August 12, 2014
August 12, 2014
Betty Rosbottom has been a cooking teacher, syndicated columnist, PBS host, and cookbook author for two decades. She is the author of Sunday Brunch, Sunday Roasts, Sunday Soups, The Big Book of Backyard Cooking, and Coffee (all published by Chronicle Books). She lives part-time in Amherst, MA, and Paris, France and blogs at www.bettyrosbottom.com.
Casseroles conjure up images of hearty, comforting meals shared with family or friends, or both. Everybody loves digging into a bubbling hot casserole… if only there were more great casseroles to love! Here, author Betty Rosbottom (Sunday Soup, Sunday Roasts, Sunday Brunch) shares 60 modern casserole recipes using fresh, whole foods – no processed ingredients – that elevate the beloved bake to Sunday dinner status (and leftovers fame).
In SUNDAY CASSEROLES, every dish is designed to look as enticing as it tastes, from the beautiful Sea Scallops Nestled in Piperade to the creamy “Baked” Risotto with its colorful chunks of butternut squash and prosciutto. Other instant-favorite recipes include Cider-Braised Pork with Red Cabbage and Apples; Farfalle with Asparagus, Roasted Shallots, and Creamy Blue Cheese; and, of course, Mac and Cheese (including luscious variations using lobster or smoked sausage).
With enough casseroles to grace your table for a year of Sundays – plus a few more for good measure! –SUNDAY CASSEROLES brings new warmth and ease to your weekend.
Serves 6 to 8
This dish makes a showstopper entrée for brunch, yet is quite easy to assemble. The rich popover batter is poured into a casserole dish, rather than into popover pans, and rises dramatically up the sides of the dish while in the oven. Then, during the last few minutes of baking, a creamy sauté of mushrooms is added as a filling. Serve this unique popover with a hearty salad (sliced Belgian endive, red leaf lettuce, and walnuts, dressed in a mustard vinaigrette, work particularly well), along with a warm, crusty baguette.
4 1/2 tbsp/70 ml olive oil
1 lb/455 g brown mushrooms (cremini), thinly sliced through the stems
1 cups/160 g chopped green onions (including 2 in/5 cm of the green stems)
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp crushed dried rosemary
2 tsp dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup/120 ml mascarpone cheese
4 tbsp/55 g unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups/175 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups/360 ml whole milk
4 large eggs
Grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, for sprinkling
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450°F/230°C. Have ready a 9-by-13-in/23-by-33-cm baking dish.
For the Mushroom Filling: Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until any liquid exuded from the mushrooms has evaporated, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the green onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until the green onions have softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rosemary, thyme, ½ tsp salt, and several grinds of pepper. Remove the frying pan from the heat and add the mascarpone, stirring until it has melted. Season the mushrooms with more salt and pepper if needed. (The filling can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat, stirring.)
For the Popover: Put the butter in the baking dish, and put the dish in the oven until the butter has melted and is hot, 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. Add the flour to the egg mixture, whisking until no lumps remain and the batter is smooth.
Remove the hot baking dish from the oven and, using pot-holders, tilt the dish several times to spread the butter evenly over the bottom. Pour the popover batter into the dish; bake 15 minutes. The batter will start to puff up around the edges. Reduce the temperature to 350°F/180°C, and bake for 15 minutes more. At this point, the sides will have puffed up around the edges of the baking dish.
Remove the dish from the oven (close the oven door to maintain the temperature). Quickly spoon the mushroom filling over the bottom of the popover. Return to the oven and bake until the mushrooms are very hot, 10 to 12 minutes more.
Remove the popover from the oven. With a sharp knife, cut into six to eight portions. Serve hot and pass a bowl of Parmesan cheese for sprinkling.
This casserole is perfect for fall, when supermarket display bins are overflowing with copper-fleshed sweet potatoes. If you’ve never used this versatile tuber in a casserole, you’ll be surprised by how much flavor, not to mention color, it will add. In this recipe, sautéed chicken breasts seasoned with sage and thyme are covered with pan-fried sweet potatoes, onion, and bacon, and then coated with a creamy white sauce. The chicken and potatoes, as well as the sauce, can be cooked ahead, so there’s no last-minute angst.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 oz/225 g each)
1 tablespoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 oz/340 g sweet potatoes (see Market Note)
1 medium red onion
5 tablespoons/75 ml olive oil
1/2 cup/120 ml reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup/60 ml dry white wine
5 slices good-quality smoked bacon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup/240 ml whole milk
1/3 cup/30 g grated Gruyère cheese
Fresh sage sprigs for garnish (optional)
Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Generously butter a 9-by-13-in/23-by-33-cm or another shallow 3-qt/2.8-L baking dish.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place a chicken breast on a work surface and, with a sharp knife held parallel with the surface, cut the breast in half horizontally. Repeat with the remaining breasts. You will have 8 chicken pieces. In a small bowl, mix together the thyme, sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Set aside 1 teaspoon of this seasoning. Season both sides of each piece of the chicken with the remaining mixture.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1/4-in-/6-mm-thick rounds. Stack several rounds on top of each other and cut into 1/4-in-/6-mm-wide strips. Peel the onion, halve through the root end, and slice into 1/4-in-/6-mm-wide strips.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until hot in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts and sauté until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to the prepared baking dish. Add the chicken broth and wine to the pan and whisk to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Cook, stirring, until the liquid has reduced to 1/4 cup/60 ml, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour over the chicken breasts.
In the same frying pan set over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and, when cool, chop coarsely. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings in the pan and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Set the frying pan over medium heat, and when hot, add the sweet potatoes and onion and sauté, stirring, until softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and spoon them over the chicken. Sprinkle with the bacon. (The casserole can be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before proceeding.)
Melt the butter until hot in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and the reserved 1 tsp of seasoning. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, whisking constantly, and cook until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with salt if needed. (The sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate separately from the baking dish. Gently reheat over low temperature.) Drizzle the sauce over the ingredients in the casserole and sprinkle with the Gruyère. Cover the casserole loosely with a sheet of foil.
Bake the casserole until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool the casserole for 5 minutes.
If desired, garnish the center of the dish with some sage and thyme sprigs before serving.
Market Note: Two types of sweet potato are available in the United States. One has pale tan skin and light orange flesh, while the other (often erroneously labeled “yam” in the supermarket) has a darker skin and rich, copper-hued flesh. The latter variety (with its bright orange flesh) is the one I like to use in this recipe.
These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:
Recipes from Sunday Casseroles: Complete Comfort in One Dish by Betty Rosbottom. (Chronicle Books; August 2014; $24.95/Trade Paperback; ISBN-13; 978-1452121208 ). http://www.chroniclebooks.com/
Contact: David Hawk