Casserole Cooking Was A Novelty



Did you know at one time the concept of casserole cooking was a novelty?

One of my favorite old cookbooks has a chapter of casserole recipes tucked into the back, as if they were an afterthought. There is even a whole list of advantages preceding the recipes -- as if the cooks of the day (late 1930s and early 1940s) had to be convinced to give casseroles a try.

Chicken en Casserole

1 chicken

Butter, salad oil or other fat

1 pint rich brown stock

12 button mushrooms

12 potato balls

1 carrot sliced

6 small onions

Salt, pepper, paprika

Wash the chicken and cut it up. Sauté the pieces in a little fat until well browned on all sides. Place in a greased casserole, add brown stock, cover and cook at 350 degrees for an hour.

When the chicken has been cooking for an hour, sauté the vegetables in a little fat, stirring them lightly until they are well browned. Put these with the chicken in the casserole, season, cove and cook for 45 minutes, remove cover and allow chicken to brown before serving.

Tamale Pie en Casserole

1 cup yellow corn meal

6 cups boiling water

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium-sized onion

2 tablespoons fat

2 cups chopped beef

2 cups tomatoes

2 pimento


Cook corn meal, water and salt, as for mush, for about 30 minutes. Chop onion and fry in fat until brown. Add meat and fry until red color disappears. Add tomatoes, pimento and cayenne. Line oiled casserole with mush, put meat mixture in center, cover with mush and bake in at 350 degrees for two to two-and-a-half hours.

Hungarian Goulash en Casserole

4 onions

2 pounds veal

Bacon fat

1-1/2 pints brown stock


1 pint potato balls

12 small onions

1 cup carrot slices

1 cup turnip slices



Slice the onion and cut the raw veal in cubes. Cook together in a little bacon fat, until brown. Transfer to casserole, pour brown stock over it and season with pepper and paprika. Put in 350 degree oven. Add more fat to frying pan and brown the potato balls, small onions, slices of carrot and turnip. Add the vegetables and salt to the casserole when meat is partially cooked. Finish cooking and add more stock as needed. The dish should cook a total of two hours. Thicken broth with flour if needed.

Pork Chops en Casserole

6 pork chops

6 sweet potatoes

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 to 2 cups milk

Place a layer of sweet potatoes, sliced crosswise, in a greased casserole, dust with salt, pepper and a little brown sugar. Continue the layers until the casserole is about two-thirds full. Heat the milk and pour it over the potatoes; it should just cover them. Place the pork chops on top of the potatoes, cover and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Remove the cover, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, without cover, until the chops are tender and nicely browned on top.

Four tart apples, pared, cored and cut in eighths can be used in place of the sweet potatoes.

Scalloped Ham and Potatoes

6 potatoes

1 pound raw smoked ham

3 cups of milk (or more)

1 green pepper (optional)


Cover the bottom of an oiled baking dish with sliced, raw potatoes. Sprinkle with flour, add inch-square pieces of ham. Repeat layering until dish is full. Pour in as much milk as the dish will hold. Bake at 350 to 400 degrees until the potatoes are tender, about one to one-and-a-half hours. Chopped green pepper, added with potatoes, gives the dish more flavor.

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