Wednesday, December 31, 2014


THERE are probably a few people somewhere who say they don't like casseroles in a blanket condemnation but I haven't met any. I recall only one casserole that I didn't like acknowledging, of course, there have been some I'd prefer over others.

A boon to the busy homemaker, the mainstay  of pot­ luck suppers, casserole recipes are coveted, especially when they 're deliciously different, easy to make, and easier on the budget, A rare combination, indeed.

Let's divide them into two categories, the economy dishes to use up leftovers and those calling for  spe­cific ingredients for a specific casserole.

Some casseroles evolve from the necessity of making do with what's on your shelves and the "Odds n' Ends" recipe herein fits into that category. It calls for three kinds of pasta simply because there wasn't enough of any one type to make a casserole after a Nor'Easter had kept us housebound for three days and the larder was low. 

An amusing side note con­cerns my daughter, Donna-Lane. As a young bride, this was a favorite luncheon dish when she enter­tained informally. Unaware it was necessity-dictated, she always bought three kinds of pasta so she'd have the elbows, the small shells, and the No. 2 spaghetti I had originally used on that stormy day . Only years later did this come out.

My son J once contrived a casserole with a little of this, more of that, some of something else. His sister, who first viewed it with utter disdain, took one bite and ended up with four, yes four , hearty servings. Unfortunately this is another family inspiration that was never recreated, having gone the way of mother's pea bean dip. But his plaudit winning and original chicken casserole does appear in the "smattering" chapter.

Fortunately a friend, Irene, does remember the recipe for the sausage-eggplant casserole she originated and it's a great favorite  always. 

Casseroles have a lot going for them not the least of which is the convenience of being able to set the oven on low, your main dish will be hot and bubbly when you get home. There''s also only one cooking dish to wash. And then again, most casseroles can be kept  warm without disaster if someone is late to dinner. 

Last point in favor, most heat up nicely the next day IF there is any left. It  would  be easy  to devote an entire book  to cas­seroles, as has been done, but let's get on with ten that have always earned compliments and frequent recipe requests.Let's start with one that is so nice for  luncheon guests, the costly one, the  one that calls for  lobster or crabmeat.

This was a favorite in the P.T.A. crowd when my children were in school and the group used to have get-togethers outside the school related activities. All good cooks they were, and progressive suppers were popular. I call this a flexible casserole because you can use lobster, or crabmeat, or shrimp, or a combination. Whatever, have at least three-quarters of a pound  of  cooked shellfish or two 6-1/2 ounce cans if you plan to use the tinned variety.
  • 3/4 lb. lobster meat, crabmeat or shrimp
  • 3 hard boiled eggs sliced                                                     
  •  1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup light cream (you may want to increase this amount if you use milk)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimento
  • 1 tbsp. grated onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1cup light cream (you may want                                                     
  • 1 cup slivered blanched almonds                                                                  
Combine all ingredients, mix well, turn into buttered two-quart casserole.  

Sprinkle with seasoned  crumbs, dot with butter.  

Bake for 30 minutes at 350° in preheated oven.  

Will serve 6 to 8.


So named because the first time I served it at a Sunday buffet my always frank son J, said, "That rice  is super-good, but 'wow' is it rich!" But he and the other guests proceeded to demolish the casserole. It's quite unusual, calorie laden, and well worth throwing dietary precautions  to the four  winds. Try it, bet you add it to your favorite file.
  • 1  cup rice                          
  • 2  cups cold water              
  • 3  cups milk                        
  • 1/4 lb. butter
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 eggs beaten 
Wash rice and cook with 2 cups water in top of double boiler for one hour or until water is absorbed.  
Add 3 cups milk and cook again until this too has been absorbed.  

Now add but­ter, salt and sugar, and put in well buttered casserole.

old in the three well-beaten eggs and bake for 40 minutes at 350° in preheated oven.  

Test with clean knife until it comes out clean. 

Absolutely delectable!

Cousins Mable and Graycie came out one weekend with this recipe in hand and absolutely raving about how delicious it is. They'd had it at a friend's home and I understand at least six others requested the recipe so the hostess had it quick -copied and mailed to each. 
I haven 't tried  this myself but will defer to their discriminating palates which I trust im­pl icity.  
Actually, I must confess I had so much chicken as a child, roast, fricasseed, fried, salad, in sandwiches, that I rarely eat the fowl  today . But you can trust this twosome's recommendations!
  • 1 cooked boned chick en , cut  in  bite- sized pieces
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup finely cut celery 
  • 1 tbsp. minced onion
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice  
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 hard boiled eggs (sliced)  
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1-1/2 cup crushed potato  chips
Combine all ingredients in casserole.  

