Cheater’s Pasta Salad

So, this was one of those “It Came From the Cookbook and then got lost” sorts of things I used to make fairly often. Pasta salad kept well, as did chick-pea salads, and I could make it in advance. Also, both are cool, a boon when you stagger in from a flight drenched in perspiration, too exhausted to cook, and too broke to get carry out.

Curly pasta, or bow-tie-pasta, or what ever you want. One package (a pound or so)

Sliced little tomatoes, as many as you want

one small can of black olives, drained

hard cheese (Asiago, Parmashan, Romano, yes, either cut into small cubes or grated) OR

Cheddar or other semi-hard cheese, cubed

one bell pepper – green or fancy – minced

canned artichoke hearts or hearts of palm (if desired) – chopped

carrots – chopped or cut into small rounds

[in other words, clean the crunchies out of your veggie drawer]

something meat-ish if desired – summer sausage, bits of ham, slivers of pepperoni, cooked real sausage cut into rounds, left-over marinated chicken, left-over marinated pork-loin . . . You get the idea.

Cook the pasta to al dente. If you are going to be keeping the salad for a few hours before eating, or even making it the day before, I tend to cook it a little firmer than al dente, so that the dressing doesn’t make it too mushy. Rinse, pour into large bowl, and add everything but the cheese. Stir well.

Dressing – whatever your heart desires. I usually made a vinegar and oil with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a bit of herbs (basil, savory, marjorum, Italian-type herb blend . . . Whatever you like. Brianna’s Blush White is good but might be a little sweet for some {one with strawberry on label}). Or you can use a packaged Italian or similar dressing. You want something that won’t drown the flavors of the other things. A chilled Asian dressing with sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, and the like also works.

Put in fridge and chill until you return from your flight, or you are ready to serve. If you have used hard cheese, you can add it earlier. Softer cheeses seem to get “icky” so I wait on those.* Serve with warm bread, or more veggies, or leafy greens. This is a meal for when know that you will really need food but don’t want to heat the kitchen or even poke the microwave. (I never had a microwave.)

*I don’t like slick-textured or slimy foods. Other people don’t mind.

Chubs, Glugs, and Dollops

I was reading a recipe over at Cedar Sanderson’s blog. She calls for a glug of milk. Since she’s cooking by feel, I’d guess based on my limited experience with hand-mixing biscuits that it’s about a scant third of a cup. My glug tends to be about a quarter cup or a scosh [“skoh-sh”] less.

We agree on a chub of sausage or ground meat, however. And her dollop is almost the same as mine, give or take what we are dolloping. Note that this is dollop as a measuring term, not as a verb. Dolloping onto a surface is what you do with dough or mashed potatoes (or mashed turnips). You dollop an amount of something.

English, especially the Southern-Midwestern Cooking dialect, is a strange language.

A chub is the blunt ended, soft (unless still frozen) package of ground meat or sausage. It varies between 12 ounces and a pound or so. You can get a ten-pound chub, although at that point I think we are up to a log-of-beef or club (if still frozen) rather than a chub.

Original from Instacart, used under Creative Commons Fair Use.

Anyone who has seen meat sold in chubs knows instantly what “one chub of breakfast sausage” looks like and means. If you have a frozen chub, and don’t thaw it completely, you can make tidy slices for sausage or hamburger patties, then let it finish thawing. I’d say 9/10 thawed or so, bot rock hard. Unless you are using a band saw, in which case please clean the blade before and after cutting your frozen chub. Do not use a table saw. Just don’t. No.

A dollop means take an eating spoon (as opposed to serving spoon or stirring spoon) and scoop an amount of something into it, then plop the ingredient into the main dish. I tend to dollop garlic, flour if I’m browning it in butter (a very heaping tablespoon or so, ish), shredded cheese, and things like that, where amount-to-taste is more important than precision measuring.

A glug for me tends to be wine, or balsamic vinegar, and is probably less than a quarter cup, as I mentioned above. I don’t bake by feel. That way lies disaster, because I bake so rarely and most of what I bake is unforgiving of guestimates. I will use a glug of something the same way as I use a few shakes of this spice or that condiment.

