We went to my aunt and uncle’s for brunch a few weekends ago and I promised to bring my Mean Hash-brown Casserole. The way that I usually make this casserole is super quick and easy. A bag of hash-brown potatoes, a can of Campbell’s Mushroom Soup, a bit of sour cream, some grated cheese, an onion and some cornflakes; mix it together, throw it in the oven and it’s done!
Although this was my original plan, when I went to the pantry and read the label on the can of mushroom soup I had to think on my feet as both my aunt and cousin are celiac and the mushroom soup contains gluten. Why oh why Mr. Campbell do you have to put wheat flour in your soup? Cornstarch is the next ingredient, so why don’t you just put in a little more of that?
The gluten free mushroom soup that I made was pretty easy and delicious. In all reality I knocked the gluten laden version out of the park… just saying.
My next predicament was the corn flakes. Again, what does the barley add to the corn flakes? Probably not much. The gluten free substitution that I had in my pantry was Rice Chex cereal. It was a perfect topping for the hash-brown casserole.
Considering that celiac disease and gluten intolerance is on the rise in Canada I wonder why more food manufacturers do not make ever so slight changes to their products to accommodate those who eat gluten-free? It is estimated that rates of celiac disease have nearly doubled in the last 25 years in western countries and celiac disease is now recognized as one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. Given this, the market for gluten free products is huge ($12.4 billion in 2013) and if I was in the business of food manufacturing I think I would make a simple switch to my recipe to get a piece of that pie…. just saying.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup mushrooms, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1½ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon onion salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bag hash-brown potatoes
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup gluten free rice chex cereal
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute mushrooms in the olive oil for five minutes.
- Add the corn starch to the mushrooms and stir together.
- Add the milk, onion salt and pepper. Simmer for five minutes over medium low heat, stirring occasionally so that the milk does not burn.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the hash-brown potatoes, onion, garlic, sour cream, cheddar cheese and mushroom soup.
- Pour into a glass 9 x 13 inch baking dish and press down firmly with a spoon.
- In a large ziplock bag, crush the rice chex cereal and sprinkle over the top of the hash-browns.
- Cover with tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and bake for 15 minutes more.