Reuben Casserole

I am not the least bit Irish, but I thought I would jump on the St. Patrick's Day bandwagon and make something, well, St. Patricksy for the first time.  A couple of weeks ago I made my first corned beef (see recipe) and it turned out really well.  This time I thought I would take it a step further and make the corned beef into a reuben casserole.  I LOVE reubens.  I didn't know how my family would like it.  I figured my daughter wouldn't and my son would (I was right on both), but I wasn't sure about my husband.  He loved it. 

I didn't spice this up like I did my last beef, because reuben sandwiches aren't spiced very much, if at all.  I only used the spice packet it came with.  Also, I used provolone cheese instead of swiss, because I asked my husband to pick up some swiss on the way home...and he brought provolone.  This couldn't be simpler to make.  Enjoy.

1 lb. corned beef, plus spice packet
1 package of baby carrots
1 small cabbage, quartered
1 can sauerkraut
6 pre-sliced slices of provolone cheese
1 bottle thousand islands dressing
6 slices of good rye bread

Heat olive oil in a deep pan or skillet.  Sprinkle seasoning packet onto both sides of the brisket.  Brown both sides.  Add enough water to almost cover the brisket.  Add your carrots and the cabbage.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 3 hours.

Remove brisket from skillet.  Trim off any fat.  Cut the brisket into bite sized pieces, then shred.  Place shredded brisket into the bottom of a baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray.  Next top with a layer of sauerkraut.  Top that with the thousand islands, as much as you want.  Cut three of the cheese slices in half, spread over top of the dressing.  Rip up the bread slices and place on top of the dressing.  Cut the three remaining cheese slices in half, place on top of bread.

Bake at 425 for 25 minutes, or until the bread is browned and the cheese is brown and bubbly.  Serve with the carrots and cabbage.

Beer Bread (or Muffins)

My mother found this recipe for Beer Muffins over the weekend.  She made hers by adding savory ingredients (spices and cheese) and omitting the raisins.  I ended up making mine according to the recipe, but into bread because the oven was busy with dinner, and I had to fit this into the toaster/convection oven.  This bread (or muffins, however you choose to go) has a distinctive beer taste to it, at least in my opinion.  So for those of you who think it should always be beer:30, this is not one to miss!

3 cups buttermilk biscuit mix (such as Bisquick)
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 can of beer
1 c chopped raisins (I used Craisins)

Mix all ingredients together to form a dough much like cookie dough.  Grease a muffin pan or 9x9" pan, pour into cups/pan.  Bake at 350 degrees -- 15 minutes for muffins, 25-30 for bread.  Serve warm with butter.

Baked Breaded Shrimp

My daughter loves popcorn shrimp...the kind that's deep-fried in a restaurant or from a box in the freezer section.  Shrimp is so good for you, but the rest of it...well, you know.  So I wanted to make it for her in the hopes that she could enjoy one of her favorites without all the fat and badness that comes from deep frying.  She didn't like it as well as the bad-for-you kind, but I thought they turned out fantastic.  If you like breaded shrimp, give this a try. 

1 bag of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 egg
panko breadcrumbs
Old Bay seasoning
garlic powder

Rinse your peeled shrimp.  Cut each shrimp in half to make two.  Put the raw shrimp in a ziplok bag.  Whisk the egg, add it to the bag of shrimp.  Work the egg through to make sure all of the shrimp are coated.

Mix your breadcrumbs and seasonings in a shallow dish.  Add a handful of the shrimp, make sure each one is coated well with the breadcrumbs.  Place the shrimp on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick spray.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and lightly browned.