When in doubt, measuring is always safe. When trying a new spice blend, measure. I got surprised by real Thai curry powder once. I was used to grocery store Thai curries, not “made in Thailand for Thai cooks” curry powder. My sinuses were clear for the rest of the semester, meaning Spring Break to late May.

If you’re not sure, here’s a guide to some other measurements:

https://spoonuniversity.com/how-to/what-those-ambigious-measurements-in-recipes-actually-mean

Hungarian Goulash

In Hungarian, “gulyas” refers to certain traditional breeds of native cattle. So the dish made from parts of cow is also called “cow.” The Germans and others modified the spelling, and Americans call it goulash. It is a beef soup made with paprika, beef, onions, and either potatoes or flat noodles, and other spices. There are a large number of variations on the dish, some with tomato paste added, others with hot peppers (go easy on those), more or less garlic, and other vegetables. Viennese Goulash includes bell pepper, unless it doesn’t. Goulash as I ate it in Hungary was a hearty soup, not a thickened stew, but however you make it, you need meat, paprika, and onions. No, this is NOT an excess of onions. Trust me. They vanish.

two pounds good stew meat

two large onions, minced (I use white because that’s what’s been available)

two carrots (if desired) chopped

fat or oil for browning

1 T. good paprika, hot or sweet*. (I go heavier on the paprika)

2 C potato, chopped into chunks, OR one package flat noodles

1 dollop of garlic

beef broth

one or two glugs** red wine (optional)

In a large stew pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil or fat to a shimmer. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the stew meat and garlic (if desired). Add beef stock and water to cover, and the wine if desired. Stir in paprika and carrot. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for 90 minutes or so. Check the flavor after about half an hour and add paprika if needed or desired. Add water as needed, or more broth. If you are using very inexpensive (tough) stew meat, cook as long as needed to reach tenderness.

If using potatoes, add after 90 minutes and let simmer for another half hour or until potatoes are done. For pasta, turn up heat, add more liquid, and add pasta. Check pasta after 20 minutes or so. Alternatively, cook potatoes or pasta separately, drain, and add to goulash for the last 10 minutes.

Serve in bowls with good, hearty bread or sharp slaws and salads on the side. Or both.

*Hungarian sweet is traditional. Smoked or hot can also be used, but I prefer to start with the Hungarian sweet.

**A glug seems to be about a quarter cup, depending on the size of the bottle and the duration of pour.

Oak and Ash and Thorn

I first heard this while sitting in a car outside the Bagel Bin, the Jewish/Christian* deli in Omaha where MomRed would get bagels on occasion. A grey mist sort of drizzled down halfheartedly, and MomRed had left the engine running and the radio tuned to the NPR station. It played eclectic music on Saturdays, and this came on, followed by “Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod.” I didn’t know it was a Kipling poem. All I knew was it was really neat. I was seven or eight years old.

A Tree Song from Puck of Pook’s Hill

(A. D. 1200)
Of all the trees that grow so fair,
Old England to adorn,
Greater are none beneath the Sun,
Than Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.
Sing Oak, and Ash, and Thorn, good sirs,
(All of a Midsummer morn!)
Surely we sing no little thing,
In Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Oak of the Clay lived many a day,
Or ever AEneas began.
Ash of the Loam was a lady at home,
When Brut was an outlaw man.
Thorn of the Down saw New Troy Town
(From which was London born);
Witness hereby the ancientry
Of Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Yew that is old in churchyard-mould,
He breedeth a mighty bow.
Alder for shoes do wise men choose,
And beech for cups also.
But when ye have killed, and your bowl is spilled,
And your shoes are clean outworn,
Back ye must speed for all that ye need,
To Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Ellum she hateth mankind, and waiteth
Till every gust be laid,
To drop a limb on the head of him
That anyway trusts her shade:
But whether a lad be sober or sad,
Or mellow with ale from the horn,
He will take no wrong when he lieth along
‘Neath Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,
Or he would call it a sin;
But–we have been out in the woods all night,
A-conjuring Summer in!
And we bring you news by word of mouth-
Good news for cattle and corn–
Now is the Sun come up from the South,
With Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Sing Oak, and Ash, and Thorn, good sirs
(All of a Midsummer morn):
England shall bide till Judgment Tide,
By Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

“A Tree Song”

It turns out that the tune was done by Robert Bellamy, and has been recorded by several people. Here’s one of the better ones. I recall it done by a small group, but this is close to the tune I half-recall. It haunted me for years.

