Monday, October 26, 2009

Mennonite Monday - Ham and Noodle Casserole

Mennonite Monday started because I wanted to make recipes from the Bethesda Mennonite Church Cookbooks (both the yellow and the white cookbook for those of you who own them). I also wanted to take pictures of each recipe that I made, so I would know for future reference what the recipe should look like. I am by no means a great cook, but I think it will be fun to try new and different recipes each week. Not all of these recipes are for ethnic Mennonite food, but the women from Henderson know how to cook, so I can safely say that these recipes will be good. Check back each Monday for a new recipe and feel free to leave a comment if you have a favorite recipe from these cookbooks, or if you have some tips on what I should make and how I should make it.
Today you get a good Mennonite recipe, which is a honorable substitute for Verenika and much easier to make. Okay, I have never actually made Verenika before (it will happen before December 1), so I don't know from experience that it is easier to make ham and noodle casserole, but I will assume it is a pretty safe guest. This recipe comes from the white church cookbook on page 158. I have been using it for two years without even knowing it came from the church cookbook. I received the recipe in a cookbook from my mother-in-law and I was very pleased to find that it was actually in the church cookbook, so I would share it with you.

Ham and Noodle Casserole
3 cups noodles
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
Cubed fried ham
1 tbl flour
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup creamed cottage cheese

Homemade noodles make for the best casserole in my opinion.

Cook noodles in boiling water till tender. Drain and rinse well.

Fry your ham cubs in the skillet if they haven't been fried already. I have been buying processed pre-diced ham to make it easier because I'm not very good at cooking pork. So I have been putting this ham in my casserole for two years and for the first time last week Mike told me the casserole was good, but it would be better with real ham. All this time I thought he couldn't tell the difference. I guess I know what I will be changing next time.

Mix flour and seasonings. Add sour cream and stir till smooth. Fold in cottage cheese. This time I forgot to fold in the cottage cheese. I just added it right away and it turned out fine.

Add to fried ham and ham drippings. Add noodles and mix well. Since I used processed ham, I didn't have drippings so I mixed in some ham base to add a little flavor. My ham base comes is in a 16oz. container, which my mother-in-law gave to me. I have been told that if you are going to make a lot of Mennonite food, you will need ham base. I have no idea if you can get it at most grocery store because I have never looked. If you know where you can buy ham base leave a comment, so we can all learn.

Put into a casserole, I used a 9 x 13 glass dish, and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. I did not bake the casserole right away. I covered it and put it in the refrigerator, to be cooked at a later time. When you do this, you need to allow a little more baking time because the casserole is starting out colder than it would have otherwise.

A few days later I baked the casserole until it was bubbling. I also left the tinfoil over the casserole while it was baking so it would not get dried out. (This is something I have learned over time, plus my mom has told me to do this with lasagna, so i figured it would work with this too.)


  1. Have I not given you a jar of ham base, Kelsey? Shame on me! I have several in the cupboard. The last time I bought, it was a package of 6, so I have plenty.

    Karla (the mother-in-law)

  2. Oh, I ordered it from the owner of a local restaurant, but I think I've seen it at Bag'n'Save in York. Another sidenote - we usually serve this cassarole with green beans (duh!) and twieback. A very good weekday stand-in for verenika! :)

    Karla, again