Friday, January 21, 2011

I Can't Believe I Haven't Told You About Manna!

Good grief!

How could i have hidden this simple treasure from you, my loyal friends, the people who read my blatherings week in and week out?  I'm so sorry.

This is Manna.

O.k.  That's not the most impressive picture, but please stick with me.

Manna is comfort food.

Manna is i'm-in-a-hurry-and-out-of-hamburger-helper food.

Manna is hearty-and-filling-on-a-cold-day food.

Manna is good for you.

That picture up there is one i took yesterday after heating up some frozen leftovers in the oven.  But normally, you make it in a pot or a skillet.  It's kind of a stew, and it's my mother's ingenious recipe.  

I love my mother . . . largely because of Manna.

Here's what you need:

  • Potatoes
  • Ground beef
  • Cream of mushroom soup
  • Green beans
  • Milk.

Here's what you do:

  • Wash and cut a few large potatoes into bite size pieces.  Don't bother peeling; the peel is good for you.  ;)  

  • Put the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and some salt, and put on to boil.  

  • Meanwhile, start browning your ground beef.  A pound will do.

  • When the meat is done, drain off the grease and add a can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of green beans (drain off the water, or it will taste "too grean beany").

  • When the potatoes are done (i use a fork to test for done-ness), drain off the water and combine with the other ingredients.

  • Use a little (or as much as you like) milk to thin the mixture to a desired consistency and season to taste.

Easy peasy.

To fancy it up a bit, add fresh mushrooms and sauteed onions and garlic.

To spice it up a bit, add chili powder or Tony Chachere's.

To make it super easy on yourself, make a big batch and freeze the leftovers for days like my yesterday, when thawing and shoving in the oven are about all you can muster.

This dish is wonderful with a slice of fresh baked bread, toasted with butter.

It also lends itself to lots of variations.  Use rice, instead of potatoes . . . use stew meat or sausage instead of ground beef . . . go nuts.

Just enjoy this new addition to your weeknight meal rotation.  I know i do.


  1. This sounds great, a lot like a Tater Tot casserole we ate as kids. :) I just posted that recipe the other week. It is a great week for comfort food. Yummy!

  2. Not really my recipe, though. I got it from someone else. Do you remember how it got its name in our house? You were eight years old and came into the kitchen while I was cooking this delectable dish for the first time. You asked what I was cooking, and I told you that I didn't have a name for it. You said: "we'll call it 'Manna' because it means 'What is it'".

  3. what a great tip! It looks yummy and easy. Great for a cold evening :)

  4. I love your mom's story about the name. Makes it a keeper in my recipe box just for that reason!


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