Title: the big book of casseroles: 250 recipes for serious comfort food
Author: maryana vollstedt
Publisher: Chronicle Books, LLC
lower case titles carried over from the book, rather than being out of any laziness on my part
The name of the game with this cook book is comfort food...big, bubbling pots of steamy goodness that you can drown your sorrows in on a sunday afternoon, or, alternatively, one of several things you made and then froze over the weekend for use during the work week, out of a lack of time for serious cooking.
The book begins by talking a bit about the origin of the word Casserole:
"The term casserole originated in France in the early 1600's, and derives from the French word casse, a deep, round pot or crock for slow cooking. Casserole refers to both the preparation and the container in which it is cooked and often served."
The book then goes on to list tips for having ingredients around, and mentions that a good casserole is usually made from basic ingredients...it's a comfort not only in saving time, but also in that it's just made of good, basic things that go well together and are nicely filling. It also talks about serving, storage, reheating, and other small details that one might have seen one's mother mucking about with, but never had the time to really bother with one's self. In other words, a good book for college students and young bachelors.
There's even a section on how to lighten up ingredients to make them healthier, as well as techniques for preparing your own tomatoes rather than buying the pre-stewed variety.
The book contains over 250 recipes for caseroles, as well as a variety of tomato sauce recipes and stocks in the front.
The sections are seafood casseroles, gratins, poultry casseroles, meat casseroles, vegetable casseroles, grain and legume casseroles, and baked pastas. It runs the gamut from moussaka to macaroni tex-mex, and leaves plenty of room for personal innovation and experimentation.