Casseroles are simple yet sumptuous dishes that are easy to make and can utilize leftovers and a motley of ingredients wonderfully. The name ‘casserole’ is given to the dish that is used as well as the food that is cooked in it. If you are a home cook and want something simple and great for your tired weeknights, you’ll love making casseroles. Read on for other reasons to like them.
Wikipedia explains the word ‘casserole’ as derived “from the French word casse meaning a case” and which “is a large, deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel. The word is also used for the food cooked and served in such a vessel, with the cookware itself called a casserole dish or casserole pan.”
Casserole is the dish and the food in it too. And there are some reasons it is a favorite with home cooks. If you are a home cook and don’t understand what the hullabaloo is all about, here are some reasons to make you fall in love with them.
Easy to make: To make a casserole, all you need to do is grease the casserole with some fat like oil or butter, arrange a combination of veggies or meat in it, add some starch such as rice, pasta, or macaroni, adjust the seasoning, and pour enough sauce to balance the moisture.
Utilization of leftovers: Casseroles are the perfect meals for the times you are too tired to go grocery shopping and there is not much in the fridge as well. Dig out leftovers, combine a motley of veggies and meats, and you can have a sumptuous meal just like that.
Lots of room to experiment: Like we said above, you can make almost a zillion varieties of casseroles. If you love experimenting, then bring out your apron and knives, ‘coz here’s something you can twist no end!’ There are hundreds of casserole recipes available online – take your cue and make something of your own.
Quick to cook: Casseroles generally don’t need much preparation if you are planning to use readymade sauces. You basically just put stuff together and stash it in the oven to cook. You pull it out when done and serve on the table directly.
Cuts down on dishes to clean: Since you are using a single utensil for cooking and serving, you won’t have a ton of dishes to clean afterwards, something which is a regular scene after cooking sessions. So go ahead, and start trying out your own casseroles. You can find some great recipes here.
In India, the name ‘casserole’ is also given to the lidded dish that is used to keep food warm but does not allow you to cook in it. Such dishes are generally used for keeping chapattis or rice warm but can also be used to set curd and store ice for short journeys.
What is the best thing that you do with leftovers? Tell us in the comments section.