Keep the kitchen mess to a minimum with these delicious one-dish meals.
By Janet Groene, F47166
Do you have a one-dish wonder that comes out a winner every time? I’d love to hear from you at email@example.com. If you want your name used, please provide it along with your FMCA membership number. Here are some of my fail-safe favorites.
Southern Summer Squash Casserole
This side dish favorite has been served by Dixie damsels forever. It can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, or frozen for baking later.
1½ pounds yellow squash, cut bite-sized
1½ pounds zucchini, cut bite-sized
1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce bag herb-seasoned stuffing
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 8-ounce carton sour cream
1 stick butter, melted
Put the squash, zucchini, onion, carrot, and salt in a pot; cover with water; and bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat; and simmer until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Do not drain the water. Stir in the stuffing mix to absorb the juices. If necessary, add water or broth. The squash mixture should be stiff, not mushy. Whisk together the soup and sour cream; fold into the squash mixture; and place in a well-greased baking dish. Drizzle with melted butter and bake at 375 degrees until a golden crust forms on the top and sides.
Chicken In Basil-Walnut Cream Sauce
Roasted bone-in chicken breast halves can be found in the deli or in the meat department. You also can cook your own ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate.
6 cooked bone-in chicken breast halves
2 cups frozen peas
2 15½-ounce cans whole potatoes, drained
24 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 10- to 12-ounce container Alfredo sauce
Arrange the chicken bone-side up in a greased casserole dish and cover with the peas and drained potatoes. Whisk the basil and walnuts into the Alfredo sauce and spoon over the casserole. Bake the dish at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through. This recipe makes six servings.
Green Bean and Corn Casserole
This recipe from Handy Mom’s Guide to Grilling (see “Books For Cooks”) turns vegetables into a rich, creamy side dish everyone loves. It can be frozen in batches, or you can serve the entire casserole straight from the oven to serve eight.
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
3 cups crushed buttery crackers (such as Ritz), divided
2 14-ounce cans French-style green beans, drained
1 14-ounce can shoe peg corn, drained
1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 stick butter, melted
Whisk together the soup and the sour cream. Put half the crushed crackers in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish and layer with the green beans, corn, water chestnuts, and onion. Top with the soup mixture, then the cheese and the remaining crushed crackers. Drizzle with the melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until it’s brown and bubbly.
Not Just Another Tuna Casserole
Stir-frying the tuna and other ingredients makes an additional step, but it enriches the casserole enormously. Large amounts of veggies make this a colorful, healthful, one-dish meal.
8 ounces small pasta
1 6-ounce can tuna in oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 large onion, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 red or green sweet pepper, diced
1 10-ounce box chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 can condensed cream soup (celery, chicken, mushroom, etc.)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking sherry
6-ounce package shredded cheese
1/3 cup Italian-flavored bread crumbs
While the pasta cooks according to package directions, drain the tuna and heat the oil in a skillet or wok. Stir-fry the garlic, onion, celery, and pepper in hot oil until the vegetables are limp. Stir in the tuna and spinach and set aside. Whisk together the soup, milk, and sherry. Stir together the drained pasta, soup mixture, and tuna mixture and put in a greased casserole. Sprinkle with cheese and top with the bread crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until it’s thoroughly hot. If the casserole is prepared ahead of time and refrigerated, the baking time will be longer. This recipe makes four servings.
Janet’s Beef “˜N Bean Casserole
This is a hearty, meaty casserole that’s a cross between stew and chili.
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 pound beef for stew
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and diced
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 15.5-ounce can ready-to-serve beef broth
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 15.5-ounce cans kidney beans
1 8-ounce package corn muffin mix
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a roomy kettle that can go from stovetop to oven to table, brown the sausage and stew beef in hot oil, gradually stirring in the onion, garlic, pepper, and potatoes in that order. Brown the meat over high heat, stirring up the brown bits to coat the vegetables. Add the broth and seasoned salt; cover; and cook until the beef is tender. Stir in the kidney beans and heat through. Just before putting the casserole in the oven, stir the egg into the corn muffin mix with enough milk to make a batter. Drizzle the batter over the hot meat mixture and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown. This recipe makes eight servings.
Note: You can use the cook-ahead method to prepare the meat and potato mixture; cool; and refrigerate. Do not put the cornbread batter atop cold stew. Instead, stir the kidney beans into the cold meat mixture and place the casserole in the oven set to 350 degrees and bake until it bubbles around the edges. Then drizzle cornbread batter over the casserole and bake until the cornbread is done.
