Friday, July 7, 2017

Freezer Friday Cheesy Super-Grains Casserole (One Base 3 Flavors)

Episode two of season two of Cooking with Chef Tess aired today! Here's the recipe and video for those who don't live in Las Vegas!

Cheesy Super Grains-Casserole One Base 3 flavors

Chef Tess Make-Ahead Cheesy Grains Casserole

Rice Mixture: 1 cup rice
2 cup tri-color quinoa, rinsed, drained 
6 cups water

1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour)
4 cups milk
1 Tbsp  mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 lb Monterrey jack cheese, shredded

  • Cook the grain: Combine all in a large pot on the stove. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat. Simmer 20 minutes.
  • Make the sauce. In a gallon sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the minced garlic and saute about 3 minutes until tender, but not burned. Add the flour and stir well with a whisk, about 4 minutes.  Add the milk and remaining ingredients gradually, while whisking and bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer about 10 minutes.  Be sure to stir every 2-3 minutes so the milk doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.  
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Allow it to cool about 5 minutes then stir in the shredded cheese. Smooth perfect cheese sauce can't be done if you cook the cheese on the stove, it will get a grainy texture if the cheese gets too hot...and you want it to be creamy smooth right?
  • Divide Grain between 3 casseroles (8x8) pan, lightly grease the pan. Pour the cooked, drained grain into the pan and season well with salt and pepper.  Pour the cheese sauce over the grain and stir to combine.  

Flavor Bases:

Crab Rangoon Version

8 oz chopped crab (fresh or a combination of imitation and real)
1/2 cup minced green onion
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp lemon zest

Broccoli Chicken Version

1 cup broccoli florets, frozen
1 cup Monterrey Jack

Bacon Cheeseburger

½ lb crumbled cooked hamburger
¼ cup bacon crumbles
½ cup minced onion

To make into a freezer meal:  Cover with foil, label and date and transfer to the freezer. 

To Bake Immediately:
Bake the casserole at 400 degrees until sauce is bubbling and the topping of choice is crisp, about 20-25 minutes. 

To save for later: 
Cover casserole with foil and place in the fridge. May be kept up to 5 days. Ready to heat and eat. Bake, covered with foil, 400 degrees 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and allow to bake 10 minutes more, until topping is crisp. 

To prepare: 
Thaw the casserole in the fridge for 24 hours and follow the directions for the refrigerator version. OR bake from frozen, covered with foil 1 hour 20 minutes. I recommend thawing first. It just gives your sauce a really great texture.  

At service, top with fried won-ton wrappers or fried won-ton salad strips.

Fresh tomato salad or vegetables. 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


emmers said...

Wow! Totally going to make this! Question though 1. when measuring the cheese for the sauce - does approx how many cups is 1/2 pound? I know that 1 c liquid is 8 oz. Does that hold true for when measuring cheese? Also, the broccoli chicken it supposed to have chicken listed in the ingredients? Just wondering if that got lost or if i'm supposed to serve it with baked chicken :) kindly advise!Thanks!

Chef Tess said...

1/2 lb is about 2 cups shredded cheese. Forgot to list the chicken. I'll fix that now. 1 cup of cooked chicken (about 1/2 lb)

emmers said...

holysmackers - I made this today and it was amazing. LOVE the crab rangoon version. Thanks for the tip with the shredded cheese measuring! So helpful. Another question - if I want to make the sauce with a parmesan/garlic flair how much cheese would you recommend with that? Still 2 c of parmesan for the 1/2 pound? In my brain parmesan cheese is lower calorie. Not sure if that's true or not or if my psychie is just a little twisted ;). Thanks again for sharing your foodie genius with us!