Earlier this week, I shared an analogy for understanding the differences among vision, mission, strategy, tactics, and execution using the example of a casserole. Today, I’ll close the circle by sharing the recipe for the casserole.
This casserole is amazing for serving to a large group of people. Kids and adults alike enjoy it, and it’s easy to modify with ingredients that fit your diet. You can, for example, make it gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, etc.
This recipe as written serves 4-6; adjust quantities as needed.
- 2 pound bag of Potato tots, your preferred brand of potatoes
- Vegetable selection of your choice, fresh or frozen
- Chopped/shredded protein of your choice; I use vegetarian breakfast sausage, but ground turkey/beef/etc. would be equally appropriate
- 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 bag of shredded cheese
- 1 tin of fried onion topping
- Various herbs and spices, salt and pepper
- Cooking oil/spray or butter
- Aluminum foil
- Potato masher
- 9 x 13 casserole dish (or any large pan, even a cake pan or pie tin)
- Oven or indirect heat source capable of reaching 400F/204C
- Heat oven to 400F/204C.
- Apply oil/spray/butter in a uniform thin layer around the inside of the casserole dish.
- In a large casserole dish, place 20-30 Potato tots in the bottom.
- Cook Potato tots until lightly browned.
- Remove casserole dish from oven and use potato masher to crush them into a smooth layer covering the bottom of the dish, like a pie crust.
- Add a layer of protein on top of the crust.
- Add a layer of vegetables on top of the protein.
- If you prefer a specific herbal profile, sprinkle the herbs and spices on.
- Add a layer of onion topping.
- Pour the mushroom soup on top of everything. Using a spatula, smooth it out as a thin layer.
- Add the remaining Potato tots on top of everything.
- Add the cheese on top of the Potato tots.
- Tear off a large sheet of aluminum foil and spray/oil liberally on one side.
- Place the oiled side on the food and cover the casserole dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes if you started with fresh vegetables, 35 minutes if you started with frozen.
- Remove the foil, then bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown the topping. If you use a convection oven, monitor closely.
- Let stand and cool for 5 minutes, then serve.
When done, it should look something like this:
The order of the ingredients is somewhat important; we want to have the vegetables as close to the middle of the casserole as possible. This permits the protein to cook and the Potato tot layers to crisp a bit without overcooking the vegetables.
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