A selection of our favorite casseroles.
Zucchini and yellow squash casserole.
Photo by Kip Dawkins
Casserole: various ingredients cooked in a vessel; a one-dish meal, typically baked in the oven; and most importantly, comfort food. Because there is just something about February, the last lingering month of winter, which requires an extra dose of hearty, warm dishes. Served alone or as a side, these casseroles will get you through to Spring.
Zucchini and Yellow Squash Casserole
1 ½ pounds zucchini 1 ½ pounds yellow squash 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 mid-sized red pepper, cut into medium dice ½ pound shredded cheddar cheese 1 cup sour cream ½ cup heavy cream ½ cup Parmesan cheese 3 tablespoons chopped chives ½ cup chicken stock 1 cup bread crumbs
Wash and slice the squash into ¼ -inch rounds, then steam for 1 to 2 minutes. Sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Add the squash to the onion mixture and mix well. Correct seasoning and add chives. Layer the vegetables into a casserole or other oven-proof dish. In a saucepan, heat chicken stock and cheddar until cheese melts, then fold in sour cream and heavy cream and warm gently so the cream doesn’t curdle. Add salt and pepper, and a little cayenne and/or nutmeg, if desired. Pour over casserole, then sprinkle with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
¾ stick melted butter or margarine 1 package of stuffing mix (8 ounces) 4 cups shredded cabbage 1 cup shredded cheese ¾ cups mayonnaise 1 can of cream of celery soup 1 pinch of salt and sugar 1 large chopped onion
Melt butter or margarine in a small saucepan and mix into the stuffing. Spread ¾ of the stuffing mixture onto the bottom of a casserole dish.
In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and spread over the stuffing in the casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining stuffing mixture on top and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. The casserole should be brown and bubbly. Let sit 10 minutes and serve.
1 quart of shucked oysters, sized “selects” 1 ½ cup Saltine crackers, crushed 1 ½ cup day-old breadcrumbs, fine ground ½ cup each diced celery, onion, green pepper and poblano peppers ¼ cup each chopped parsley and chives ½ cup unsalted butter, melted 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 cup heavy cream ½ cup whole milk Aleppo pepper salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain the oysters, reserving the liquor. Combine the breadcrumbs with the crackers.
Melt ¼ cup of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat and sauté the celery, onion, green pepper and poblanos until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Brush a 12-by-8 ½ inch casserole dish with some of the remaining melted butter. Combine the liquids: milk, cream, Worcestershire, lemon juice and oyster liquor. Layer the casserole beginning with the crumbs, then oysters. Drizzle with the liquid mixture.
Add the sautéed vegetables and dot with the remaining melted butter. Sprinkle with the herbs. Repeat these layers until the casserole is full. Pour remaining liquid over the top and finish with a generous sprinkle of Aleppo pepper.
Bake until golden brown, 35-45 minutes. Can be served warm or at room temperature. Serves 8
3 lbs. stewing steak, cubed ¼ cup olive oil ½ cup finely sliced onion 9 cloves 2 cinnamon sticks 4 cardamom pods, shelled 1 tablespoon crushed black pepper 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried ½ tablespoon plain flour 3 cups reduced fat milk salt to taste 2 fresh green chili peppers, slit at the tip ¼ cup vinegar 2 large potatoes, cut into large cubes 12 whole black peppercorns
Heat the oil and fry the dry spices (except the whole peppercorns) with the half-cup of onions, ginger, garlic, green chili peppers and bay leaf. Remove from the pan when the onions are golden brown, and set aside. Dust the meat with the flour, and add to the pot, stirring quickly. Add the vinegar, salt and milk. Turn the heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring every now and then. After an hour, add the cubed potatoes and the spiced onion mixture, and mix it well. Now add the whole peppercorns and cook for another hour, or until the meat is very tender and the potatoes are soft. The gravy should be reduced and very thick by the time you remove the pot from the stove. Serve warm.