Today is my stepson, Justin's 21st birthday! He is so sweet, handsome and smart, just like his dad. I first knew him when he was 13. He has come to love my cooking, after the infamous stuffed pepper episode! I made stuffed peppers when he was only 13 and he absolutely hated them! We've never let him forget it. Its a family joke. After that he was scared to try anything new that I cooked or that he hadn't had before. Now he loves to try new things because most of the time he loves them. I also think his taste buds have matured!
So for his birthday I made 2 of his favorite recipes: Chicken Broccoli Casserole and Sweet Potato Souffle. Both of these recipes come from a church cook book I've had for 31 years. Its called "Southern Cookery" and was a fundraiser project for the "Fidelis Class" at the Methodist Church in the small town near where I live. The cookbooks are worth their weight in gold and are still being sold at the local drug store!
Here they are:
Chicken Broccoli Casserole
2 (10oz.) pkg. frozen broccoli
(I used 1 24 oz bag frozen broccoli florets)
6 halves of chicken breasts, cooked and deboned
(I used 1 whole chicken. You can use whatever chicken you have that is on sale, etc.)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. curry power ( I have never used this because I didn't have any)
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 c. soft bread crumbs (I just pinch off pieces of 2 slices regular loaf bread)
2 tbsp melted butter or margarine.
Cook broccoli according to package directions and drain. Arrange in greased 7 X 11 inch baking dish, keeping flower heads turned toward outer edge of dish. Arrange chicken on top of broccoli. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle with cheese. Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs on top. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
The buttered bread crumbs look soggy, but place them around the top evenly and when they bake they become crispy and crouton like. My family say they are the best part of the dish.
Sweet Potato Souffle
3 medium size sweet potatoes
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 stick margarine
1/2 c. sugar (according to sweetness of potatoes)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. milk
For basic recipe, boil potatoes until tender. Drain and mash until soft and fluffy. Add other ingredients. Bake in a greased casserole at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Cover with marshmallows and return to oven until marshmallows are melted and a light brown.
The lady who entered this recipe in the cook book states, "You may use originality in this recipe. Spiced nuts and raisins may be added. A small can of crushed pineapple may be used in place of milk, or orange juice may be used in place of milk."
I add chopped pecans in the winter when I can get them from our tree. That makes the recipe really good! But most of the time I just use the basic recipe and its wonderful and easy! We are usually given lots of sweet potatoes here in the late fall and early winter, because so many farmers have an abundance of them.
I'll let you in on a secret!!! I didn't really like those stuffed peppers either!!!!