)
2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Onion
1 Can Tomato Sauce (8 Ounces)
1/4 Teaspoon Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
2 Ounces Cream Cheese
1 Tablespoon Thinly Sliced Green Onion
1 Tablespoon Chopped Green Pepper
1 Tablespoon Sour Cream, softened
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese

The Recipe:  Cheesy Garlic Bread
Original Recipe From: Food Network Magazine, October 2010

What You'll Need:

1 Loaf Italian Bread
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Clove Minced Garlic
1/4 Teaspoon Oregano
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Shredded Asiago Cheese
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Hi everyone!!  When I took a gander through the Taste of Home magazine, I came across this recipe, which was under this headline "A pound of ground beef equals a satisfying casserole sized just right for a couple."  Bingo... Normally when we make recipes, the serving size is usually anywhere in between 4-8 people.  Tonight, it was really nice to cook just for two and have very little leftover.

Start by boiling a pot of water for the egg noodles and cook according to package directions.  Meanwhile, brown the ground beef until no longer pink in the middle.  Remove from heat and drain.  Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, salt, garlic salt, and pepper.  In another small bowl, combine the cream cheese, green onion, green pepper, and sour cream.  In the original recipe, it called for 1/4 cup of cottage cheese, but since neither one of us likes cottage cheese, we omitted it from our version.

By this time, the noodles should be done and drained.  Place half of the noodles in a greased 1 quart baking dish.  Spoon half of the beef mixture over the noodles.  Layer with the cream cheese mixture and the rest of the noodles.  Top with remaining beef mixture and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Cover the foil and bake at 350 degree for 25 minutes.

While that is baking, slice off four pieces of Italian bread.  Mix the olive oil, minced garlic, and oregano and spread over the cut sides of the bread - toast for 10 minutes for 400 degrees.  Mix the cheeses together in a small bowl.  Take the bread out and top with cheeses.  Bake the bread until melted - 10 to 15 minutes.

The End Result:

These recipes were quite simple, yet very delicious.  All the ingredients in the bake and the bread worked so perfectly together.  I loved the idea of the cream cheese and the sour cream together - it made for a nice middle layer of flavor.  Tonight served a purpose I've been wanting to do for a while.  I've heard from several fans that they've wanted something cheap, yet with the serving size of one or two.  I believe I've found that recipe in the Hamburger Noodle Bake - not only is it saving on the grocery bill, but it's so simple and there's not much leftover, it's a simple way to bring homemade to the dinner table.

Thanks Maggie, and way to go on a nicely summed up blog post - I don't feel like I need to add anything! So I wont!

The one point I would make would be regarding the 'saving on the grocery bill' notion of this recipe and the fact that it is an advantage. Yes, I will admit that once in awhile it is nice to not have a lot of leftovers - and to just have the meal and be done. But, I would counter that this isn't really saving money. You have to buy the hamburger in 1 pound increments, the noodles come in bags of 4 to 6 cups - you see what I'm getting at here? You're already buying enough ingredients to make twice the amount for the recipe. With a double batch, you have leftovers and get more meals out of the same ingredients thereby getting more for your money - and truly saving on the grocery bill. (You could argue that you would be able to use those ingredients later on, which is true, but you are shoehorned into smaller portion sizes, presenting the same problem - in addition, a second recipe would likely require additional ingredients.) I'm not saying either of us is right, it's just interesting to get a little point - counterpoint going every once in a while.

Things like this are big topics you have to think about when cooking full time like we do. Groceries certainly are not cheap, so stretching your dollar to get the most (quality) food for you buck is a very big key. We'll be playing with this concept in two weeks - so be sure to stay tuned for that. (We're excited to try our idea, but we need the time to do it)

Subtle hints and teasing aside, that's all we have for you this week. A bit of a different schedule is due up next week. Sunday will be our ingredient list day, and the first day of recipes will be Monday - my day in the kitchen. Maggie will take Tuesday, and we will share a Wednesday recipe. My work schedule (once again) is changing a lot - so we're adapting. Until next time,


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