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So I want to cook some old fashioned casseroles


Kim Shook
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  Frozen puff pastry? Well, Ok, but why not learn to make your own?

No time? :blush: I make many, many things from scratch. Puff pastry is never one of them. :blush:

Next thing he'll be recommending Pillsbury Biscuits as a topping, which I have to admit might be just fine.

Never! Now that is something I couldn't justify. Scratch biscuits are incredibly easy.

Mummy made something called "Chicken Divan" which was boneless skinless chicken breasts , broccoli, bechamel and lots of cheese.

My recipe calls for a cream sauce enriched with egg yolk and sherry, and sprinkled with parm-reg. We also like the variation with asparagus instead of broccoli. The kids really like it.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Ok . . . Canned bicuits have come up. There is one place where there is no substitute and that is duplicating my great Aunt Minnie's chicken and dumplings. No. She didn't use them but rolling them out on a floured board and cutting them into strips is the only way we have been able to duplicate her wonderful, chewy, sinkers. Oh . . . You have to get the really cheap store brand biscuits for this to work. And, I have made a casserole out of the chicken and dumplings. I just layer into a pan and top with breadcrumbs and bake to bring it all together. Sometimes I add peas and carrots. The left over chicken stock, now thickened with the flour from the dumplings, is recyled into a cream of chicken soup.

Speaking of the pie . . . I did Mayhaw Man's recipe here. If you scroll up the recipe is here. That is one heck of a casserole. And, I would call it more of a casserole than a pie. I have made it a couple of times since. After a couple of trials, I think I have the rice quantity right and have gotten the dumplings right (cheap biscuits) and it is a new family favorite. It really is more of a casserole than a pie in my mind. But what a casserole. However, if you think of casseroles as "easy one-dish meals" this ain't it. This one is labor intensive but worth every minute and dirty dish.

Oh my . . . gotta make that "pie."

I see that Mayhaw Man has put the recipe in RecipeGullet here.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I 'fourth' or 'ninth' the idea of the bechamel at this point.

Here are a few enhancements/suggestions:

I make mine with a very rich homemade chicken stock, in which I use a good number of root vegetables (parsnip, celery root, etc.) and sweet onions (purple, or vidalia).

I also use the Baby Bella mushrooms for sauteeing and mixing-in or layering separately - they give an intense mushroom flavor that the regular white ones don't have.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Here's a recipe that has served me well for several decades. Even through the 'Cream of Soup' years. It's one that I often take as a 'covered dish,' and to neighbors going through some sort of emergency. It's kind of unusual in that instead of the more typical beef, chicken, tuna, etc., it calls for ham (although you can sub). The result is a 'ham, potatoes and green peas in a white sauce' kinda dish.

Ham & Potato Casserole

1/2 t salt

1 C chopped celery

1 1/2 C boiling water

1 1/2 C cubed potatoes

evaporated whole milk

1/4 C butter

1 C white or yellow onion, chopped

1/4 C flour

2 C cooked ham, cut into bite-sized pieces (or chicken or tuna)

2 T chopped parsley

1 C green peas, cooked and drained

1/2 C grated cheese, or more to taste (I use mild cheddar, but you can use whatever you like)

Add salt and celery to boiling water. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Add potatoes and cook 15 minutes longer. Drain and measure liquid. Add enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups and set aside. Melt butter in saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft. Add flour and blend well. Stir until flour is bubbling and no longer 'raw.' Gradually add reserved liquid, stirring constantly, and cook until sauce thickens and boils for 1 minute. Add ham, parsley and vegetables. Spoon into buttered 1 quart casserole and top with grated cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbly. Can refrigerate before baking. If you do, then add another 15 minutes to baking time.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I just remembered a "recipe" that uses a canned soup that is usually better than not. It was something we did with left over chicken in the fridge when my son lived with me. We would layer it with cooked pasta or rice. (We always cooked enough to have left overs for during the week.) Adding peppers and onions, maybe some salsa, we would bind it together with Campbell's Cream of Poblano, not diluted. It was usually topped with bread crumbs or crushed corn chips and maybe some cheese. Corn chips and a Mexican style melting cheese was the best.

