McCall's Cooking School: Beef, Zucchini and Cheese Casserole

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Elder Arcilla's coming over today for his goodbye dinner (he's leaving next Wednesday). I decided to make McCall's Cooking School's Beef, Zucchini and Cheese Casserole. I first made this in May of 2010 for Elder Nelson's birthday and I had no idea how it would taste. It was a bunch of different things combined together and I was pretty leery about it. But it tasted REALLY good, hence why I'm making it again. Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

First Layer
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, crushed {I used 2 cloves and minced them instead}
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper {We used grounded black pepper and used as much as we wanted}

Second Layer
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 to 3 lb zucchini or summer squash, chopped
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles {I used Yellow Hot Peppers instead}
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese  {I'm in love with cheese and just put enough to cover the whole layer}

Third Layer
2 large eggs
2 cups cottage cheese
2 teaspoons chopped parsley (optional)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Red pepper slices and scallion brushes (optional) {I just used the red pepper slices}

1. For this casserole, select lean ground beef (also sold as ground round or ground beef with 20% fat). It has the perfect moisture and fat content for this dish. Prepare first layer of casserole: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, garlic, salt and pepper.

2. Stir ground beef mixture with a spoon while it cooks, breaking up large chunks of meat. Continue cooking mixture until the beef loses its pink color. Drain off and discard any fat. Using a slotted spoon, place beef mixture in a 2-quart casserole.

3. Prepare the second layer or the casserole: In a 3-quart saucepan, bring 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to boiling over high heat. Add chopped zucchini and cook until fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Pour zucchini and water into a colander. Drain zucchini well and return to saucepan.

4. Mash zucchini with a portable electric mixer or a potato mashed until zucchini is broken up. Add chopped green chiles, chopped onion and the butter; mash until thoroughly combined. Spread zucchini mixture over beef layer in casserole; sprinkle zucchini mixture with Cheddar cheese. Preheat oven to 350F. {I didn't like using the electric mixer because it just made a huge mess. I used a potato mashed instead.}

5. Prepare the third layer of the casserole: Place eggs in medium-sized bowl; beat with a wire whisk or portable electric mixer until light. Fold in cottage cheese and parsley. (If desired, reserve some parsley to sprinkle on top of casserole.) Spoon cottage cheese mixture over zucchini and Cheddar cheese layer in the casserole.

6. Sprinkle cottage cheese mixture with Parmesan cheese and place casserole on the center rack in the oven. Back for 35 minutes or until casserole is thoroughly heated and top layer is set. Garnish with red pepper slicces and scallion brushes. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.


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