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Stoney's Crew: Chicken Noodle Casserole Experiment!

Well, after the debacle yesterday, one must do a couple of things. Go Shopping! and "Get back up on that horse!" The shopping part was easy for me. I am a firm believer in retail therapy--but that does not mean that I purchase anything everytime I wander out into the retail world. Yes, folks, I am very selective on my purchases. (Stoney finds my need to browse difficult to comprehend.)

After a month of Pantry Challenge (or least a Stoney's Crew version of it), some of the inventory was beginning to thin considerably. Folks, Stoney's Crew was even out of ground beef in the freezer. First time for everything I guess. That means...Amish Shopping!

Yes, here in the land of Stoney's Crew (northern Indiana, in case you haven't guessed!) is a large Amish community. Allen, Noble, Stueben, DeKalb, Elkhart, LaGrange, and Kosciusko counties of Indiana all have many Amish and Mennonite families. The largest populations seem to be in the Elkhart, LaGrange and Stueben counties with the shopping mecca being Shipshewana, Indiana. Shipshewana is about an hour's drive from Stoney's Crew and there are many, many stores to browse through in this little town.

Arts, crafts, quilts, home decor, furniture, antiques, and, you betcha, FOOD! I will do a post in the near future about some of the sights, sounds, and fun to be had in that area. Today, I was on a quick mission, so I only visited Yoder's Meat & Cheese and E&S Sales. I had to make tracks back to the Stoney's Crew homestead to work on today's chicken challenge. The things that I do for you! And yes, it was snowing today...quite a bit actually. The Stoney's Crew Colt looks nasty after the trip...a bath for that steed when it warms up for sure!

One of the sites that I lurk at (monitor) is Kitchen Stewardship. I noticed a recipe for Cream of ... Soups so I thought that I would give it a try. Of course, I have to modify...the Stoney's Crew kitchen is a lab remember. (Mahwwwaaaaah!)

The major modifications? Quantity reduction (1/2) and Yoder's had Dried Sliced Shitake Mushrooms for $1.11 for .055 lb. knowing this was less expensive than the previously planned fresh (8 oz $1.99 on sale) I decided to try it! Reconstituting the mushrooms was easy. The package directions were: rinse in cold water, cover in boiling water and soak for 15-20 minutes before draining. 1 oz of dry mushrooms is the equavilant of 4 oz. fresh.

Stoney's Crew Cream of Mushroom Soup
3 tablespoons butter (divided)
3 tablespoons flour
2 cloves fresh minced garlic (or more we like garlic!)
1/2 a chopped onion (mine was a softball size onion)
Reconstituted Dried Sliced Shitake Mushrooms (or equivalent 4 oz. Fresh sliced mushrooms)
2 cups milk (skim)
1 cup chicken stock (yeppers, some of that fab stuff from the bird)
Dash of ground nutmeg, salt, and pepper

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan, add onion and mushrooms. Saute until limp. Move to side of pan. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in pan, add flour and not brown the flour. Add the milk and chicken stock stir. Simmer 15-20 minutes until thickened. After it has thickened, put into blender, food processor or use an immersion blender if you have one to "cream".

Good thing these bunny slippers move fast--a near catostrophe was narrowly averted when I discovered that the bottom of my blender was not affixed tightly after pouring a bit in. Oooops! That is why Every Day is an adventure!

Wellah! you have now made approximately 2 pints of cream of mushroom soup. I probably would have produced a bit more than the 2 pints without the ooops! When using in a recipe, please keep in mind that this is not condensed, so you may not need as much milk or liquid that a recipe calls for.

Stoney's Crew version of Chicken Noodle Casserole is about as easy as you can get!

Stoney's Crew Chicken Noodle Casserole

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup (in this case a scant pint or half of above recipe, refrigerate other half)
2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
1 cup frozen peas (or peas and carrots)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 to 1 cup milk
1/2 bag of store bought noodles (I have never tried my homemade in this!)
1/2 cup crushed croutons
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook noodles according to package direction, drain. Mix chicken, vegetables, cheese with the noodles. Pour mixture and milk into 9x9 casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle croutons on top and bake an additional 5-10 minutes.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, a picture would have been nice--but it slipped my mind. Sorry folks!

Overview of the day's events:
thumbs up! No surprise on that one!
Dried Mushrooms:
thumbs up for soup, I will continue to use fresh for Alfredo and Al Forno sauces/meals.

Number of servings from casserole:

Chicken Meal Counter: 21!


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