Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Casseroles comfort us with taste of the past

Expand Messages
  • Jamie Rahm
    Wednesday, October 24, 2001 / The Tallahassee Democrat Casseroles comfort us with taste of the past Those who like their meat and potatoes and peas in separate
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Wednesday, October 24, 2001 / The Tallahassee Democrat

      Casseroles comfort us with taste of the past

      Those who like their meat and potatoes and peas in separate corners
      of the plate are missing out on some great meals that nourish body
      and soul.

      Although we can't turn back the clock to simpler times, a good
      casserole soothes us with a small slice of the past.

      From soup to nuts, just about anything can go into a casserole. Open
      a can of cheese soup for a quick sauce dressing chunks of chicken, or
      ornament orzo with seafood and feta. For a simplified interpretation
      of the classic dish, Lazy Lasagna layers broad egg noodles with a
      savory cheese center and meaty sauce. Most of these can be made ahead
      and reheated. And once in the oven, there is no basting or stirring,
      turning or fussing.


      Baked Spanish Rice with Seafood and Sausage

      1 can (6 1/2 ounces) chopped clams
      1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced- sodium peeled and diced tomatoes
      1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
      1/2 pound turkey kielbasa sausage
      2 Tbsps. olive oil, divided
      1 cup finely chopped onion
      2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
      2 bell peppers (red and yellow or green), stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
      1 small bulb fennel, cored and finely chopped
      6 Tbsps. water
      1/4 cup dry white wine or 3 Tbsps. chicken broth mixed with 1 Tbsp.
      lemon juice 1 tsp. saffron threads, optional
      1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
      1/2 tsp. salt
      1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
      1/2 pound medium-size cooked, peeled and deveined prawns
      8 black olives (Kalamata or oil- cured), pitted and coarsely chopped
      1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
      Lemon wedges

      Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Drain the juice from the clams into a
      4-cup measuring cup. Refrigerate the clams. Drain the juice from the
      tomatoes into the measuring cup, reserve the tomatoes. Pour the
      bottled clam juice into the cup, add water to equal 3 1/4 cups
      liquid. Remove the skin from the kielbasa, cut into 1/2 -inch slices.
      Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. When
      hot, put the kielbasa into the pan and saute until golden and cooked
      through. Remove from the pan. Put the remaining oil into the pan. Add
      the onion and saute 4 minutes. Stir the garlic, bell peppers and
      fennel into the onions. Add a couple of tablespoons water and saute
      the vegetables until softened, about 10 minutes. Add additional water
      if necessary to keep the vegetables moist. Put the tomatoes into the
      pan along with the wine or broth mixture and saffron. Simmer 5
      minutes. Put the rice into the pan, stirring to coat with the
      vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the clam juice
      mixture into the pan and bring to a boil, stirring well. Cover and
      put on center rack of oven. Bake 20 minutes. Spread the clams,
      kielbasa, shrimp and olives on top of the rice, do not stir. Cover
      the pan, put back into the oven and cook 10 minutes. Remove pan from
      the oven and fold all of the ingredients together. Set aside,
      covered, 10 minutes. Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve with lemon
      wedges. Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 432 calories, 23 grams
      protein, 14 grams fat, 49 grams carbohydrates, 109 milligrams sodium,
      2 grams saturated fat, 4 grams monounsaturated fat, 1 gram
      polyunsaturated fat, 94 milligrams cholesterol.