We ran through a period there where no matter how pretty the poblanos were in the market, they didn't have any flavor. We tried making this type of dish starting with all fresh stuff and it just wasn't as good. Then the Cream of Poblano disappeared from the shelves. Now it is back, here at least. I may have to make this again.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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a favorite childhood casserole of mine was ground beef, a few chopped tomatoes, lots of chopped onion, various seasonings, some ketchup, (yes, ketchup) and garlic, simmered for a while. mom mixed this with cooked spaghetti (almost a bolognese type thing) and put it in a casserole dish. then covered with a sharp cheddar cheese sauce and baked until bubbly.

i craaaave tghis dish soetimes, and make it and freeze portions. it's really not that good, just something i enjoy.

we're from south africa, and when my family moved here all the neighbors were telling us what we "shoudl have" for thanksgiving. three or four green bean casseroles were brought to our doorstep on thanksgiving morning. (all made with french's french fried onions, canned beans, and campbell's cream of mushroom.) we never understood the appeal.

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I just remembered a "recipe" that uses a canned soup that is usually better than not. It was something we did with left over chicken in the fridge when my son lived with me. We would layer it with cooked pasta or rice. (We always cooked enough to have left overs for during the week.) Adding peppers and onions, maybe some salsa, we would bind it together with Campbell's Cream of Poblano, not diluted. It was usually topped with bread crumbs or crushed corn chips and maybe some cheese. Corn chips and a Mexican style melting cheese was the best.

Cream of Poblano Soup?

Obviously, this variety must come only from Campbell's plant in Paris, Texas.

Trade you for a can of Pepper Pot and a joint mention in the "Mass-Produced Rarities" topic?

I'd love to try that variety. Anyplace to get it online? Hometown Favorites, maybe?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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:biggrin: 'Twas Garrison Keillor who clued me into the term "hot dish" for this stuff. In particular, there was a long-ago episode of "Prairie Home Companion" on which Keillor sang an Ode to Tuna Noodle Hot Dish that cracked me up so much that I had to go make some right away. (I've tried searching for the lyrics to that song, but in vain.)

I was riding in someone's car through the northwestern suburbs of Philly one Saturday night when I heard that song on "A Prairie Home Companion."

Only the singers used the term "tuna casserole" in the refrain. It was for three voices, SAB, and the one line I remember was in the refrain:

''...all covered with cheeeese (bass line: "...all covered with Velveeta cheese")."

Casseroles were not a mainstay of my growing-up years. Beyond macaroni and cheese, come to think of it, I can't recall casseroles as a feature of any meal served by a black family I've known of--and certainly not the infamous Green Bean Casserole.

Unless, that is, you're talking about black families who know something about Creole cooking, in which case you will encounter jambalaya--which is a casserole, after all, and one that requires no thickened sauce--somewhere along the way.

But I've learned how to make them. Count me as the 3,957th vote in favor of "Start with a basic white sauce and you can't go wrong." Except, of course, when you're making jambalaya.

But that "hamberger casserole" that has uncooked rice as an ingredient? The canned tomatoes are not drained before adding to the dish, right? Otherwise, where's the liquid for the rice to absorb?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Let's not forget King Ranch Casserole.

:laugh:

That recipe will haunt me all my days here. And it sure doesn't fit the "no Campbell's soup" bit.

Although man is it good. I think I'll cook up some next week. The weather is cooling here in Central Missouri, where I currently am living. King Ranch Chicken is shore a little taste o' my Texas home.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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But that "hamberger casserole" that has uncooked rice as an ingredient?  The canned tomatoes are not drained before adding to the dish, right?  Otherwise, where's the liquid for the rice to absorb?