Chicken With Apples And Sweet Potatoes
If you prefer to cook the chicken ahead of time, make sure it’s completely done. Then cool it and keep it refrigerated for up to three days.
8 servings skinless chicken pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 cup apple juice
1 28-ounce can sweet potatoes, drained
1 large apple, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 stick butter, melted
Prepare this in a roomy casserole dish that can go from the stovetop to the oven. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown it in the hot oil. Stir the cinnamon and cloves into the apple juice; pour over chicken; cover; and cook over low heat until the chicken is done through. Turn the chicken over and spoon off some of the juice for basting. Surround the chicken with sweet potato chunks and sliced apples. Baste with the pan juice. Sprinkle with the pecan halves and drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to heat through. If you start with cooked, refrigerated chicken, the baking time will be longer.
Carreiro’s Pork With Clams
From The New England Clam Shack Cookbook (see below) comes this recipe. It originated at Tips for Tops’n restaurant in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Roasting the potatoes first may mean a little extra work, but you’ll taste the difference. It can be very spicy if you use a hot pepper sauce, so go easy at first and then fine-tune the recipe for your family’s taste.
Marinade and pork:
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup liquid hot pepper sauce
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
3 pounds boneless pork, such as butt or shoulder, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
To cook and finish:
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup water
7 cups diced, unpeeled russet potatoes
24 littleneck clams, scrubbed
Stir together the marinade ingredients; coat the pork; and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. In a large cooking pot, heat 1/3-cup of the olive oil and stir the garlic in for one minute. Add the pork with marinade and the cup of water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low; and cook, uncovered, until the pork is tender. This will take approximately 75 to 90 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and, on a large, rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes with the remaining oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are tender and starting to brown.
Scrape the potatoes into a large casserole dish and top with the pork and juices. Arrange the clams in a single layer on top. Bake, uncovered, in the 450-degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the clams pop open. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve at once.
1 20-ounce package hash browned potatoes
1 egg, beaten
1 12-ounce package real or vegetarian cooked meat crumbles
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3 or 4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
1 8-ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese
Mix the potatoes and egg and press in an even layer in a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch dish. Sprinkle with the meat crumbles and Italian seasoning. Arrange the tomatoes and black olives evenly on top and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. The potatoes should cook to a crusty brown on the bottom. Cut the pizza into squares and lift out with a pancake turner. This recipe makes four to six servings.
Books For Cooks
If you love Vermont, with its stunning scenery and fresh farm produce, you’ll enjoy 145 authentic recipes from the Green Mountain State in Dishing Up Vermont ($19.95, Storey Publishing). This armchair travelogue by Tracey Madeiros takes you from farm to dairy to inn in words, recipes, and color photos. How do you make hot fudge sauce to go with locally made Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? You’ll find the recipe in the book.
Handy Mom’s Guide to Grilling ($19.95, Cool Springs Press) is a simple cookbook with one recipe per page, making it ideal for the busy woman at home or on the go. The book’s focus is on grill recipes, but author Catherine Mayhew begins with a primer on barbecue tools and condiments. She then provides a good selection of recipes for all courses of the meal, including non-grilled side dishes and desserts.
Diabetics and folks who are interested in natural, healthful, organic foods now have the perfect cookbook to suit their specific dietary needs. The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook ($18.95, American Diabetes Association), by Jackie Newgent, a registered dietician, includes 150 recipes plus all the information diabetics need when counting carbohydrates and exchange information for each dish. Try the Beer-Brewed Sloppy Joe and many other dishes that allow fairly generous portions. An exception is Fudgy Brownies, at 15 grams of carbohydrate per small sliver. The book is easy to use, because each recipe is complete on two facing pages. Best of all, the rest of the family will love these recipes, too. The book is available at bookstores, through online booksellers, or by contacting the American Diabetes Association at (800) 232-6733; www.diabetes.org.
Just when you think you have seafood preparation figured out, you discover a new type of seafood or a different cooking source, such as a new barbecue grill or a microwave oven in your coach that’s different from your microwave at home. Auther Brooke Dojny’s second edition of The New England Clam Shack Cookbook ($16.95, Storey Publishing) demystifies the proper cooking of fish, lobster, scallops, and other seafood favorites. Because it’s based on the long history of real clam shacks pictured in the book, it’s a fun, nostalgic read as well as a recipe guide.