      Baked Orzo with Seafood and Feta

      3/4 cup orzo pasta (1 3/4 cups cooked)
      1 pound halibut, fillet or steak
      1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
      1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
      2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
      1 can (28 ounces) chef's cut tomatoes
      1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
      1 tsp. sugar
      3/4 tsp. dried Italian herbs, crushed
      1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
      1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
      1/2 pound cooked baby shrimp
      2 Tbsps. chopped parsley
      1 package (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese seasoned with basil and
      dried tomatoes

      Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the
      orzo, stirring well, and cook according to package directions. Drain
      and set aside. Remove the skin and any bones from the halibut, cut
      into 1-inch pieces and set aside. Heat the oil in a 10-to-12-inch
      oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Put the onion into the pan and
      saute 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes. Pour the
      tomatoes and broth into the pan and stir in the sugar, herbs, salt
      and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered,
      10 minutes. Stir often. (The sauce can be made a day in advance.
      Cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat before continuing with the next
      step.) Remove the pan from the heat. Stir the orzo and halibut into
      the sauce. Cover and bake 8 minutes. Gently fold the shrimp and
      parsley into the pan and sprinkle the feta on top. Continue baking,
      uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the halibut
      is cooked through. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Note: A 7-ounce
      pouch of water-packed tuna can replace the halibut and shrimp in this
      recipe. Add the tuna to the sauce with the orzo. Bake 8 minutes
      covered, then uncover and continue baking 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 6
      servings. Per serving: 271 calories, 28 grams protein 5 grams fat, 26
      grams carbohydrates, 591 milligrams sodium, less than 1 gram
      saturated fat, 2 grams monounsaturated fat, 1 gram polyunsaturated
      fat, and 99 milligrams cholesterol. From "The Big Book of Casseroles"
      by Maryana Vollstedt.


      Quick Mexican Chicken

      4 boneless and skinless chicken-breast halves
      1 (11-ounce) can cheddar- cheese soup
      1 (14- 1/2 ounce) can Mexican stewed tomatoes
      2 Tbsps. finely chopped parsley
      2 Tbsps. lime or lemon juice
      1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
      1 cup corn chips, broken up into smaller pieces

      Cut the chicken into thin strips. Combine the cheese soup, tomatoes,
      parsley, lime juice and the Tabasco. Stir well. Stir the chicken into
      the sauce. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle
      the chips on top and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 45 minutes,
      or until the chicken is done. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
      Serves 4. Per serving: 299 calories, 31 grams protein, 11 grams fat,
      18 grams carbohydrates, 973 milligrams sodium, 5 grams saturated fat,
      3 grams monounsaturated fat, 2 grams polyunsaturated fat, 91
      milligrams cholesterol. From "Southern Living: 1991 Annual Recipes."


      Lazy Lasagna

      4 cups extra-broad, no-yolks egg noodles
      1 teaspoon olive oil
      1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
      2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
      1 pound lean ground beef
      1 can (15 ounces) seasoned tomato sauce for lasagna
      1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
      1/4 tsp. salt, optional
      1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
      1/2 tsp. each dried basil and oregano, crushed
      2 Tbsps. grated Parmesan cheese
      2 Tbsps. egg substitute or 1 egg
      2/3 cup grated mixed Italian cheese

      Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with
      cooking spray (or lightly oil) and set aside. Bring a large pan of
      water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package
      directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain the
      pasta. Heat the olive oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add
      the onion, saute 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Then
      add the beef, breaking up with a spatula. Cook until no longer pink.
      Drain off the excess liquid. Pour the tomato sauce and reserved
      pasta-cooking water into the pan. Simmer 5 minutes. Season with black
      pepper. Taste and add a little salt if necessary. While the sauce is
      cooking, combine the cottage cheese, basil, oregano, Parmesan and egg
      substitute. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the
      prepared pan followed by all of the noodles. Spoon the cottage-cheese
      mixture over the noodles. Pour the sauce on top and sprinkle with the
      mixed Italian cheese. Bake on center oven rack 25 minutes. Let cool 5
      minutes before serving. Serves 6. Per serving: 500 calories, 32 grams
      protein, 54 grams carbohydrate, 16 grams fat, 792 milligrams sodium,
      6 grams saturated fat, 6 grams monounsaturated fat, less than 1 gram
      polyunsaturated fat, 59 grams cholesterol. Adapted from "A Dinner A
      Day" by Sally Sondheim and Suzannah Sloan.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.