*It was kosher, as I recall, and the Christian partner worked on Saturday mornings, the Jewish partner worked on Mondays, and they were closed on Sundays.

Cheese: A Luxury, but not an Indulgence

So, the question arose in a chat over on MeWe. Is cheese a luxury? Well, people can survive without cheese, be it cow, water-buffalo, sheep, goat, or otherwise. If you have to severely trim your budget, good cheese tends to get shed from the protein list in favor of legumes, milk (for those of us who do milk), eggs, and cheap meat cuts. Soft cheeses, like cottage cheese or queso fresco don’t keep that well. Milk can be used to cook other things, as well as drunk straight, turned into really good chocolate milk, or tapioca pudding (stretch your dairy and starches), or to fortify hot cereal. I’m not so sure about Cheddar cheese and cereal, but I’m sure someone has tried it at least once, if only on a dare.

However, cheese is one of those things that adds a lot of flavor to dishes, perks up otherwise bland things, and has enough fat to be a comfort food. A really, really good macaroni and cheese, or three-cheese-pizza with real cheese, or fresh-grated Parmesan on fresh veggies in a cold pasta or chick-pea salad, those are all things that satisfy more than just the stomach. Flavor and fat make a lot of things far more edible, and cheeses provide both of those. And if you need dairy, but can’t drink milk, hard cheese lasts far better than most yogurts.

So, I would argue that while good cheese is a not a necessity, it is not an indulgence, either. To me, an indulgence is something that goes overboard. A $250/pound Kobe beef steak is an indulgence. $100/lb chocolate is an indulgence. Down here, a full-length fur coat is an indulgence (unless the fur is on the inside, and it has a wind-blocking layer, at which point we’re talking “Arctic parka” rather than “see my fancy fur coat.”) Really good cheese, Cheddar, Emmental, or other similar semi-soft grating or slicing cheeses, Parmesan and related truly hard cheeses, they are worth the money. Man can live without cheeses, but life is far better with them. When I’m cold, and wet, and achy, and my budget is whimpering, well, grated cheese melted in a tortilla (quesadilla AKA Mexican grilled-cheese) with a good salsa fills a physical and emotional hole. And it tastes really, really good.

Piperade a la RedQuarters

Piperade is a recipe that is attributed to the Basques, or at least comes from that corner of Spain and France. The version I grew up with . . . came through Louisiana, perhaps, or from Florida, maybe. I recall it as one of those dishes that MomRed used to stretch the budget, sort of like beans-n-bacon-n-cheese, succotash, and scrambled eggs with chili.

The official version seems to start with “first, roast tomatoes.” That never happened at RedQuarters, because, well, that’s not what you did at home in the 1960s-70s in the US (unless an accident happened in the oven . . .) Canned diced tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, scrambled eggs with ham, that’s what I recall. So it is a very, very distant Americanized cousin of a Basque dish that used post-1492 ingredients.

one can diced tomatoes, partly drained

four-eight eggs, scrambled (depends on how hungry people are and how much ham you have)

1/2 diced onion

a plop of garlic (1 Tablespoon, but I like a lot of garlic. Can be omitted)

one small bell pepper, diced

Paprika or other warm, peppery spice to taste

4-5 ounces cooked ham, diced or minced (can substitute inexpensive ham, or even leftover lunch-meat ham)

Heat oil or butter in a heavy skillet. Add onion and garlic, sautee until onion is translucent. Add bell pepper and heat through. Add tomatoes and paprika, reduce heat and cover. While sauce is cooking, melt butter in a skillet and cook scrambled eggs to desired done-ness. Add ham to eggs just before the eggs are done. Bring sauce back to a high simmer or low boil and add eggs and ham. Serve hot. It shouldn’t be too runny, unless you want to serve it over toast.

I would probably add more spices and so on now. It’s hot, filling, tangy, and can be adjusted to local taste.

