I grabbed this book off the shelf this morning, thinking Casseroles! That sounds good! And doesn't it? Casseroles equal instant cozy comfort in my world. This cookbook, the aptly-titled Casseroles, has a casserole recipe for every mood, every season, every diet, every craving. If something baked until bubbly sounds like a good dinner plan, then this cookbook is going to make you very happy.
• Who wrote it: The Editors of Sterling
• Who published it: Sterling
• Recipes for right now: Penne Arrabbiata Bake, Broccoli and Cheese Penne with Garlic and Lemon Crumbs, Curried Lentil Pies, Pumpkin Pea and Farro Risotto, Spicy Tuna Pasta Bake, Mexican Chicken Tortilla Bake, Chicken Biryani with Cauliflower and Peas, Osso Bucco with Polenta Crust
• Other highlights: As I would hope with a book devoted entirely to casseroles, this one pushes the boundaries of what the dish can be. There are plenty of cheesy, layered favorites — riffs on lasagnas, biscuit-topped pot pies, and potato bakes abound — but I also enjoyed seeing veggie-filled frittatas, Indian biryani, and tortilla pies in the mix.
If you're used to casseroles that are heavy on condensed soups and lots of shredded cheese, these recipes will be a surprise. They are full of fresh vegetables and spices with nary a creamed mushroom in sight. There are also a surprising number (to me!) of casseroles with fish and seafood. If you made a resolution to eat more seafood this year, this section definitely offers some inspiration.
This is a fairly bare-bones kind of cookbook: there are no lengthy headnotes or special techniques to pour over. All the ingredients can be easily found at major grocery stores and they can be made with a minimal amount of equipment. Each recipe also includes prep and cooking time, nutritional information, and serving suggestions.
• Who would enjoy this book? Cooks looking for easy, accessible recipes for weeknight meals; folks who want to incorporate more veggies and fresh foods into their meals but still appreciate a good bit of cheese.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Casseroles
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