Last night’s dinner…..

Last night we had the Menus4moms version of Tater Tot Casserole.   It was VERY good, but we all decided that next time I will mix the green beans into the casserole (which is the way we are used to…..but I wanted to follow the recipe as written the first time we had it…..YES Serina, I actually FOLLOWED a recipe as written….well, mostly.  I didn’t use canned soups….my homemade version’s recipe to follow).   This will definitely be in the making again!   We really enjoyed it 🙂

In place of the can of cream of mushroom soup and cream of celery soup I made a homemade  (GREATLY reduced sodium version….and the soup/sauce can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator….even for a couple of days).

Here’s how I replaced those two cans of soup:

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1 4oz. can mushroom pieces and stems, drained with the “broth” reserved

1 clove garlic, minced

1 can skim evaporated milk

chicken broth*

salt & pepper to taste

1/3 cup organic unbleached flour

In a 3 quart sauce pan melt butter and oil together over medium heat.  Add celery and cook over medium heat until the celery is softened (you can also add the onion from the tater tot casserole to this part to soften up the onions).   Stir in flour and let cook for 2-3 minutes to get the starchy taste out of the flour.  In a 2 cup measuring cup mix together can of evaporated milk, drained “broth” from mushrooms, and chicken broth to measure a total of 2 cups.  Slowly whisk liquids into the flour/celery/butter mixture (you want to add just a bit at a time and whisk it thoroughly to avoid getting lumps).   Once all of your liquid is added, bring to a boil (over medium heat), whisking often until it is nice and thick and creamy.   Add salt and pepper to taste.     Once the sauce is nice and thick and creamy (the thickness of condensed cream of ____ soup) you can add all of the other sauce ingredients for the tater tot casserole.

NOTE:  I did not add the mushrooms into the soup base since the recipe called for them already.  For a recipe that doesn’t call for a whole can of mushrooms, only the mushroom soup, I will dice up about 1/3 of the can of mushrooms and add into the thickened soup so that it is more like the canned cream of mushroom soup.

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