Casseroles: the Wisconsin comfort food. We, Wisconsinites, share a common remedy for winter’s dark days, icy streets, chilly houses and runny noses. We eat comfort foods. Comfort foods are those casseroles heavy in starches such as noodles, rice, and potatoes. In casseroles, robust, meaty sauces or rich, cheesy, cream sauces bind smatterings of chicken, tuna, or cheap cuts of beef to thawed-out vegetables. Requiring no cutting and little chewing, mouthfuls of casserole slide down our gullets warm and fast. They’ll sit in a stomach for hours and on hips for months. But no matter, these lead dishes give comfort. And comfort we need because with winter this long, who knows if we’ll live to spring. Better to eat hearty now. Comfort foods play a key role in our Wisconsin strategy of perseverance. (So don’t tease us when you see us in our swimsuits in July!)
An additional benefit of casseroles is their ability to disguise edible, but otherwise unwanted, left-overs. Any food is fair game for inclusion in a casserole. And the right sauce can render any suspicious ingredient unrecognizable. Wisconsinites know this. And now that our Wisconsin economy has flown south with the geese, we, Wisconsinites, are adding an extra-helping of frugality to our casserole cooking. In this spirit of waste not, want not, I offer my own recipe for a dessert casserole that uses up left-overs and is scrumptiously festive for a winter party. The recipe is extremely fast to make, provided of course that you have the left-overs. I call it pretty, chewy, gooey, chocolate-peppermint ice cream pie.
Click on “continue reading…” for the recipe.
Recipe for pretty, chewy, gooey, chocolate-peppermint ice cream pie
1 baked pie crust ( I had pie crust left over from the cherry pie I baked last week)
- 1 pint of peppermint ice cream (left-over from Christmas)
- 1/2 a chocolate cake, cake part only, no frosting (I had easy cocoa cake left-over from last week’s birthday party)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup chocolate topping (I had a jar of dark chocolate fudge topping open in the ‘fridge)
- 1 left-over Valentine’s day cookie for decoration (optional)
- dollops of whipped cream for decoration (optional)
Fill the cooled pie crust with peppermint ice cream nearly to the brim, but not quite. Crumble the left-over chocolate cake over the ice cream. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the cake. Decoratively adorn the pie with whipped cream and a sugar cookie. Serve to happy, hungry guests and family. Feeds 6, more or less.
You’ll find more comfort food recipes on my side page, Comfort Foods – Wisconsin Style. It’s the must-have side page for any Wisconsin food blog because, after all, nobody knows comfort foods like Wisconsinites.
We all know that a meal’s quality flavor begins with quality ingredients, and this rule applies even to the common casserole. So here are some recommendations for high-quality gourmet foods that will make pretty, chewy, gooey, chocolate-peppermint ice cream pie fit for royalty. (And of course, they’re made in Wisconsin.)
Babcock Ice Cream
Dutch Chocolate Layer Cake
Chocolate lovers delight gift box
Hot Fudge Ice Cream Topping (This is a great topping! Every year one devoted customer orders 3 cases of it and gives it out as Christmas gifts.)
Valentine Sugar Cookies
Cherry Pie in a Box (Mix up the crust for this peppermint pie and use the Door County cherries in something else. Door County cherries can make any dessert delicious.)
Receive $5.00 off any Wisconsinmade.com product by entering this offer code with your order: FBLOG209. Offer expires March 1, 2009.