Saturday, May 1, 2010

A "Now and Later" Meal

A Now and Later Meal.
Eat one now, save one for later.

Here's a cool recipe I found, that you make one for now and freeze one for later.  

Pasta Crab Casserole
serves 4

8 oz uncooked Penne or any similar sized pasta
2 large onions
½ pound fresh sliced mushrooms
½ cup green pepper, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ cup butter
16 oz crab meat (can sub chopped immitation, yuk)
½ cup sour cream
2 tsp salt
1½ tsp dried basil
1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  In a saute pan, saute onions, green pepper, garlic and mushrooms in butter until tender but still slightly crisp. Remove from heat. Drain pasta, add to the saute pan.  Stir in the crab, sour cream, basil and salt.  
Pour into two greased 8 inch square baking dishes.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and freeze one for up to 30 days.  
Cover and bake the other casserole @ 350° for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5 minutes longer, or until heated through.  If you would like, you can add some *panko bread crumbs to the top for the final 5 min baking.
To Cook Frozen Casserole:  Thaw in the frige for 24 hours. Remove from frige 30 mins before baking.  Cover and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes, or until heated through.  Again for a crispy top, add *panko bread crumbs to top for final 5 mins of baking.  

Serve with garlic bread and a salad.

*I like to mix my panko bread crumbs with a bit of olive oil  or melted butter and some Parmesan cheese to add to top of this. I also double this, because I have a hubby and two teenage sons, so our serves four, serves two so I make it in a lasagna size baking dish, and freeze the same size dish. The cooking time extends slighly, but not too much. 

If you don't want to leave your baking dish in the freezer, put foil or plastic on the bottom of the baking dish you are going to freeze.  After its frozen, you can remove it from the baking dish, and when you take it out to refrigerate, remove the foil/plastic wrap and put back into baking dish to thaw in the refrigerator. 

Also, you can sub chicken or any meat in this.  

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