Six Easy Casseroles
These one-dish delights are sure to please.
Egg and Cheddar Cheese Puff with Greens and Roasted Red Pepper, and Quick and Tasty Tortilla Pie
“I don’t hesitate for a second to insist that nothing typifies American cooking more than the sumptuous, highly varied casseroles that have been baked in ovens all over the country for the past century.”
– James Villas
We all grew up eating casseroles – the epitome of American cooking and comfort food. Each of us has memories of our family’s specialties, be they our hallowed macaroni and cheese, the proverbial tuna noodle casserole, or the often overcooked green bean casserole doused with canned soup.
Experts believe that the casserole originated in France in the early 1600s; the French word casse describes a crock or a deep round pot used for slow cooking. Wherever and whenever, the casserole is a brilliant way to use leftovers or whatever is in season. Convenient and practical, the one-dish entree simplifies the cook’s time in the kitchen. Each country around the globe has its own version of casseroles from gratins, jambalaya, moussaka, paella, pies, polenta, puddings, and layered dishes such as lasagna or tortillas. Some of these are baked in the oven while others are cooked on the stovetop. Whether they are traditional, classic recipes or new updated versions, they are mixtures of complementary foods combined into one dish to make a tasty meal.
One-dish meals can be casual or elegant; they can be prepared in advance and allow flexibility for the cook and entertaining. They are also the perfect potluck food. Below are a few main dish entrees that vary from quick and easy to a bit more labor intensive – but oh,so worth it. (Sometimes, I double the recipe and make two, so I can put one in the freezer.) Once you have assembled the casserole and placed it in the oven, you can use the time to make a salad as an accompaniment, then put a loaf of bread in the oven to warm during the last 10 minutes of baking, and, of course, relax with your favorite before-dinner beverage.
NOT-EXACTLY-A-RECIPE FOR QUICK AND TASTY TORTILLA PIE
Exact proportions don’t really matter in this recipe. I have never made this the same way twice, yet it is always well received. Even if they are on the run or otherwise occupied, my teenage girls usually make it to the table when this pie is served. We love black beans, though pintos are equally tasty in this dish. I can put this together in about 10 minutes, and it takes 25 to 30 minutes to bake. If there are leftovers, whoever gets up first generally has it for breakfast.
About 8 whole-wheat tortillas (8- to 9-inch size), warmed
About 3 cups cooked or canned black or pinto beans, whole or refried, cooked with some garlic or add a few pressed or minced cloves, along with other seasonings; heated
About 1 cup chopped onion or green onions
2 to 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
About 2 cups enchilada sauce or hot salsa
About 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and dried
Page: 1 | 2
| Next >>