Easy Weeknight Dinner
Hello! Hope you are staying home and doing well during this world health crisis we are all facing. I made a quick dinner casserole for my crew last night and I took the time to photograph each step so I could share it with you in some fashion. So I'm going to try that here.
Cooking may be new to many of you and you may be finding yourself stretching your skills and knowledge in the kitchen more than usual...I can say the same for technology. I'm figuring out how to videoconference (starting to get the hang of it), to Facebook Live (a work in progress) and now.....to blog. So please forgive as I learn as I go!
Anyway, here's the casserole. Have fun tossing it together!
Weeknight Chicken Cauliflower Casserole
So first things first, gather your ingredients and equipment. Here's a list:
- glass casserole dish (I use a 9" x 13" one)
- medium-sized mixing bowl
- spoon for mixing
- cutting board
- small saucepan (or microwave-proof bowl if you use a microwave for small tasks)
- measuring spoons (1 Tbs)
- measuring cups (1 C, 1/3 C, 1/4 C)
- spoon for dipping out sour cream
- rubber spatula
- cheese grater
- a head of cauliflower
- a sweet onion (or whatever your favorite type of onion is)
- 3 green onions
- olive oil (2 Tbs)
- kosher salt (or table salt if that's what you use)
- black pepper
- cooked, chopped chicken (2 C)
- sour cream (1/2 C)
- ranch dressing (1/3 C)
- 1/2 a block of cream cheese
- block of cheddar cheese (2 C grated)
- butter (1 Tbs)
- apple cider vinegar (1 Tbs)
- sriracha (2 Tbs)
Imagine there is black pepper and green onions in this picture because I forgot them when I took it. See. That's why "mise en place" is so important. Everything in its place. It gets you organized so you can be efficient in the kitchen instead of running around looking for stuff and doing things at the last minute that should already be done. Efficiency!
With that in mind, first we clean and chop. Onion, and cauliflower, and those green onions I forgot to photograph. Also set your oven to 450 degrees F, let your cream cheese soften on the counter, and grate that cheddar cheese.
One more prep step to go....making your own "buffalo sauce" (unless you have a bottle on hand). Melt the butter and mix it with the cider vinegar and sriracha.
Nowwwwww you're ready! Toss the sweet onion and cauliflower into that casserole dish you got out. Drizzle the olive oil over it and season to taste with black pepper and kosher salt. Taste a floret or onion to see if you have the seasoning right. Then pop that baby in the pre-heated oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.
While roasted goodness is happening in the oven, you have time to make up the sauce.
Mash that cream cheese with your homemade (or bottled) buffalo sauce. I know, it's hard, but it doesn't have to be perfect. Once that's pretty well incorporated, add your sour cream, ranch dressing, and a little salt. Give that a taste and make any adjustments. If it's too spicy, add more sour cream. If it's missing "something" try a little more salt. Salt is a flavor enhancer. Get it how you like it. Then set it aside. It'll be pretty thick.
When your timer goes off, remove the casserole. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. And we'll finish assembling the casserole. First toss in the chicken.
Next, smear that thick sauce thinly across the top as best as you can. Don't worry, it's enough. It'll thin out when it cooks. And top it all off with that cheddar cheese.
Pop that baby back in the oven (remember its 350 degrees F now) and set your timer for another 20 minutes. Once it's done, you'll want to let it set for about 10 minutes and then top it with those green onions.
YUM!! There are those elusive green onions! Ha Ha! I'd show you a picture of the casserole remains, but there weren't any. The three of us ate it all for dinner with a tossed salad on the side. Washed it down with a margarita, too!
Have Fun! Stay Well!
~ Chef Kel
P.S. The recipe is in printable format in my recipe files. To get to those you need to make an account. Sorry, I told you I'm new at this tech thing. When I figure out how to insert a link to my recipe right here in my blog, I'll do that.