At this level, it may not shock you to know that I really like a good casserole. A lineup of my favourite elements amassed right into a sliceable savory cake of types–what’s to not like? Monotony, that’s what. It’s necessary to maintain it attention-grabbing, and my newest discovering does precisely that. Give your casserole a makeover with an instantaneous mashed potato crust.
Instantaneous mashed potatoes, generally referred to as “potato flakes,” are mashed potatoes which have been dehydrated into one thing that resembles aquarium fish meals, however don’t let that bizarre you out an excessive amount of, they really style nice. For our functions, they’re particularly helpful as a result of we will management the moisture content material. Might you employ home made mashed potatoes? Certain, however I’d counsel leftovers over freshly-made, creamy mashed potatoes. The purpose is to make use of barely sufficient water to assist form the potato layer, after which lose most of it throughout baking, with a view to have a sliceable layer of potato on the underside that doesn’t collapse.
I used a 7-by-9-inch Pyrex baking dish for my casserole, and prepped it with a heavy coating of butter. The Idahoan mashed potatoes field has a useful little chart of serving-based measurements on the again. In a medium bowl, I added 4 servings price of potato flakes, salt, and butter, and you need to do the identical. Don’t add the liquid measurements as instructed by the field. As an alternative, boil some water and drizzle in a half a cup.
Utilizing a rubber spatula, begin mixing and mashing the flakes with the opposite elements. If there are nonetheless clusters of dry flakes hanging round, add extra water. Add a few 1/4 cup at a time and mash the combination round till the potatoes have the consistency of Play-Doh, or clay. I used 1 cup of scorching water for 1 1/3 cups of potato flakes. Add grated parmesan cheese and blend it in. I used 1/3 of a cup of grated parm, however for those who’re utilizing pre-shredded parmesan use a 1/2 cup. This cheese goes to assist bind the potato combination as soon as it cools.
Press the tacky potato-doh into the casserole dish to make an excellent layer. I pressed the combination up the edges about half an inch to construct up a slight wall. Bake the crust in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes, or till the sides start to brown and whenever you contact the potato layer it feels dry. The crust is prepared to your casserole filling. When you fill it, bake the casserole as regular, in search of regular indicators of doneness, relying on the elements. The potato layer will proceed to bake and get a stunning browned backside.
Let the casserole cool utterly earlier than slicing. The parmesan potato crust provides a salty, parmesan observe to each chunk, however the texture provides the casserole its wow-factor. The underside and edges of the crust turn out to be effectively toasted within the oven, making it barely crisp and chewy, and is straight away adopted by the potato-fluff layer. It’s fluffy, but substantial, with out being gloppy. The filling will mingle with the delicate inside potato layer, leaving you with the impression that there are even extra layers to your casserole.
The next recipe is for a spinach casserole that makes for a wonderful week of lunches, or a improbable vegetarian dinner. Add any number of dry spices or contemporary herbs to the filling combination to suit your fancy. This retains well-covered within the fridge for as much as 5 days.
Tacky Spinach Casserole with a Mashed Potato Crust
Substances for the crust:
- 1 ⅓ cups instantaneous mashed potato flakes
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup scorching water
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan
Substances for the filling:
- 2 cups frozen cut-leaf spinach
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 2 cups egg whites
- ½ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 7-by-9-inch casserole dish.
Combine the primary 4 elements collectively in a medium bowl till well-combined, and the combination resembles the consistency of clay. Combine within the parmesan cheese. Press the combination into the underside of the casserole dish and barely up the edges. Bake 350°F for 25-Half-hour, or till the sides start to brown. Whereas ready, put together the filling.
Mix all the filling elements collectively in a bowl. (In case your spinach is in brick-form, defrost it and break it aside first.) As soon as the potato crust is prepared, pour the filling into the crust, spreading it out evenly if vital.
Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes. The sides needs to be puffed and set, and the middle ought to now not jiggle when shaken. Cool utterly earlier than slicing.