Creamy Turkey-Cheese Bake

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RECIPE #460, DAY #631

THREE STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Turkey Cheese Casserole” from Ricki Carroll’s Home Cheese Making

TIMING: 45 minutes-1 hour

DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy

TOOLS: A skillet, small casserole dish, and other usual kitchen things

COOK TYPE: Stovetop and oven

HEALTH: It’s got a whole lotta dairy to be called “healthy,” but it is lean protein and can (and should) be served with a nice, healthy grain and some sort of vegetable side, like steamed broccoli or a green salad.

EXPERIENCE: I was excited about this, because I am a Midwesterner and Midwesterners love a good casserole. Plus, I’m always looking for more ways to use turkey, which is my husband’s favorite meat.

In the end, this casserole was a disappointment for 2 reasons. First, you don’t just throw it all in a pan and shove it in the oven, which all the best casseroles are capable of. Second, this is not a stand-alone meal, which all the best casseroles also are. You need to make some sort of grain to plop the casserole on and you really need a veggie, as well. Things could be made easier by throwing a grain in the steamer, then making the casserole. Then putting together a veggie side while the casserole cooks.

But, then again, the taste wasn’t even that awesome. It was too simple. Kids like it, predictably. I found it less-than-sophisticated.

***

  1. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon unsalted butter over medium-high heat. Add 4 cups diced turkey and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook until turkey is opaque all the way through each piece, letting it sit now and then to brown a bit. Remove from heat.
  2. In a small casserole dish, mix together the turkey, 1 cup diced celery, 1 cup sour cream, ¼ cup all purpose flour, ¼ cup diced green bell pepper, 2 tablespoons minced onion, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Stir in 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar and top casserole with a little more cheese.
  3. Bake for ½ hour, until casserole is hot and bubbly.

***

Serve over a grain, such as rice, with a side of steamed broccoli or cauliflower.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: This is fine, warmed-up and left-over, but the sour cream might curdle. It’s still good to eat.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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