It occurred to me earlier that because The Monday Memo got derailed by Christmas Eve and New Years Eve and all the related holiday shenanigans, you’ve missed a few things that have been going down over here at Marmalade HQ.
Exciting things. Like the bi-fold door to the closet-under-the-stairs being replaced by a *proper* door. To appreciate why this is so exciting you would need to understand that since the pantry lost the fight with my contractor’s crowbar back in November, the cat food has been relocated to the aforementioned closet. The cats were thrilled about the relocation. They can open a bi-fold door with ease. So for 3 months I’ve had a chair wedged under the door knob to prevent a month’s worth of food being chowed down in 2 days. Given that this closet also houses the shoes, the cowboy boots, the coats, the baseball caps and floppy straw hats, not to mention the water main shut-off, having to un-wedge and re-wedge a chair multiple times a day lost it’s appeal about 3½ days after the pantry was demolished. Then, in a flash of inspiration, I wondered if the pantry frame and door that have been lolling in the garage for the last 3 months would fit the closet. You know, the frame and door that I have been walking by at least twice a day when getting the car in and out of the garage. The frame and door that are now on guard duty at the closet. The cats are not amused. Penelope is particularly fed up because she can no longer hide in there and freak the house-sitters out. I am hoping Penelope will soon forget she’s fed up.
I’m hoping you’ve all forgotten that you’re fed up with turkey now that the holidays are but a fading memory – carefully packed up with the baubles and wreaths in that tattered box in the garage. It would be quite terrible if you made this for dinner and there was eye-rolling and murmurs rippling round the table like a stationary Mexican Wave without the cheer. Because this casserole is awesome.
I took some into the studio for Bailor a few weeks back and he scarfed it down like it was his last meal. He declared it to be like eating Chicken Pot Pie. Without the pie bit. Between you and me, I’m confused. When I hear the word “casserole”, I think of a stew. It’s the Brit in me. So when I was newly landed on this great chunk of land and introduced to my first American casserole, I was a bit bewildered. It was as much like a stew as a baseball cap is like a floppy straw hat. Since then I have determined “casserole” seems to be a blanket term for anything baked in the oven in a deep dish. Which would include lasagna, shepherd’s pie and moussaka. Clearly not casseroles. And then I noticed – almost without exception – the meals I’ve encountered called a “casserole” involved a can of condensed soup, which would normally find me running from the building screaming. Truth be told, I still don’t know what a casserole really is an America, but I am going with the whole deep-dish-and-baked-in-the-oven theory, because frankly, I’ve not been able to make anything else make sense. I think most Brits would call American casseroles a “bake”. Except this particular recipe would definitely not be a British “bake”. Then Bailor piped up with the words “Chicken Pot Pie”, except it has no “pie”. It’s more like a Quiche, but without the pastry. Really it’s a massive omelet. So I called it “casserole”, because for reasons that escape me entirely, it seemed the best fit. Now we can all be confused together.
This turned out to be perfect for just about every meal you can think of – breakfast, check; lunch – check; dinner – check; snack – check. It would not, however, be my first choice for dessert. It is fabulous hot right out the oven, but once cold, it can easily be transported for lunch and eaten either warm or cold. It is majorly filling, and there’s a whole bunch of veggies baked right in, so if you were not in a place where you could add some exciting sides or a glorious salad, you’d still be doing good. Or, consider a hybrid – take this in for lunch and grab the greens from the cafe, if your work place provides one. I find it much easier to avoid cafe *inSANEity if I don’t make eye contact with anything other than the salad bar.
I don’t often make my recipes twice, as I am always conjuring up something new for you. This I have made several times. It’s (at least) 4 days worth of lunch right there – brilliant if there’s a super-busy week ahead. Whatever you decide to call it.
- Coconut oil spray
- 1lb / 450g roasted turkey, chopped
- 8 oz. / 225g leeks, finely chopped
- 2 oz / 55g celery, finely chopped
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 1 cup / 8 fl oz. non-fat cottage cheese
- 8 eggs
- Lemon pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Spray a 7 x 11" / 4 pint / 2 quart baking dish with coconut oil.
- In a bowl, mix the turkey, leeks, celery, sage and cottage cheese together.
- Spread the turkey mixture evenly in the baking dish.
- In the bowl, whisk the eggs and lemon pepper well.
- Pour the eggs evenly over the turkey mixture.
- Sprinkle the grated Parmesan evenly over the surface.
- Carefully place the baking dish in the oven.
- Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean.