I had some asparagus... on its last leg... in the frig. I wanted to make a casserole with it. I also had some ham in the freezer. I search the world wide web over and found this recipe at COOKS.COM. It didn't state who had submitted it.
Frank and I ate this casserole for two days. Frank gave it a very high grade... I did too :-)
HAM AND NOODLE CASSEROLE
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped asparagus or broccoli (I use fresh broccoli)
½ c. chopped onion
½ tsp. salt
1¾ c. milk
¼ tsp. pepper
½ lb. cheese, cubed (I use Cheddar)
¼ c. butter
2 c. cooked ham, diced
¼ c. flour
2 c. egg noodles, cooked
1 c. fresh bread crumbs
2 tbsp. melted butter
Place asparagus or broccoli in greased 12x8 dish. Cook onions in butter until tender. Blend in flour and seasonings. Add milk gradually. Stir until thickened. Add cheese - stir until melted. Stir in ham and noodles. Pour over vegetables. Top with crumbs, tossed with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
May be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Bake when ready to serve.
Other meats may be substituted - chicken, turkey, tuna, hamburger or stew meat. Serves 8.
My changes were: I used fresh asparagus. After I put the ¼ c. Smart Balance in the pan I realized that was too much and scooped about half of it out. I was too lazy to go to the freezer for flour and instead used about two tablespoons of cornstarch which I mixed with a bit of water and added it to the butter, seasonings and milk. I omitted the salt... the ham cheese and Smart Balance had enough salt for the dish for us. I don't have a 12 x 8 dish... I do have a dish that is 10¾ x 8½ and it worked great. Something I wish I had added was mustard. But it was a great tasting dish as is was. I also feel that the asparagus could have been pre-cooked for just a few minutes... some of it was a bit crunchier than I like. I also cooked the casserole a few minutes longer, but I think if the veggies are pre-cooked for just a few minutes that the 25 minute cooking time would be fine. The bread crumbs were browning, so I put foil on over the top while the casserole cooked those last few minutes... but not necessary if baked just the 25 minutes.
As stated at the end of the recipe any meat could be used. In changing the meat you could change the cheese and spices. I also agree that broccoli cuts would work well too.
You will probably laugh, but I had to look up how to make fresh bread crumbs. It has been years since I've made any. Most of my casseroles use a dry bread crumb topping. I think if chicken was used in this recipe and a bit of basil or oregano or italian seasoning was added to the sauce that a topping using herbed stuffing mix would work well.
I wish that I had taken a picture. The casserole looked so beautiful. Frank even held off dipping out the food because he thought I might want a picture. I told him I would wait until the next time I made it... if it tasted good. Good it did taste, so eventually I'll get a picture of it and it will have a permanent place in my recipe box.