Tex-Mex: A hybrid of hybrids

What a lot of people in my part of the world call “Mexican food” is actually Tex-Mex. Tortillas, spices from North America (and Europe), meats not native to the Americas (beef, chicken, domestic pig,) cheese (introduced), with veggies from the Old and New World . . . Which also describes a lot of Mexican food as well, unless you stick with 100% pure Native American dishes, if you can find them.

Tex-Mex began when Anglos met Hispanic Texicans (the generation of 1820-1850)*. Southern food, and northern food, and European food, met what was available in Texas. Spices from the Old World – cumin, sage, paprika, garlic, black pepper – met different peppers. Beef and cheese encountered pinto beans and tomatoes, and tomatillos (little green not-exactly-tomatoes). San Antonio is often credited as the home of Tex-Mex, but it might just be the largest city where blending occurred. Chili-con-carne is native to San Antonio, that everyone agrees on. Usually. Mostly.

The term Tex-Mex wasn’t really used until the 1960s and 70s, when “ethnic food” cookbooks became more common, along with more exotic ingredients, and authors started trying to distinguish real Mexican food from the versions found in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Until that point, people called it “Mexican food.” You know, crunchy tacos, burritos with refried beans in them, nachos, quesadillas and that “you’re doing what to corn chips” wonder, Frito™ pie. And canned chili, of course, be it Wolf Brand (the Redquarters staple, bought by the case), or Hormel, or other kinds. It tastes great, but . . . it’s most decidedly not really Mexican food. OK, guacamole is, until it gets “improved” or “adjusted” into Tex-Mex.

So, one of the “what is that?” regional favorites, Frito™ pie. You need:

Fritos™ corn chips (if you use other corn chips, it becomes a sort of nachos. Still good, just not authentic)

Canned chili, heated to the appropriate temperature (NO beans)

grated Cheddar cheese

other toppings to taste

Dump the corn chips in a bowl and spread around to make an even layer. Add chili to the chips. Cover with cheese. Add preferred toppings. Eat one chip at a time.

For a less “what we eat at high school foot ball games) version, you start by making your own chili:

1 lb ground beef, not too lean

Garlic and onion, chopped fine

tomato sauce, one can [or one can diced tomatoes OR one can RoTel tomatoes]

Tomato paste, one can (smaller can than sauce)

Chili powder to taste (this is a spice blend, not powdered chilis)

Brown the ground beef. Add garlic and onion, sauteing until the onion is transparent. Add tomato products and stir well. Add chili powder to taste (it tends to be mild, so you can go up to a quarter cup. I’d start low and add more as needed). Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or so to allow flavors to darken and blend.

Proceed as with first version, perhaps top with salsa and sour cream if daring. Most of us stop with the cheese. It is not gourmet food, and is not supposed to be.

*Until the 1960s or so, it was customary inside the state to refer to the first generations of Texans as Texicans. Then came the Texians, and then Texans referred to those born after 1900 or so. You no longer see the different terms unless you are reading older books.

Women’s Work

“We wanted to share the farm with more people, besides just selling flowers/produce/eggs, and I’ve always liked cooking, so we opened a tea-shop/banquet and party venue/farm-stay/sell jellies and jams/run spinning and knitting clinics . . .” It’s a common theme in a lot of what I’ve been reading this past year. He manages the heavy end of the farm – equipment, removing trees, working the land, dealing with larger livestock, and she runs the gardens, cooks, provides hospitality, sells at local shops and farmers’ markets. Just like many men and women did until about 90 years or so ago in the US. Oh, and she probably teaches the kids at home, or supplements their schooling at home.

I was reading about how Community Supported Agriculture and other farm-to-table or farm-to-local market ventures encourage women and minorities, both as producers and as consumers. In addition, almost every issue of Victoria or American Essence magazines have articles about women and their families who farm, raise flowers for the cut-flower market, sell farm-related products and/or art, and other things. This is lauded as beneficial for womanhood [womankind?] in general, and the individuals in particular. Locally grown food and flowers are seen in popular thinking as better than “imported,” more flavorful, healthier with more nutrients, better for the local and regional economy, and morally good. I agree on the flavorful part, especially with certain kinds of seasonal produce. Y’all know my thoughts on strawberries in January (over priced and under-flavored).