I think I've made it twice since I've grown up (if indeed, that could be said to be true) and it was before I became a professional, so it is hazy but yes, you are right the tomatoes are not drained. What I seem to remember (which of course is not in the recipe but that's how she wrote it :raz: ) is that they may have been canned "stewed tomatoes" (you know, the ones cooked with celery and peppers and onions that used to be served as a side dish some places?).

I'll try it sometime soon and let you know better. :wink:

Because I am also a bit worried that she might have used "Minute Rice" because that's the only variety that was ever in her cupboard.

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Cream of Poblano Soup?

Obviously, this variety must come only from Campbell's plant in Paris, Texas.

Trade you for a can of Pepper Pot and a joint mention in the "Mass-Produced Rarities" topic?

I'd love to try that variety.  Anyplace to get it online?  Hometown Favorites, maybe?

Your wish is my command.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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But that "hamberger casserole" that has uncooked rice as an ingredient?  The canned tomatoes are not drained before adding to the dish, right?  Otherwise, where's the liquid for the rice to absorb?

I think I've made it twice since I've grown up (if indeed, that could be said to be true) and it was before I became a professional, so it is hazy but yes, you are right the tomatoes are not drained. What I seem to remember (which of course is not in the recipe but that's how she wrote it :raz: ) is that they may have been canned "stewed tomatoes" (you know, the ones cooked with celery and peppers and onions that used to be served as a side dish some places?).

I'll try it sometime soon and let you know better. :wink:

Because I am also a bit worried that she might have used "Minute Rice" because that's the only variety that was ever in her cupboard.

When my three children were young, I often made a recipe that called for rice, corn, hamburger meat, large can of stewed tomatoes. You didn't drain it, and you didn't precook the rice, and I never used minute rice. The one I had also called for strips of bacon to be put across the top.

It was surely 'comfort food,' not fancy, but my kids and hubby loved it. It was called "Busy Mother Casserole" or some such something.

If anybody really cares, I'll see if I can dig up the exact recipe.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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When my three children were young, I often made a recipe that called for rice, corn, hamburger meat, large can of stewed tomatoes.  You didn't drain it, and you didn't precook the rice, and I never used minute rice.  The one I had also called for strips of bacon to be put across the top. 

It was surely 'comfort food,' not fancy, but my kids and hubby loved it.  It was called "Busy Mother Casserole" or some such something.

If anybody really cares, I'll see if I can dig up the exact recipe.

It sounds even better than my version, Jaymes. Please definitely post it if you come across it. . . :wink:

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It's still rib-grilling weather here, and I can smell the drift of smoke through the open back door, but nesting-in casserole weather is coming soon.

The only Campbell's I ever use is Cream of Chicken, and that only in a casserole recipe provided by Hubby's FIRST Mother-in-Law, a spare, sweet woman who graciously welcomed me to the family with several recipes her Grandchildren liked. So I've made it for many years, and especially everytime they're here. And when it's just the two of us, I usually use the last of a Sam's chicken from the day before. (Maybe it's the MSG, but we LIKE them).

It uses the soup, chicken, a dab of mayo, garlic, and a couple of cans of Mexicorn, with the nice little pepper bits for flavor. It's mixed with a couple of cups of leftover white rice, crushed potato chips on top, heat til bubbly. The kids love it, and will ask for it even when we're having chicken or turkey as a main dish.

And in the South, "white sauce" predates the Cream of Mumble by a hundred years. Little girls learn the two-two-two formula for a standard sauce while they still have to climb on a chair to reach the stove.

And Bechamel is still mostly a foreign word. Mention it and the standard replay would be, "Bechamel. Bechamel. Isn't that the young family that lived in the Prysock house for a while?"

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When my three children were young, I often made a recipe that called for rice, corn, hamburger meat, large can of stewed tomatoes.  You didn't drain it, and you didn't precook the rice, and I never used minute rice.  The one I had also called for strips of bacon to be put across the top. 

It was surely 'comfort food,' not fancy, but my kids and hubby loved it.  It was called "Busy Mother Casserole" or some such something.

