You know how sometimes you see a recipe, or even just hear someone talking about it, and you just know you're going to have to make that for yourself very soon? That was this mushroom casserole recipe for us. And luckily, we just happened to have a package of mushrooms and some leftover rice waiting patiently in the fridge...
First, here's the recipe:
• Mushroom Casserole Recipe from 101 Cookbooks
We were initially worried that the casserole would end up bland with only garlic and salt to buoy the flavors. But we are well-aware that we've become spice cupboard junkies lately and something with simple flavors would be good for us.
In the end, the only change we made to the recipe was to use wild rice instead of brown rice. We had some leftover from another recipe and we also thought its flavor would make a nice compliment to the mushrooms.
We also baked it in an 8x8 baking dish. Heidi mentions that her casserole dish is a bit smaller than a 9x13, and when we put the filling in our regular casserole dish, we felt that it was a bit too thin. The mix fit nicely in the 8x8 dish with about an inch to spare on the top.
Our initial vision of this dish (based entirely on the recipe and Heidi's pictures alone) was that it would be like a casserole version of creamy mushroom soup. In reality, it's a lot more like a frittata. It's less creamy and more like an eggy-custard - which was no less delicious, let us assure you.
In fact, we really did like the simple flavors of the dish. You get a subtle tang from the sour cream along with a mellow garlic flavor in every bite. Even so, a bit of thyme or even rosemary cooked into the based the would not be amiss. Well, maybe. We're not sure. It's awfully good just as it is!
We also liked the variety of textures. There's a bit of chewiness from the rice, tenderness from the mushrooms, and smoothness from the cottage cheese filling. The top also stayed relatively moist and there were no crunchy bits of charred rice around the edges, which is the downfall of many good casseroles.
This makes a satisfying and relatively quick weeknight meal. The hands-on time is minimal and the baking casserole smells so delicious as it's baking. Our dish made 6 servings, and we ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. I imagine you could easily double the recipe and bake it in a 9x13 dish.
This recipe is definitely recommended!
(Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)