Turn the clock back a century or so, and you will find women working in farms and gardens, tending small livestock, making “value-added products” for sale at the local market, or sale to local distributors (butter and eggs especially), and teaching the younger children. As well as doing anything else needed to keep things running and the family fed, clothed, and housed. You know, like the women described as “ag-entrepreneurs” in the magazines and news stories. Everything old is new again, just with a different gloss on what is proper women’s work. The once traditional has become radical, or traditional. It just depends on who you ask.

I’m amused, because of all the emphasis on “You can be anything you want to be as long as it is engineer, computer scientist, or corporate CEO. Or farmer, that’s OK too, but not as OK as being white collar unless you are minority member.” Teaching, making jams and jellies, baking . . . all those are passe until it is part of a back-to-the-land, locavore, farm-education program that also offers overnight stays. Then it’s radical and empowering. But my sense of humor is warped that way.

Women are on average not as physically strong as men. We’re not, on average, as three-D minded as men, we tend to be better at dealing with people and doing language-based things as compared to many men. So why not divide tasks in a way to utilize the skills and talents of everyone involved, to make things more efficient? Lo and behold, we have the wife of the family overseeing food and fiber and flowers, and the gent dealing with heritage-breed cattle and pigs, and running the tractors and other heavy machinery. Not always, and I’m one of the Odds who likes working on some kinds of machines*, but more often than not.

I’m always glad to see a family able to make a go of things like farm-stays, and selling to the local market. A lot of what I’ve been reading is about adapting to current conditions and trends, finding ways to work around limitations and economic glitches, and helping the family hang in there and grow stronger. It’s never easy, and I admire the men and women who can do it, be they grain farmers or running a produce and pasture-to-butcher-to-table operation with local beef, chicken, and pork. Farms need teams, just as they always have. Women have always worked outside the home to an extent, be they taking things to the market town, or working as ale-wives, or selling butter and eggs to wholesalers. Everything old is new again.

*I will happily do engines, sheet-metal, some composites, and chase hydraulic leaks. Please don’t ask me to deal with electrical problems. My brain doesn’t work like that.

Cornbread: Baked Good or Religious Denomination?

Well, it’s that time of year, and “cornbread” seems to be the topic of friendly but intense argument in the blogosphere in 2021. It ranks up there with “dressing or stuffing” among Americans from certain regions as a topic that can be – and is – argued with religious fervor.

A note for my readers from outside the US and Canada, at least those who have not encountered this particular dish before. What Americans call cornbread is made from ground maize. It is rarely eaten outside North America, as best I can tell. The grind of the grain is different from that used for polenta, and the grain is not treated the way maize used for tortilla flour is processed before grinding. The resulting baked good does not rise like wheat bread, and is more crumbly because of the lower gluten content. However, it is a native food, and in some parts of the country, was (or is) the main starch that accompanies many meals. So cornbread is yellow, low-rising, and generally crumbly. You can’t slice it the way you do wheat breads. But we love it anyway.

When you start asking people about family cornbread recipes, the line falls on “sugar in the dough” and “no sugar in the dough.” Some people will allow a little wheat flour and baking powder added in, others add egg, there’s “rye-n-Injun” which is a rye-cornmeal bread, and others prefer fried cornbread to baked cornbread. All discussion of those topics seems to pale when compared with the intensity and fervor that accompanies “with sugar or without?”

Purists insist that “bread” means “no sugar.” Unlike wheat breads, where the sugar helps encourage the yeasts to do their thing and cause the dough to rise, or sweetened breads that are supposed to have sugar (or honey, or molasses, or . . . ) cornbread does not need yeast-food. The chemistry doesn’t require sugars. Hot-water cornbread, the ne plus ultra of minimalist cornbread has nothing but very hot water, cornmeal, shortening (lard, bacon-grease, or vegetable shortening) and salt. It can be baked or fried. Cornbread is for workin’ folks, farm folks, it’s not fancy. Light-bread is fancy, and for special occasions only. Cornbread is what you eat to fill the hole when you start running out of bacon or salt-pork to go with the beans and collards (or turnip greens). Or the New England version thereof, because New Englanders leaned on cornbread for quite a while, back when.

