As I was leaving the house this afternoon to pick up Miss M from school I took a quick peek over at my storage shelves in the garage. From the driver seat of the mom-mobile it appeared we had the cans of cream of mushroom I planned as a substitute. I made a point of my quick check because I was planning to brave the commissary after picking up the littlest Wheeler. (We survived the trip to the commissary because I gave Miss M the job of crossing things off mom's list.)
After returning home and putting away the groceries I decided to start dinner. Out to the garage I go to retrieve my cream of mushroom soup. A quick look to the bottom of the can I discover that soup expired in 2010! Yikes! Peel the label off for the Campbell soup points for the PTO and back out to the garage for the last can of cream of mushroom soup. Checking the bottom of that soup I learn it expired in 2011. Growling I remove that label for the PTO and stomp out to the garage. My choices now are cheddar soup or cream of chicken. I grab both cans of the cheddar soup, surely one of those has yet to expire. Wrong. One expired in 2011, and the other in 2009. Not only is throwing four cans of soup in the garbage sad, but add to it the fact that at least one of those cans of soup made the move from Utah to South Korea and then back again. I really need to 1) come up with a better system rotating can goods, 2) check expiry dates on can goods BEFORE the packers come to pack us for a move, and 3) check them again when unpacking. I suppose the best option would to channel my friend Denise, she makes her own cream of *fill in the blank* soups for use in casseroles.
After the great soup massacre, my only choice was to use cream of chicken. That soup is a common one used around here so I KNEW none of those were expired. I did worry about how the cream of chicken soup would taste in a ham dish. It proved to be a mute point as I received a thumbs up from Hero and a double thumbs up from Miss M.
Below is the recipe, as always changes and thoughts are in red.
Ham & Swiss Casserole
- 8 oz. package of egg noodles (The egg noodles in our commissary are in 12 oz. pkgs, so I just used the whole package.)
- 2 cups cubed ham (I found my ham in the meat section already cut, the packages were 8 ozs., so I used two for this recipe.)
- 1 can cream of celery soup (After discovering almost all of my "Cream of" soups had expired, the only option left was to use cream of chicken, turned out just fine.)
- 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese.
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 1/2 cup diced green pepper (I only had red, yellow, and orange in the crisper, so I used the orange one.)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- Boil the noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- In a bowl mix together the soup, sour cream, pepper, and onion.
- Grease a 13"x9" baking dish, I use Pam and just spray the pan while on the inside of the open door of the dishwasher this way the next time I run the dishwasher any over spray is washed away. Just make sure your dishwasher is empty of any clean dishes.
- Layer the bottom of the pan with half the noodles.
- Add half the ham and then half the cheese.
- Spread half of the soup mixture.
- Repeat with the second half of ingredients.
- Bake uncovered at 350*F for 30 to 45 minutes until heated through.
Final thoughts: This made a rather large casserole for my small family. In the future I will make this dividing the recipe into 2-8"x 8" pans--one for that night and the other for the freezer. Keep in mind that when reheating frozen pasta it tends to get mushy, so under cook the pasta just a bit to help prevent this. Also, instead of layering the ingredients I will mix them with half the cheese, putting that into the dish and then topping with remaining cheese. By layering we found that some of the noodles on the bottom and around the edge became hard and not that yummy lasagna corner hard either. I might even add a vegetable such as peas or broccoli the next time. The final change I will make is using perhaps two cans of soup or adding just a bit of milk to make sure there is enough sauce to coat all the pasta.