Back to School: Supper Casseroles from Brock

So sorry there was no column last week! I have been getting ready for another school year teaching! All has progressed exceedingly well, so I

have a tiny bit of time to provide you some grand dishes for supper this week before I begin full swing again for the fall semester! Easy suppers should be speedy but pleasurable to the palate—or your kids won’t touch them! The ones I have provided for you—your kids will flip over! And they will beg you for more! The first is a cheeseburger pasta bake that is simply over the top. So many teenagers love pasta, and this one beats out all the others. Try it! See if your kids don’t love it! It’s rich and bursting with flavor! The second recipe is a unique recipe. It’s a chili cheese tots casserole–with a buttery crescent roll crust on the top. Your kids will fight over this one too because it’s too good to not have seconds! Who in their right mind wouldn’t love chili cheese tater tots? This is a quick, remarkable dish!!! Don’t drool too much, and enjoy life and food! Especially southern food! Enjoy, readers!

Brock’s Ultimate Cheeseburger Pasta Bake
Note: From working with teens every day in a school setting, I have found that they love love love hamburger-type casseroles and homemade pizzas! I brought homemade pizza sometimes, and I began bringing these style casseroles sometimes to class, and they would inhale them before I could even get them to my classroom. I don’t know if they were just hungry or what—but they loved them! This casserole is one of those good ones, and the addition of sour cream and mayonnaise to it makes it even more delectable and rich!
1 pkg. Pillsbury seamless crescent rolls dough sheet
1 lb. egg noodle pasta
1 lb. ground beef
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 sticks butter
2 jars Ragu pizza sauce
1 can mild Ro-Tel tomatoes (undrained)
8 oz. grated mozzarella cheese
8 oz. sour cream
Three fourths cup mayonnaise (Blue Plate)
8 oz. grated mild cheddar cheese (for topping)
Boil and drain pasta. Set into a large mixing bowl. Cook meat with onion, and drain. Add to cooked pasta in large mixing bowl. Then add 1 stick of butter, pizza sauce, tomatoes and grated mozzarella cheese. Also add sour cream and mayonnaise. Fold all ingredients together until well combined with the meat and pasta. Pour into a greased 13x9x2 casserole dish. Top with cheddar cheese first, and then layer crescent rolls on top (forming a top crust). Melt remaining stick of butter and pour all over the layer of rolls. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes covered lightly with foil. Crust should be a light golden brown and casserole should be bubbly and hot when done.

“Chili Cheese Tots” Casserole
Note: The crescent roll crust gives this plain chili cheese tots casserole a boost! It’s buttery, rich and delicious! And this casserole is so simple to prepare. You must try it out tonight. Good sides to serve with this dish are English peas, green beans and quick hot buttered rolls—and you have a fantastic dinner in no time!
1 pkg. Ore Ida frozen tater tots
Vegetable oil (for frying)
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cans hot dog chili (no beans)
8 oz. grated Velveeta cheese
1 pkg. Pillsbury seamless crescent rolls dough sheet
1 stick butter
Fry tater tots in hot oil according to directions on package and drain on paper towels. Line fried tater tots in a greased 13x9x2 casserole dish. You may bake them also if you wish, instead of frying. Cook meat with onion and drain. Pour over fried tater tots. Pour chili over the meat and then sprinkle the dish with grated Velveeta cheese. Then layer crescent rolls on the top of the cheese (forming a top crust). Pour melted butter all over the crust layer. Bake for 40 minutes or until crust is lightly golden brown and casserole is bubbly. Cover lightly with foil while baking. Serve with sour cream or by itself.

Editor’s note: Brock Wetherly Rogers is an experienced southern food writer, educator, overseas traveler, and passionate student of the culinary and pastry arts. E-mail your comments to him at ,or find him on Facebook at Brock’s Bites-Southern Recipes.