Updated: Feb 3, 2022
From "The Infinite Feast: How to Host the Ones You Love—Recipes from the Big Easy . . . and Beyond" by Brian Theis, 2020 Click here for more info on my new cookbook!
The “three-hour tour” casserole. With a one-two punch of rice and potatoes, it’s perfect for winter weather. Historically includes celery and kidney beans; I use carrots and peas. It baked for almost two hours in days of olde (the potatoes started out raw), this one only 35 minutes. Two kinds of cheese = decidedly decadent. Grate your own good quality cheddar (I like Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Yellow).
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 cup 20-minute whole grain brown rice, cooked al dente
1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 ounces) sliced potatoes, drained
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning, divided
1 can (14.5 ounces) sliced carrots
1 can (15 ounces) sweet peas
8 ounces cream cheese, in 1/2-inch pieces
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce with Italian herbs
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat oven to 350°F.
Add turkey to medium skillet over medium heat, season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Breaking turkey up with large spoon, cook till no longer pink. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, cook onion and garlic over medium-high heat till softened, 3 minutes. Reduce heat, add cooked rice and half the Creole seasoning, stir to combine. Cook another 3 minutes, remove and set rice mixture aside.
To same pan over medium-high heat, remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add potatoes, remaining Creole seasoning, cook till heated through, about 7 minutes.
Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Layer as follows: potatoes, carrots, turkey, peas. Sprinkle peas lightly with salt and pepper. Distribute chunks of cream cheese evenly over peas. Cover with the rice, then pour tomato sauce evenly over all. Top with shredded cheese. Cover with foil, bake 20 minutes. Uncover, bake 15 minutes more. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
That time star junior chef Emma of Pennsylvania made the Shipwreck Casserole for her whole family in nothing flat! No ships were harmed in the process.