Cover top with additional 1/2 cup of  crushed potato chips. 

Bake at 450° for 15 minutes.  

Makes 5 or 6 servings.


I love this pie! And does anyone who has ever had it. As a superior recipe wangler, I had to exert considerable wiles to obtain this one from  a friend who was loathe to part with it, but part she did. 

It can be served in small wedges as an appetizer but I prefer it as a totally delightful luncheon entree. Also good for brunch with those sauteed cherry tomatoes in the vegetable chapter.
  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese
  • 1 pkg.frozen spinach, cooked and drained thoroughly
  • 1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 3 eggs slightly beaten 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. onion or parslied garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 1/2 tsp.freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 smallish zucchini: sliced and sauteed
  • 1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
  • 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped and sauteed
  • 1/2 cup chopped ham, sausage or bacon
  • 2 tbsp. oil
Cook spinach, drain thoroughly, and squeeze out any remaining moisture.  

Combine Ricotta cheese, spinach, grated Mozzarella, eggs, oil, meat, mushrooms, green pepper and zucchini and seasonings. 

 Pour mixture into lightly oiled deep pie plate or baking  pan and sprinkle oil on top to assure a golden crust. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for about 40 minutes. Check at 30 minutes.  

This is ready when  a knife inserted in middle comes out clean! Serves 8 as an entree. Elegant!


Don't let the unglamorous name fool you! I've made this more times than I care to remember and expect to make it as many more times in the future. A favorite of Pat's (the parsnip-hater) and many others, too. Puffs up beautifully. Nice with a fruit salad, nice with anything really!
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 1/ 2 lb. shredded rather sharp cheese Parmesan cheese
  • 1/ 2 tsp. salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups milk (maybe a bit more)
  • Butter or margarine 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard  
  • 4 drops Tabasco
Spread bread generously with butter or margarine (the latter is just  as good here and spreads better).  

Pile one slice on top of another and cube.

Alternate. layers of  cubed  bread  and cheese in a well greased  baking dish, seasoning each layer and dotting with butter.
Beat eggs and milk thoroughly and pour over the bread and cheese mixture.  

Sprinkle Parmesan on top and dot with margarine. 

 Let set 30 minutes at least. Bake in a 350° pre-­heated  oven until firm in center, about 45 minutes but peek at 35 minutes. 

Test with clean knife to see if it comes out clean. Serves four generously.

A nice difference from the ordinary hamburger casserole, I clipped this from a Metropoli­tan newspaper food page and have been glad ever since.
"Very tasty," said a guest who was a friend of a friend and whom I had met for the first time. And the recipe went home with her to Rochester, NH. Never saw her again by the way, which has nothing to do with the recipe. She moved down South.
  • 3 tsp. butter                                                                     
  • 1 lb.ground beef                                                                                                                  
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 or 4 drops Tabasco                                                       
  • 8 oz. very thin noodles                                                                 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 envelope of dry onion soup
  • freshly ground pepper to taste 
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips
  • 1 bouillon cube
 Brown meat with green pepper in melted butter in skillet. Stir in soup mix, bouillon cube, Tabasco, water and simmer.

Cook noodles according  package directions.

Fold beef mixture and cream into the well drained noodles. 

Put in a well greased 2 or 2-1/2 quart baking dish.  

Top with crushed  potato chips.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbling hot. Serves 4 to 6.


"Where did you get this recipe, Irene, it's delicious and may I have a copy?" I said in one breath after having consumed copious quantities when she served it to me for lunch at her home.                                              ·
"I made it up," she said, "and there are no hard and fast directions, you sort of play it by ear or taste. "My taste calls for this . . .
  • 1 lb. link sausage (Jones Brothers recommended but do as you will)
  • 1   large can stewed tomatoes
  • 2   medium green peppers, sliced  
  • 1 large or two smallish onions, sliced
  • 1 medium large eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tsp. sugar (or to taste)
  • *important Irene stressed 2 or 3 drops Tabasco
  • Salt and freshly  ground pepper to taste
Fry sausage over low flame in large skillet until thoroughly cooked.  

Remove and drain most· of fat.   

In same pan saute peppers  and onions until just limp, never brown.  

Add  can of tomatoes  with  the  1 teaspoon  (or a bit more)  of sugar and  cubed  eggplant

Return  the sausages to the pan and heat through.  

Serve with buttered rice on the side and pass grated Parmesan for individual application.  

Serves 6. Get ready to give out the recipe.

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