Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Church Lady Smackdown

I love casseroles. Luuuurve them.

So when I was invited to participate in a full-on balls-to-the-walls Casserole Cook-Off using old "Church Lady" recipes, I jumped at the chance. And even though it might compromise my Retro Weight Watchers code of ethics, I figured - why not? What could possibly go wrong??

Then I got my assignment. (Courtesy of my pal, Yinzerella)

Ruth Silverstone Will Casserole Your Ass Off!
Recipes and Napkin Folding from the JCC of Harrison County

Aside from the fish (which we must eat 5 times per week on the Retro WW Program) and the broccoli (which is my favorite "legal" vegetable) - the rest of the dish is a multi-layered pile of gooey dietetic wrongness.

But -- Since the Casserole Cook-Off rules demand that substitutions are not allowed, I wasn't able to lighten this dish up for my dietetic needs. In true Retro WW fashion, I would normally replace the celery soup with a gelatin/buttermilk combo and I would swap the margarine with a butter flavored extract. And for the love of Jean Nidetch -- poach the fish in WINE?!? Dear lord - alcohol is at the top of the list of forbidden foods. We do our poaching in plain old water, people. I could go on, but you get the idea.

So after making an official public apology to my entire Retro WW Sisterhood, I present you (layer by layer) with...

Anything Anytime Casserole!

Butter and Broccoli and Noodles - Oh My!

Water Chestnuts. Unexpected, but totally made the dish.

Poached Fish? Nailed it.
Celery soup, mushroom and seasonings. The Great Gooey Goodness!
Top with cheese and pop in the oven!

This casserole had 7 layers, and required me to dirty 6 dishes. Seriously? I almost ran out of Palmolive half way through my clean-up.

And what about the name of the recipe? Anything? Anytime? Wow! Do you mean I can whip this up at 3:00am? Can this dish possibly be more versatile?

But how did it taste?

It. Was. Delicious.

As I wipe the drool from my chin, I would just like to say thank you Ruth Silverstone. You are the creator of this casserole. You are the mastermind behind this delicious combination. You deserve a spot in the comfort food Hall of Fame! I am sure the rest of the ladies in the Jewish Community Center of Harrison would agree. Mazel Tov!

So just how am I supposed to go back to my Retro WW eating after this? Hmmm?

I mean, really.

Wanna check out the other Casserole Challenge posts? Including the Potato Casserole which I threw in the mix - courtesy of the Polish Hill Civic Association of Pittsburgh? Go ahead. Tap into your inner Church Lady! Here are the links...

Caker Cooking - Polish Potato Casserole
Dinner is Served 1972 - Cock-a-Doodle Casserole
Mid Century Menu - Sausage Apple Noodle Casserole
Retro Recipe Attempts - Lazy Bride's Dish


Anonymous said...

I really thought the poached fish would make it gross.
Ruth Silverstone got me.

Erica Retrochef said...

Caloric overload aside, I didn't expect this would work, BUT IT DID? Wow. I'm impressed, too, Ruth Silverstone!

Silvercat said...

I love how they don't tell you what kind of fish. Just fish. Throw some shark in there, whatever. ;)

Caker Cooking said...

Everything is just The casserole. The Pyrex dish. The plate. Talk about color coordination. (See? I spelled colour the American way as a gesture of good will.) I'm glad you enjoyed this, Mimi, but I can honestly say, I don't think I'll ever make this one.

RetroRuth said...

Oh my god, BLARGH! It looks so green and terrible. I am totally shocked it tasted good. But I suppose that cream of celery soup covers a multitude of sins. And I really mean that. That soup overpowers anything.