Kitchen Intermediates: Casserole Dish

If you have the basics for your kitchen, it’s time to begin adding equipment to your cabinets so you can prepare a wider variety of foods. These are items that you can do without but which can be very helpful.

Along side your baking dish and your dutch oven, a casserole is a good addition for your oven cookware. The term comes from the French word for saucepan. It applies to the dish or pan and to the food prepared inside it. The earliest dishes for this purpose were earthenware pots with lids that could be placed in an oven, popular beginning in the 17th century. The idea of the single dish meal is a purely American invention made popular in the 20th century. It is a standard for potluck suppers and may also be called a bake or hotpot. Casserole dishes are usually a little smaller than baking dishes or dutch ovens.

The food casserole usually consists of a single dish meal containing meat or fish, vegetables or a starch like potatoes, rice or pasta, and some type of binder like cheese, flour or a sauce. Liquids used range from stock or broth to canned condensed soup.

A casserole, whether prepared in a casserole dish or some other dish, is a perfect bachelor food. There’s only a single pot, which can also be used to serve the dish and to stash leftovers in the refrigerator. What’s your favorite casserole recipe?