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The Friki Tiki Kookbook

California Casserole

I  doubt this recipe could have been designed this way in the 1990s, but my family was first introduced on an Army base in the 1970s. It quickly became a Thanksgiving Day staple in our household, and it's one of my favorite -- if not absolute favorite -- recipes. I've since boosted the amount of cheese and chilies, but it's still recognizably the recipe I ate in elementary school.

  • 4 cups of cooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 cups of plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup of "cream-style" cottage cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
  • 6 cups of grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 small cans of green chilies

Preheat the oven to 375º. Lightly grease a rectangular casserole dish. In hot butter and a large skillet, saute the onion until golden (about five minutes).

Remove from heat, stir in hot rice, yogurt, cottage cheese, salt and pepper. Layer half the mix, top with half the chilies and half the cheese. Make another layer. Bake until bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Start spontaneous pointless argument at Thanksgiving table

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Last updated on Friday, January 14, 2000