When I was young and silly I joined the Air force and did my university degree at a military academy. While we still did some of those things that university students did, we were only allowed out on the weekend and as this was back in the day, they banned all phone calls between certain hours to make sure we studied. Much easier to do without mobile phones.
Our meals were provided in the mess and the food was very variable. Chicken schnitzel was definitely something to be avoided with the crumbing of the chicken hiding a multitude of sins that became evident when you bit into it. Plus you had to be dressed in uniform to eat there. All nicely pressed and polished. No grunge allowed The only cooking facilities we had in the accommodation blocks was a microwave and tricky to get takeaway.
At the time I was not au fait with all the things you can do with a microwave. But sometimes I couldn’t be bothered getting all dressed up for a very average meal. I used to cook pasta in the microwave and then melt a jar of kraft cream cheese spread over the pasta. Very ungourmet but actually quite tasty and there recipes that use this cream cheese spread in recipes.
When I found this recipe for hamburger mushroom bake by Jennifer of Splendid Low-Carbing it bought back fond memories of my microwave dinners. But it didn’t reduce to a serve for one very easily with 3 eggs for 4 people. Not that I a very keen on quiches, frittatas and other things egg.
I have taken the bones of Jennifer’s recipe to create my own slightly healthier version of my university dinner. It is still not gourmet. Rather it is lovely creamy cheesy comfort food that is not very expensive to make.
- 130g of minced beef (ground beef)
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- black pepper to taste
- 50g of cream cheese
- 130g of mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 a leek, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tbs of butter
- 1/2 tsp of all purpose seasoning
- 1/4 tsp of dried parsley
- 1 tbs of mozzarella cheese, grated
- Heat the oven to 170C (about 335F)
- On the stove heat an oven proof skillet or pan on medium heat
- Pop the mince in the skillet, season with salt and pepper and brown - a couple of minutes.
- Remove the mince from the pan and set aside
- Melt the butter in the pan.
- Add the mushrooms and leek and cook until soft and starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes
- Season with the all purpose seasoning and pepper.
- Pop the mince back in the pan and add the cream cheese.
- Stir until well combined and the cheese is turning into a sauce.
- Sprinkle with mozzarella and pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes. If you don't have an oven proof skillet then you can transfer the mixture to a casserole dish before you add the mozzarella.
- Garnish with the dried parsley