Corn Pudding

IMG_1324A couple cans of corn and some kitchen staples are all that are needed to make this easy corn pudding side dish. We love this with our turkey dinner at Thanksgiving, or with a weeknight meal any time the menu needs a little rounding out. It’s so popular that I made it several times over the last couple months, and there was never anything left to photograph and post! Finally snagged a picture of a bowl, so here it is. I got this gluten-free recipe from a Better Home & Gardens magazine in an article titled “To Grandmother’s House We Go,” with other holiday favorites, before “gluten-free” was a concern. We first tried it some time in the 90’s, and it’s been a guest at our dinner table more often than my goofy Uncle Norman ever since. The only trick is to make sure it’s fully cooked before serving. It’s set when it doesn’t jiggle in the middle when jostled in the oven. I mean the corn pudding, not you. I’m not commenting on whether your middle jiggles when jostled or not.

Serves 8-10

1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ teaspoon course ground black pepper
½ cup cornmeal

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, creamed corn, milk, eggs, butter, and pepper. Add corn meal and stir until moistened. Pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole or 9″x13″ baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until lightly browned and set in the center. Serve.

Spinach and Artichoke Casserole

IMG_0910Casseroles are great because you can get most of your food groups in one dish, and the addition of artichokes in this recipe separates it from the tater tot hotdishes (that’s Minnesotan for “casserole”) of this world. It goes together quick enough that I’ve often made it before work and thrown it in the frig when we know we need dinner on the table in a hurry. It only takes about 30 minutes to assemble, and another 25-30 to bake. If you can’t eat it all in one sitting, no problem. It’s great left over, too!

The recipe comes from the Better Homes & Garden website. If you’re a Trader Joe’s fan, you’re in luck, because their Parmesan Romano Alfredo Sauce is perfectly suited to this recipe. In fact, you can pick up all the ingredients below at Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t find the suggested orzo pasta last time I was at their store, so I bought the Harvest Grains Blend of Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa, and we actually liked it even better than the plain orzo because it has more texture. My other changes to the BH&G recipe? Added minced garlic, used a can of artichokes instead of frozen, subbed regular Alfredo for the light, and used white cheddar cheese instead of reduced fat Italian blend cheese. The ingredients and process below reflect my tweaking of the original recipe.

Serves 8

2 cups dried Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend or orzo pasta
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
12 ounces turkey (or chicken) breast tenderloin, cut into bit-sized pieces
4 cups fresh spinach, julienned, or chopped
1 (14 ounce) can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 (16 ounce) jar of Alfredo pasta sauce
1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
¼-½ cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Have 9″x13″ (or 2-quart square) baking dish ready to fill. Cook couscous blend or pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large non-stick skillet set on medium-high heat, then add onion. Saute until onion is translucent. Add red pepper, and saute 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and stir until combined. Add turkey or chicken to hot skillet and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink. Stir occasionally. Transfer meat mixture to large bowl and stir in drained pasta, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo sauce, and cheese. Stir to coat all ingredients. Spoon mixture into baking dish.

Bake for 15 minutes, uncovered. Sprinkle with Panko. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until heated through, and Panko is lightly browned. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. (Ummmm…we never do. Just dig in!)