Monday, December 3, 2007

Venison Casseroles and Rice Balls

I hide it well, but I’m a lazy person. Which is why I have a blog about food and not interior decorating. Because if I had to post pictures of my house, you would be afraid to admit you had even seen the picture. It would taint your color-coordinated, matched-candlesticks soul forever.
{You wouldn’t know this, but that last paragraph wore me out so much, I took a 10 minutes power nap.)

So, when I made the lasagna last month and had about 2 pounds of venison left over, I decided to make a huge casserole for dinner, split most of it up into pans and freeze it. It sounds like I was thinking ahead. In reality, I was thinking of how much more time I would have to lie around on the couch and be lazy on my internets if I had three less dinners to plan in my life. I scrounged around my refrigerator and pantry and found various things to throw in a bowl and call “dinner”.

The frozen version:

The first time I thawed one out, I added some diced tomatoes and tons of basil and oregano; I topped it off with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, and then baked it until the top was nice and golden. Alas, my laziness made me forget to take a picture.

Last week, I used the second one. After it thawed I added a couple of eggs and some bread crumbs, then formed it into balls and rolled it in more breadcrumbs and cooked them in a couple of inches of vegetable oil.

I made a sauce by heating up a can of diced tomatoes, and then smashing the ever-loving heck out of them with my potato masher, and added some crushed red pepper flakes, thyme and basil.

These rice balls were incredible. So incredible, that I think I’ll do the same thing with the last pan of it that I have in the fridge, although I was planning on adding some corn and chili powder and then topping it off with crushed tortilla chips and cheddar cheese.

The basic casserole:

  • 2?? cups uncooked rice
  • 2 pounds of ground meat (I used up the venison left
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 four ounce cans of mushrooms
  • 1 very large can of cream of mushroom soup
Cook rice.
Brown meat in the skillet.
Sautee the veggies in another skillet.
Mix everything together with some salt and pepper, then divide into dishes.

You can add just about anything to this. The first night, before any of it was frozen, I just dumped some hot sauce on it. The Professor mixed in some barbeque sauce. We were both simultaneously disgusted by the other’s choice, and more than happy with our own.


themanfromearth said...

I want to try this, Debbie.
Do you think it would be easier to form the rice balls after the cassarole "congeals", so to speak, in the fridge, overnight?

Deborah said...

I definitely think it would work better that way. Also, you'll get the benefit of all the flavors doing their thing ...swirling around in their little pan, meeting and melding...

themanfromearth said...

You are so kind...thank you! It looks really, really good and I still have a couple of tubes of venison in the freezer...of course, it could be said, "what wouldn't taste good fried in 2 inches of veggie oil!", but I wouldn't say that because I've had bad food cooked in 2 inches of veggie oil (did you notice I've drawn a blank on how to spell the other way to say veggie...7:30 Sunday morn!)