I’ve been a military wife for over 11 years and almost every party or get-together at the squadron that I attend we are required to bring a dish to share. I grew up in a Baptist church so I’m quite familiar with pot-lucks and it’s always amused me that there are usually the same dishes. There are usually 2-3 cheesy hash brown casseroles, deviled eggs, an asian salad with ramen noodles, fruit salad, a jello salad of some sort, gobs of chips, and chocolate chip cookies. (Oh, and here in our town someone always brings a huge plate of Jim ‘n Nicks cheesy cornbread muffins, they’re so addicting!) Everyone in the squadron knows that I cook so they usually ask me what I brought. I will admit that there have been times I’ve been a bit embarrassed to admit that I totally copped out and brought something like a plate of fruit.
One of the foundations of many, many casseroles is a can of cream of mushroom soup. Condensed canned soups leave much to be desired in taste and also contain many processed ingredients. If your goal is to cook with real food, but you have recipes in your repertoire that call for cream of mushroom soup, then I encourage you to try and make your own. It only takes about 15 minutes and the flavors in your dish will increase ten-fold.
Now is the season for Christmas parties, and if you’re like me, you’ll be invited to a few potlucks. This is the perfect dish that will please almost anyone, but with extra depth of flavor. The casserole keeps very well in the fridge and can be made a day ahead of time and then heated in the oven before serving.