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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cozy Cabin Casserole

I recently loaded up on cookbooks and cooking magazines at one of my favorite local haunts.  This included the best of 2010 slow-cooker recipes from Fix-It and Forget-It.  When I got it home I was chagrined to learn that there were tons of dishes featuring "cream of" soups.  I can only name a handful of recipes I like that feature canned soup.  Maybe I've catapulted into being a true food snob, but I just feel like "cream of dinner" is a gyp.

But I marched forward, reading through the recipes and dutifully cutting out those that looked appealing.  One of them was this recipe: Cozy Cabin Casserole.  Since round steak is so cheap, it's nice to have recipes on hand that enhance the tough cut.   I opened up my cans and got slow-cookin'.

Cozy Cabin Casserole

1 lb. lean round steak
2.2-oz. envelope dry beefy onion soup mix
10 3/4-oz can cream of mushroom soup
10 3/4-oz can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Layer first 4 ingredients in slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour and then on low 4 to 6 hours or until meat is tender.

3.  Stir in sour cream 10 minutes before serving.

The Verdict:  Well, there were many thoughts on this dish...

My son liked it just fine.  He saw meat on his plate as well as potatoes.  (I served it with diced potatoes and onions sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with smoked paprika.)  As our son eats like a middle-aged American man, there were no complaints from him.

My husband said that eating this dish was like a "food adventure."  The sauce was "creamy and wet" and the meat was easy to bite into but "oddly dry" as you began to chew it.  The flavor combinations were strange but there was still something about it he liked.

My first impression was, "Well, I believe this is what prison food looks like."  Brownish, glossy, gloppy.  And the flavor combinations were odd.  Sweet?  Savory?  Sour?  In a subsequent serving as leftovers, I learned that I liked scrambling the meat (which fell apart like hamburger) and putting it over the potatoes.  Well, not liked it as in, "Yum, we're eating this again tomorrow night!" liked.  It was better.

Nope.  This won't be made again anytime soon.  And I'm nervous for Fix-It and Forget-It if they're touting this as one of their "best slow-cooker recipes."  Let's just hope I chose the dud.

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