Thursday, November 20, 2008

Simple Spicy Creamy Spinach or Broccoli Casserole

I came up with this recipe earlier this week when I was craving comfort food with a peppery kick to help clear up my stuffy sinuses. My inspiration was one of Greg's mom's Thanksgiving side dishes, but I made it spicier and simpler since I was feeling under the weather. I used frozen spinach, but the original recipe calls for frozen broccoli which works just as well. You choose how hot you want it by selecting the heat level of the DEFCON Sauce (I used several drops of the ultra-hot DEFCON 1 Extreme Heat Wing Sauce), and by how much of the sauce to add. The DEFCON sauces are ideal for creamed vegetable recipes because of their rich cream base and straightforward cayenne pepper flavor and heat. As usual with my "spur of the moment" creations, the measurements are merely suggestions - just go with what looks right and tastes right, and have fun!

1 bag or 2 small boxes of frozen spinach or frozen chopped broccoli
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use the reduced fat version)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Several dashes (to taste) of your choice of DEFCON Wing Sauce (DEFCON 1 is the hottest and 3 is the mildest)
Opt: 1 cup pearl onions, drained

Place frozen spinach or broccoli in a microwave-safe casserole dish and cook in microwave according to package directions BUT stop cooking BEFORE it's thoroughly cooked. Remove from microwave and carefully drain most of the liquid from the undercooked spinach or broccoli. Stir in the remaining ingredients and microwave for a few minutes (about 2 or 3) until bubbly. Let cool a bit before digging in, so you don't burn your mouth!

Zestfully yours,

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