Guest blogging.

1 May

Blogger Matt has been cooking his way through a 1970s avocado-colored Betty Crocker recipe box and had his arm twisted was kind enough to let me in on the Green Box-y fun! On a recent Saturday evening after a few drinks I stoleborrowed a card from him and stuffed it in my back pocket before dancing the night away. I managed to hang onto it the entire evening, and although the card ended up a little worse for the wear from the night’s shenanigans, no major damage was done. I was ready to take on the challenge of preparing the very fancy-sounding Salmon Noodles Romanoff.

recipe card

A bit banged up, but ok to go.

The recipe turned out to be quite simple: noodles are parboiled, then all ingredients (except cheese) are stirred together. The cheese is reserved for topping the casserole.

ingredients

Are you hungry yet?

Included in the ingredients list was the puzzling “dairy sour cream.” Dairy sour cream? I didn’t realize sour cream came in a non-dairy option. I opted to ignore the seeming redundancy. Yes, I used reduced-fat sour cream. Even with the substitution each serving of Salmon Noodles Romanoff still contains over half of one’s daily recommended fat intake. Thanks, Betty!

Then came “creamed cottage cheese.” What makes it creamed? Was it blended to be curd-free? I started to Google, then decided it wouldn’t be in the 1970s spirit to find the answer online. I tried my aged copy of Joy of Cooking instead. Lo and behold, right there on page 536 Mrs. Rombauer advised that creamed cottage cheese is regular cottage cheese with cream added back in to make the fat content equivalent to whole milk. Well, I keep light cream in my fridge; no problem. I started making an attempt to calculate the amount needed to bring my low-fat cottage cheese to the proper fat levels, then said, “whatever” and just added in a couple T.

After that there were no more snags. I mixed it all up and got the following:

mixed

Leftover from a previous adventure with french onion soup.

Now, if you’ve read previous Green Box adventures you may remember the brownest meal ever. I am certain Salmon Noodles Romanoff is right up there in monochromaticity. It was a giant bowl of beige. BK‘s reaction to the mix: “Betty doesn’t like vegetables, does she?” No, not really. Not unless it’s garnish or encased in gelatine, I’d imagine. Sorry, buddy.

The card suggested I divvy up the mix into individual cup-sized casserole dishes. I assume this is considered a fancier presentation than dishing out from one big rectangular slab of casserole. I wasn’t concerned about the fanciness factor, but couldn’t deny the advantage of using smaller, shallow ramekins: the resultant higher ratio of cheesy topping to noodle casserole. Luckily, I had just the thing(s).

ramekin

Left over from a previous adventure with french onion soup.

The little guys all lined up:

ready to bake

All ready!

Into the oven they went, and the apartment began to fill with the bewitching aroma of hot fish. 25 minutes later I popped those suckers under the broiler to finish, et voila! Salmon Noodles Romanoff!

final product

Mmmmmtasty?

Sorry the focus is off. I was so hungry at this point everything in the viewfinder was a blur.

Thank goodness the browning added a little more eye-appeal. As did the suggested lemon garnish. Betty also suggested a side of broccoli spears sprinked with slices of pimento-stuffed olives (PASS) and lime sherbet for dessert (PASS).

How did it taste? Well… it’s tuna noodle casserole. Except with salmon. Do I like tuna noodle casserole? Actually, I do. Especially when the weather is chilly and damp, as it’s been this past week. Sure, in a few hours my stomach would start rumbling and my dinner partner would complain his mouth tasted of evil, but in the moment it was kind of perfect and very comforting… as long as I didn’t dwell too much on our nutritional value estimates. In the end we each finished our cup, and went back to split a second.

I officially rate this dish: Not That Bad For A Bowl of Beige.

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