Posted by: thewoobdog | November 4, 2012

Sunday Surprise (or “What’s For Dinner?”)

Ever have one of those nights when you have bits and parts for different meals but nothing that really goes together for one meal?  Yeah.  Tonight was one of those nights – I cooked about five different meals in my head, but none made it to execution because I was missing at least one crucial ingredient for each possibility.  In desperation, I ransacked the fridge (grilled pork chop leftovers), pantry (box of Stove-Top Limited Edition [haha] Apple Stuffing, bought around the holidays last year because it seemed like a good idea at the time), and freezer (bag of frozen broccoli), and cobbled together what ended up being a pretty tasty dinner.  Not a healthy dinner, mind you, but tasty.

The back of the Stove-Top Cranberry Stuffing mix (also purchased last year – yes, I had two boxes of stuffing mix in my pantry, I’m not proud of myself) had a recipe for a turkey and broccoli casserole, but I didn’t have any turkey (and the pork chops had been grilled over hickory chips, so the smokiness had to be taken into consideration and wouldn’t make for a good turkey-swap); the back of the Apple Stuffing mix had a recipe for rubbed stuffed pork loin, but of course I didn’t happen to have a pork loin laying around awaiting my pleasure (and if I did have a nice loin o’ pig hanging out in the fridge, I’m pretty sure that if I went to the trouble of rubbing it and flattening it and wrapping it around something, I’d want to go with something a bit better than boxed stuffing mix).  But I digress. By sort of cobbling the two box-recipe-ideas together, we ended up with a decent casserole.

I took

1 1/2 cups of cut up cooked pork

12 oz bag of steamed broccoli

4 oz can of drained sliced mushrooms

1/2 really big leftover Gala apple, cut up

and mixed it all together in the bottom of a 2 qt casserole dish.

Then I combined

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

3/4 c. milk

a couple squirts (maybe 2 Tbsp?) Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (from the frost-seared remnants of the herb bed)

and poured over the top of the meat & veg mixture.

I took the box of Stove-Top Apple Stuffing and combined it with 4 Tbsp Brummel & Brown Yogurt Spread and 1 1/2 c. hot water, microwaved it for five minutes, and put on top of everything else in the casserole dish.  The whole thing baked uncovered at 375 for about half and hour and voila! Sunday Surprise.

The rosemary ended up being the money ingredient – it balanced the smokiness of the pork chop and the sweetness of the apple and pulled everything together (plus the fact that it was fresh-cut and so flavorful made the whole thing seem almost farm-to-table rather than processed-cardboard-meets-leftovers).  I thought someday I might be in this predicament again so I figured I’d record it here for posterity.  And who knows, maybe some other poor schmuck out there is holding a desiccated box of stuffing mix and some leftover meat and wondering how the heck to make it into dinner.



  1. Wow, you have quite the imagination in the kitchen. My husband is the same way. I am definitely bookmarking this page for the next time I find myself in such a predicament, because I have no imagination.

    • I’ve been known to take the same approach with the recipes on the backs of soup cans and other miscellany – “Hmm, it calls for chicken, but I’ve got this leftover taco meat… Wonder if that would work… Eh, I’ll just throw in some cumin, that’ll fix it.” I will warn you that results vary. Drastically. Last week (in a desperate attempt to round up something to eat for lunch) I put leftover taco meat on a bun and tried to pretend it was a Sloppy Joe. It wasn’t one of my more shining moments. It does, however, explain why I had taco meat on the brain in the preceding example.

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