Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"I coulda been a meatloaf" goes casserole

It occurs to me that there is a broader application available for yesterday’s “I coulda been a meatloaf”. I didn’t imagine, when posting this, that it was anything anyone else would make. Maybe you don’t have ring molds. So I’m going to revamp the whole thing here as a casserole.

A few ground rules: buy chorizo in a tube (it’s about 1 lb. I think) that is not pre-cooked; buy 2 of the largest onions you can find; the cheese choice is up to you – just make sure it’s a good melting cheese.

If you read my posts with any regularity, you’ve learned that I have a fondness for ramen noodles. They are so easy to work with, they are so cheap.

Bear in mind that I haven’t actually made this dish – but I have a pretty good track record for predicting the outcome of culinary choices. I would love it if one of you intrepid cooks/chefs/bloggers were to make this and give us a report.

Since we’re going to pre-cook the chorizo, it can be crumbly or burger-like. I like the burger idea because of the texture in the final dish. You can cook the ramen in just 2 cups of water. Just do it in a wide sauté pan. We will use the spice packet – beef or pork flavor are the best ideas, although chicken will suffice (don’t use shrimp).

‘I coulda been a meatloaf’ goes casserole
2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2 large onions
4 large cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 lb. uncooked chorizo
cheese, sliced or grated (your choice)
2 packages ramen noodles, boiled 2 ½ minutes, drained and rinsed under cold water
8 oz. tomato sauce
salt and pepper
optional additions: chopped parsley or cilantro, chopped scallions

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high.

Trim the ends of the onions, cut in half pole to pole and remove skins. Slice into half moons about ¼” thick. When the oil is hot, add the onion to the pan, along with the garlic, and sauté (without coloring) for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Remove and set aside.

Form the chorizo into rectangular “burgers” no more than ¼” thick. Saute them in the pan you just used for the onions until they are, oh, say, medium rare. (They will finish cooking in the oven.) Remove and set aside.

Wipe out this sauté pan with a paper towel. Bring to boil 2 cups water. Add ramen noodles and cook, tossing frequently, for 2 ½ minutes. Remove to a colander with a spider. Run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Toss them with the tomato sauce in a bowl and set aside.

Add 1 spice packet to the water and stir it in.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 10x10 casserole dish (or something about that size) with cooking spray. Time to assemble the layers. Spread half of the onion and garlic mix in the bottom of the casserole. Lay in ½ of the chorizo burgers. Top this with half of the cheese (the amount is up to you – I like to use a lot). Spread the ramen noodles next. Now, reverse the order of the layers: cheese, chorizo, onions. Add the ramen cooking liquid to the casserole. Bake until hot throughout (how long? is the challenge for the intrepid one among you who decides to test this recipe).


Pam said...

Yum! I think it sounds delicious.

Jenn said...

Ok...I just may have to try this one. Your coulda been a meatloaf sounded really I can imagine that this would be just was tasty! Do you think angle hair pasta would work as well as the ramen? I know you wouldn't have the spice packets, but maybe adding your own spices would suffice? And of course, do you think caramelizing the onions would be ok? I like them much better that way.. ok, ok..I'm done asking questions for now :)

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