Sunday, March 20, 2011

Western Noodle Bake


This was extremely quick and easy, and I had all of the ingredients for it without making a trip to the store!

Any time I brown ground beef, I start it the same way: a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some red onion, and about a clove of garlic.  I bought some of that pre-chopped garlic in a bottle so I don't smell like garlic all of the time.  1/2 tsp = 1 clove.  It's very handy!


 Once the garlic and onion is a nice caramel color...


Add the ground beef to the pan with some salt and pepper and brown the heck out of it.


You should have previously put on a pot of water to boil, and by this time it should be boiling.  Add the noodles and give it a stir.


Once the ground beef is browned, drain any grease left in the pan.  You know that little bit of grease that you can't get with a spoon?  I use a paper towel to soak it up.  Unfortunately, today I didn't have any paper towels left, so I left that little bit in my beef.  I know, I'm going to die of a heart attack.


Add the tomato sauce to the ground beef.


Let that hang out and simmer while you check on the noodles and get the other ingredients ready.

Mix sour cream and cottage cheese in a bowl.

Add a lot of pepper.


The noodles should be ready by now, so drain them, but do not rinse.  I watch a lot of Chopped on the Food Network, and rinsing your noodles is very bad, according to Scott.  So drain, but no rinse.

Then add the meat to the noodles.

Looking good...

Then add the sour cream and cottage cheese mixture to the noodle mixture.

Looking better....

It will look perfect once you've added the green onions.  Those are my favorite kind of onion.  Yum!

 Then dump it all into a 9X9 pan.

Instead of mixing everything together and dumping it in a pan, you could layer it, like lasagna.  Which is actually what the original recipe said to do, I just didn't listen.  Whoops!

Cover the entire thing with cheese.  Mmmm, cheese....

Then bake in the oven until the cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes.

 Mmmmm...

I served mine with a simple salad.

This dish reminded me of Western Mac that my mom used to make, using the recipe on the wide of a mac & cheese box.  It was basically macaroni and cheese with ground beef added to it.  This is the grown-up version of that.

INGREDIENTS: 
1-¼ pound ground beef
1 can 15-ounces tomato sauce 
½ teaspoons Salt 
freshly ground black pepper 
8 ounces, noodles, any kind will do
½ cups sour cream 
1-¼ cup cottage cheese 
sliced green onions (to taste) 
1 cup grated cheese, sharp cheddar would be nice, but I used Mexican blend.

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cook noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.

To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheese. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake until all cheese is melted.