I remember once when I lived in Germany, I got a recipe for German potato salad that began, "brown and crumble a pound of bacon; reserve grease. Add 1 cup wine vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar to warm bacon grease and stir briskly to make dressing."
I made a comment last week in my Paula Deen commentary about using mushroom soup and mayo in a recipe. My BFF Kate from Gluten-free Gobsmacked made one of those (to quote my students) "WTF?" responses.
Let me explain, dear Kate...and the rest of you, too.
A lot of my favorite southern recipes (including green bean casserole) call for a can of cream of mushroom (or celery or chicken) soup. To me, pre-GF, that meant Campbell's. Even the Healthy Request brand was thick and creamy.
But you've all probably noticed (if you're GF) that the Cream of Mushroom soups WE have to use are not very creamy, and adding cornstarch make them kind of gummy. And I don't want to make my own. Thanks, but no thanks. Defeats the purpose of the convenience.
So based on one of my favorite other southern chicken recipes, which I will post some other day, I experimented and made perfect creamy cream of mushroom soup by adding -- mayonnaise. Duke's Mayo, to be exact. In my mind, it's the only kind.
So to one can of soup (I use Health Valley Brand), I add about 1/3 cup of mayo. It can be light mayo, just not fat free. Whisk a little soup into the mayo, then beat the rest in. Just like old times! It tastes like the old stuff.
Of course, it kinda takes away from the low calorie-ness of dishes, but frankly, most of my Cream of Mushroom soup repetoire is not low fat. So I don't use it much, and it works great when I do.
Last night, I adapted a family recipe (my Mama's concoction) for potato casserole. I wouldn't call them scalloped or au gratin (though I did au gratin these with some 2 percent cheese -- my Mama wouldn't do that because my Daddy doesn't like cheese). I added cubed ham because I was tired and didn't want to cook it separately. Try it, though -- it is very good.
I bag of sliced prepared potatoes in the dairy case (or sliced large potatoes -- 3-4 of them)
1 package of sliced mushrooms (or a large jar, drained)
1 large onion sliced thin (because Randy is here, I used freeze dried shallots)
1 can Health Valley Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
Generous sprinkling of black pepper (it does not need salt).
One Tablespooon Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (or bottled Ranch dressing)
Optional: 2 cups cubed ham or cooked chicken
Optional: 1/2 cup 2 percent shredded cheddar cheese, grated
Mix mayo, sour cream, and dressing, and stir in mushroom soup. Set aside.
Layer: Half potatoes, onion rings, ham (or chicken), sauce, and repeat. End with sauce. Top with cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let set for about 15 minutes (to make sauce thicken a little more).
OR -- CROCK POT IT! Put it in the crock pot with the onions on the bottom and layer accordingly. You should leave this on simmer high for six hours to make sure the onions cook. If they're thinly sliced, it should work fine.
Four generous servings.
Much love and have a great Friday!