Saturday, December 08, 2012

Mike's Favorite Hotdish

Hang on, folks.  I am about to teach you a life-changing recipe!  I know it's surprising, especially since I'm not a great cook, but it's true.  I hold the secret to one of life's most fabulous comfort foods!  

When I got married my mother-in-law, Carol, passed this secret on to me.  She pretty much had to or else Mike would've been on her doorstep, demanding a meal, at least once a month.  She simply called it, "Mike's Favorite Hotdish."  It is appropriately named.  Our older kids knew it as "Dad's Favorite Hotdish" but Sam argues and calls it, "Sam's Favorite Hotdish". You will likely have to give it a more general name, maybe just "Favorite Hotdish" so as to keep peace within your own families.

The ingredients used are:
     1 lb. of rotini noodles
     1 lb. of hamburger (I have successfully substituted burger crumbles to make it a vegetarian dish)
     1 lb. of velveeta cheese (Is there a vegan version of velveeta? I'd like to make this vegan sometime.)
     1 can of cream of mushroom soup (Is there a  vegan version of that?)
     about 3/4 cup milk (soy, almond, etc. are fine as long as it is the regular, not vanilla)
     salt and pepper to taste

Truthfully, the originally recipe did not include the amounts and I usually use the throw in method.  You know, throw in some noodles, throw in some cheese, etc.  However, for the sake of this post, I actually worked out the amounts a bit for you.  The original recipe was something like, "Use a lot of Velveeta and the put in some more."  


So, start with the noodles.

I don't really have a brand preference but they need to be rotini.  I know, other noodles may taste the same but they don't FEEL the same. Trust me, I made that mistake before and it was not approved.








Get them boiling. Of course, stir them now and then. Just boil them until they are done.  Crunchy rotini would NOT be comforting.

While the noodles are boiling, brown the hamburger.  It is even easier if you are using burger crumbles.  Don't bother messing up a pan, just pour them frozen right into the mix later.

After the noodles are done, drain them and throw them back into the same pan.  Cut up the Velveeta into chunks and toss them in.  Add a can of cream of mushroom soup.  If you are using hamburger, drain it and toss it in.  If you are using frozen burger crumbles, toss those in.  Slop some milk in.  I've never really measured that out but I think it is something like 3/4 of a cup.  You can always add more milk later if it seems too dry.  When I reheat left-overs I usually add a bit more milk to freshen it up.

After you've stirred it all together in the pan, dump the whole lot into a microwave safe dish.  You can most certainly heat it up in a conventional oven if you wish but I use the microwave.  Just heat it until it is good and hot and the cheese is melted.  I usually stir it a time or two to get it all melted just right.  Mike hates it when I tell him to just heat something until it is good and hot.  He wants an exact time but really, all of our microwaves are different and you'll know when it is hot so please don't fret about the number of minutes it takes.  You'll know when it is done.  


Call your family to the table and serve with a fresh fruit of some sort and maybe a tossed salad.


Now, isn't that good?
I'm not saying that it is a great diet food.
I'm not saying it is a gourmet food.
I'm just saying it tastes very yummy and will make your family happy.

Enjoy!