No, I ‘m not going to describe how to make Cream of Mushroom soup. No this is some discussion on how Cream of Mushroom soup can be one of those ingredients in dishes that enhances things and makes it that much better.

As a couple of examples of this, most everyone has had some variation on the Green Bean Casserole which is a staple of the pot luck dinner at the church or school. I don’t know whether it was Campbell Soups or one of the veggie companies that first came up with the dish for advertising the soup, but whomever it was, it quickly became a staple in many parts of the country. Tuna Noodle Casserole is also one of those that I think came from a marketing perspective but is a quick and easy meal for the working family.

My maternal grandmother would often make Chicken and Rice for Sunday dinner. She’d use a whole chicken but just as with the Fried Chicken I discussed a couple of weeks ago, I tend to just use some legs (drumsticks) or thighs for this.  . . .

Basic ingredients:

Chicken pieces

Rice

Cream of Mushroom soup

Parboil the chicken pieces. Parboiling is a good practice for things like chicken (and ribs) if you don’t have the time or energy to to cook things super slowly or have ingredients that cook at different speeds and temperatures. Make a couple of cups of rice. You can use the standard Minute Rice or "real" rice either one. After the rice is cooked, use it to make a "bed" in a casserole dish or pan. Place the chicken pieces on the rice then cover everything with the Cream of Mushroom Soup. Bake in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. then serve. The chicken will most likely be falling off the bone and the mingled odors will entice most to the table well before things are done. Steamed broccoli is a good accompaniment.

The next recipe is what my Dad called Swiss Steak so imagine my shock when I first had Swiss Steak with a tomato based sauce rather than the Cream of Mushroom soup.

This is fairly simple with a roughly 1/2 inch to inch thick round steak and the Cream of Mushroom Soup. Coat the steak with flour then braise it in a hot skillet (olive oil probably works best). After the steak has been browned quickly, just pour the Cream of Mushroom soup and a half can of water over it, put a lid on the skillet and cook it low and slow for an hour or more. I tend to get impatient myself but when done correctly, this makes a nice mushroom gravy and the meat is falling apart. I like peas, green beans, or corn as a side with this but as always, it is to what your taste buds like that is most important.

And because I can (RIP Solomon Burke):

dakine01

dakine01

Small town Kentucky country boy lived all over the country. Currently in Ruskin, FL

21 Comments