Other people add a pinch of sugar, just because. The result should not be sweet. Others make a sweet cornbread, just like some people add canned corn to the mix, or cheese, or jalapenos, or other things. Flour can make a soft, not-crumbly cornbread, more of a fluffy quick bread with corn in it. But that’s not “real cornbread.” One of the blogs I frequent almost had a knives-out argument recently over sugar or no sugar. This is a place where we can talk religion, politics, handgun caliber, domestic or imported motorcycle, you name it (other than cornbread) without resorting to violence. Cornbread . . . is a sensitive topic among a group of Southerners, or at least people who grew up on “poverty food.”

At RedQuarters, we add a bit of sugar.

1 cup yellow corn meal

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (not self-rising)

1/4 C. sugar (can be omitted. We leave it in.)

1/2 tsp salt

4 tsp baking powder.

1 egg

1 C. milk

1/4 C shortening.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Add egg, milk, and shortening. Beat until smooth. Bake in greased 8″ square pan in a hot oven for 20-25 minutes. Best served warm with butter and honey, or molasses, or sorghum syrup, or apple butter. Or served with butter to go with something that has a sauce that needs to be sopped up (collards, turnip greens, bean soup . . .)

To me, it does not taste sweet.

Note: this recipe does not keep well. It goes rancid in as few as three days if you do not eat all of it, refrigerate it, or use it in other things (dressing for the turkey/duck/goose/ham).

Edited to add:

“Jiffy” is a brand of cornmeal with flour and other things pre-mixed in. It’s like Bisquick™ for rolls, pancakes, and biscuits, except you use “Jiffy” for cornmeal-based baking. https://site.jiffymix.com/

A “chub” of sausage is the small, blunt-ended cylinder of ground sausage (breakfast sausage), usually packed in a soft wrapper so you can either trim off the end and squeeze the sausage out like toothpaste into a bowl or pan, or you can use a sharp knife, cut the chub into slices, and remove the wrapper from each slice. Then you have home-made, thick, sausage patties.

Summer Squash Casserole

Yes, squash season is wrapping up . . . sort of. This casserole also works with patty-pan squash. You know, the little flattish white ones that look a bit like tops, and that everyone else uses to decorate with? Those. This is fairly simple once you get all the prep done, and you can make it the night before, refrigerate it raw, then bake it the next morning and take it to a brunch or the like.

Instead of saltines, I used Ritz™ crackers. You could also get fancy and use panko, or something similar.

Three pounds summer squash, sliced fairly thin*

Three red bell peppers (or orange and yellow), sliced into strips

1 C. finely chopped onion. The original calls for yellow. I used white, because the yellow onions have been past their prime recently.

Four cloves minced garlic (a large dollop)

1T plus 1t salt

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, orange or white, your choice.

3 cups crushed crackers (or breadcrumbs)

1 tub of sour cream (16 ounces)

1 lightly beaten large egg

2 T fresh thyme

black pepper to taste (I omit)

5 T melted butter

Preheat oven to 350, and grease a 13X9 baking dish.

Combine squash, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and 1T salt in a large pot with water to cover (I use less water, because the squash have a lot of water in them). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes or so, depending on altitude, until the veggies are tender. Drain very well. You don’t want overly soggy veggies.

Combine squash and friends with 3 cups of the cheese, the sour cream, egg, and thyme, two cups crushed crackers or breadcrumbs, and 1t salt. Mix well, and put in the baking dish, spreading to make an even surface. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.

In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter with the rest of the crackers and blend. Put casserole into the oven. After ten minutes or so, cover the top with the cracker-butter blend, then bake for, well, supposedly 30 minutes, but I’m at 3600′ of elevation, and 45 was closer to the mark. Until it is fairly firm in the middle. You know, proper casserole consistency. It will be a little moist, but shouldn’t be too drippy.

It is rich, savory, and filling. This is an old school casserole, not one of your light-and-healthy ones. You know the ones, the kind your grandmother made to take to brunch, or delivered to the family of the deceased (if you are in the South or parts of the Midwest). It serves 10-12 people, or fewer if they like it and the meat isn’t too filling.

You could probably add a little bacon, but that might be gilding the lily. Or perhaps not.

*Fear not, this isn’t really as much as it sounds once you cook, then drain it.

Original recipe found at: https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/side/vegetable/bell-pepper-and-squash-casserole.html