Growing up, my mom made one casserole and one casserole only. We called it ‘Kim’s Casserole’ and a quick internet search yields many recipes with her three ingredients, but not a single one with ONLY those three ingredients. Perhaps she made it up herself?
Kim’s Casserole combines rice, sausage and condensed soup to create a savory dish that seems to please everyone. We ALWAYS served it with cinnamon apples, but applesauce will do in a pinch. We always used Lucky canned apples, but I’m finding them harder and harder to come by, so I’ve started going the applesauce route. However, it is very easy to cook up some apple slices with a little brown sugar and cinnamon, and BELIEVE ME, IT’S WORTH IT.
It’s the dish I bring to every new momma, unless her baby is born during a heat wave, in which case she gets something that doesn’t require turning on my oven.
It’s not a dish I’ve been making with any regularity since getting married, but it does make an appearance every once in awhile, more so now that I’m a momma, myself. Like I said, it seems to please everyone, and that includes Andrew (despite the mushrooms).
As I write this post, I realize I’m actually only ‘DIYing’ the rice part; I’ve yet to prepare the meat or soup from scratch. In all honesty, I may not even try. The reason I started looking for a way to recreate the rice without using the box was partly to save money (Uncle Ben’s isn’t cheap!) and partly convenience (the co-op doesn’t carry Uncle Ben’s). The co-op does not, in fact, carry ANY of the three ingredients.
Those three magic ingredients are: one box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice, one pound Jimmy Dean sausage, one can cream of mushroom soup.
My ultimate goal here is ease of preparation, and that includes purchasing those ingredients. Unfortunately, the co-op’s ground pork is $$$, so I continue to pick up two or three tubes of Jimmy Dean sausage each time I’m at Tops. The co-op DOES carry a different brand of cream of mushroom soup, and I’m pretty sure attempting to make it from scratch for this recipe takes the ‘ease’ out of the preparation.
So, here I am, finally having perfected an Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild rice copycat recipe, which I continue to pair with Jimmy Dean sausage and whatever brand of cream of mushroom soup is available at the co-op. This version has the *slightest* difference in flavor from the original, but easily passes in my opinion. It also has a different ratio of meat to rice, as I use a bit more rice than my mom did, and I often use only 3/4 of the prepared meat, and save a bit of sausage to throw into eggs the next morning.
Without further ado, the recipe:
DIY Kim's Casserole
1 cup brown rice
1 cup mixed-grain rice
1 tablespoon bouillon
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, sage, basil, celery salt
1 lb Jimmy Dean sausage
1 can/container cream of mushroom soup
- Prepare rice in rice cooker or on stovetop, including spices.
- Brown meat.
- Mix cooked rice and meat with condensed soup.
- Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until edges begin to brown.
- Serve with cinnamon apples or applesauce.
I started with ‘The Make Your Own Zone’s’ recipe for Uncle Ben’s Rice. (Actually, I tried a different copycat recipe before that which called for a whole teaspoon of turmeric, and even though I KNEW it wouldn’t be right, I tried it anyway. It came out orange and didn’t taste like Uncle Ben’s at all. I have no idea what they were thinking.)
Anyway, The Make Your Own Zone goes into detail about pre-cooking your wild rice, so be sure to give that a read. The co-op sells a wild rice ‘blend,’ which I mix with additional brown rice and cook together. I also found her recipe to be a little salty, so I changed her garlic salt to garlic POWDER and decreased the bouillon. I use a rice maker, so I simply add the rice, appropriate amount of water, and spices, and it comes out perfectly every time.
And here it is, after baking:
Enjoy! Be sure to let me know if you give it a try…and DON’T FORGET THE CINNAMON APPLES.