Thursday, June 12, 2008

These Loaves & Fishes Need A Little Something...

For years a hardy band of us have brought dinner to the Synagogue-run homeless shelter during Passover. Now that our church has efficient-ized that program, the group's considerable talents have been applied to another shelter, this time for homeless families.

Should you find yourself with a need to feed 30 people this recipe, quadrupled, will do the trick. As a single-family dish it goes very well with real ham, the ham-flavored turkey that's so good, or fried chicken.

SCALLOPED CORN, single-family size
Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook

1/2 cup chopped red or green sweet pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1/3 cup shredded carrot
f1/4 cup water
1 14 3/4 or 16-ounce can cream-style corn
1 8 3/4-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup milk
1 cup coarsely crushed saltine crackers (about 20 crackers)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 slightly beaten eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheddar

1. Grease a 2-quart square baking dish - set aside. In a small saucepan combine sweet pepper, onion, carrot, and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 - 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain well, pressing out excess liquid.

[Note: That's really the long way 'round.... put the vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 or 2 TBSP water, cover with plastic and poke a few venting holes. Steam for 2 1/2 or 3 minutes. Drain through the venting holes. Done.]

2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, stir together the cream-style corn, whole kernel corn, milk, crushed crackers, the 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and eggs. Stir in the cooked vegetables. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish.

3. Bake, uncovered, in a 325-degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or till center is set. Sprinkle with the 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

If you quadruple the recipe, you'll need to add an extra cup - for a total of 5 cups - of crushed crackers. As a single-family serving the proportions work fine with the recipe as written, but once the quantities are increased it gets too liquid without the extra crackers. We usually cook the quadruple size in large disposable foil pans; you'll either need 2 pans per casserole (to support the weight) or to put the pans on cookie sheets.

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