This week I wanted to try something a little different. We’re a family that loves breakfast. Every type of breakfast – sweet, savory, yum! – we’re in. One of the things we enjoy doing is having breakfast for dinner. It’s a treat – that can still be somewhat healthy and balanced.
This week I decided to make the Hash Brown Casserole from The $7 a Meal Slow Cooker Cookbook. Here’s the recipe:
1 T butter 1/2 t salt
1 onion, chopped 1/8 t pepper
2 cloves minced garlic 1/2 t dried thyme leaves
6 c frozen hash browns 5 oz evaporated milk
3/4 c shredded mozzarella 1/2 c shredded cheddar
1. Spray inside of 3 1/2 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until crisp-tender. Let cool about 10 minutes.
2. Place 1/3 of the frozen hash brown potatoes in the slow cooker. Add 1/3 of the onion mixture and 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the cheese.
My good news/bad news for the recipe: good news – no raw meat; bad news – I have to chop another onion.
The onion thing drives me nuts for a lot of reasons, not just because I can’t cut anything well (except my own hand, that is), but because I have very sensitive eyes. I always end up with burning eyeballs and tears running down my face. I figured there has to be another way! When I looked up ideas online, I saw a suggestion for grating onion on a cheese grater. Perfect – it will eliminate the need for a knife, and if I go fast enough, maybe less tears.
I kinda forgot the whole cheese grater – sharp cutting grates thing and ended up grating the tip of my finger. Can I just tell you that normally that would hurt a lot, but add the joy of onion juices searing the wound, and you kinda get the picture. Ouch, ouch ouch!
I ended up switching back to a knife awfully fast, and it didn’t seem so bad. Big chunks, like always, but I wasn’t as scared as usual.
I added the butter and onion and garlic to the skillet and then realized I had no idea what cook until “crisp-tender” meant. Seriously? Aren’t these opposites??? Oh, well. I cooked until the onions turned kinda brown and had some crispy edges.
I added the ingredients exactly as written, and it didn’t look too bad. It cooked all day…
Well, honestly, I wasn’t very impressed. The casserole did not have a lot of flavor – some roasted peppers or sausage or both would really have made a big difference. And maybe thinner hash browns instead of the small cubes. Oh, and a lot more cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella.
So basically, a complete change may have saved this dish. We ate it. It was food. I’m proud everything went fairly well, but not of the dish itself.
Hoping for better results next week.