If anybody really cares, I'll see if I can dig up the exact recipe.

It sounds even better than my version, Jaymes. Please definitely post it if you come across it. . . :wink:

Okay, found it. Keep in mind that I KNOW this is nobody's idea of haute cuisine. But when I had three hungry teenagers, it did fill them up.

Now that I reread the recipe, I note it calls for tomato sauce. And some water. It's been many years since I made it (my hungry 'teenagers' are now in their 30's), so I've kinda forgotten, but because I like pieces of tomatoes, I think I substituted cans of whole tomatoes & liquid for the tomato sauce and water.

Busy Mother Casserole

In a 2qt baking dish with a tightly-fitting lid, place the following ingredients in the following order. Do not precook anything.

1 C uncooked rice (not minute rice)

1 C corn (if you're using canned, drain it)

sprinkle of salt and pepper

1 9-oz can tomato sauce

1/2 C water

1/2 C each chopped onion and green pepper

1 lb uncooked ground beef

sprinkle of salt and pepper

1 more can tomato sauce

1/4 C water

cover top of hamburger meat with bacon strips

Cover casserole tightly and bake at 350 for one hour. Uncover and bake about 30 minutes longer or until bacon is crisp.

Note -- seems to me that I added some herbs of some sort, probably a little garlic, and, because we liked Mexican flavors, maybe some green chiles rather than the bell peppers.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Busy Mother Casserole

In a 2qt baking dish with a tightly-fitting lid, place the following ingredients in the following order.  Do not precook anything.

1 C uncooked rice (not minute rice)

1 C corn (if you're using canned, drain it)

sprinkle of salt and pepper

1 9-oz can tomato sauce

1/2 C water

1/2 C each chopped onion and green pepper

1 lb uncooked ground beef

sprinkle of salt and pepper

1 more can tomato sauce

1/4 C water

cover top of hamburger meat with bacon strips

Cover casserole tightly and bake at 350 for one hour.  Uncover and bake about 30 minutes longer or until bacon is crisp.

Note -- seems to me that I added some herbs of some sort, probably a little garlic, and, because we liked Mexican flavors, maybe some green chiles rather than the bell peppers.

This reminds me of a very good casserole that is in MFK Fisher's book, With Bold Knife and Fork. She calls it St. Helena Zalaveri, I think (my book is in storage, so can't confirm). It has noodles in it, and is covered with a tomato sauce.

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Thinking of ground beef reminded me that a Shephard's Pie made of it, with nice bits of onion, carrot and celery for texture . . .bayleaf, thyme, oregano as seasoning with a hint of Worcestershire, a touch of tomato paste, bound together with beef broth thickened either by roux or by cornstarch binder, all topped off by mashed potatoes topped with buttered crumbs or even with crumbs and cheese then baked, rarely goes awry. Add some nice long smiles of crisp-cooked green beans on the side and the meal is set.

:smile:

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Busy Mother Casserole
This reminds me of a very good casserole that is in MFK Fisher's book, With Bold Knife and Fork. She calls it St. Helena Zalaveri, I think (my book is in storage, so can't confirm). It has noodles in it, and is covered with a tomato sauce.

Not familiar with that one, but can tell you that the Busy Mother thing has several terrific qualities. Not only will it fill up ravenous teenaged boys, but since you don't precook anything, it goes together quickly and you wind up with rice, meat, corn -- three courses -- and only one dish to wash.

Haven't made it in years. Haven't even thought about it until this thread. Funny, isn't it, how priorities change. :cool:

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Speaking of English comfort food, you know Fish Pie is also really tasty.

I was really doubtful when I first tackled it. It seemed to violate everyting I held holy about fish.

Poach some cod or haddock in milk. Use the poaching liquid to make a stiff mustard spiked bechamel. Combine the sauce and fish, drop in a couple quartered hard boiled eggs. Pipe over some buttery mashed potatoes and bake until the top is golden brown.

It seems wrong; but, tastes so right.

-Erik

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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