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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Casseroles easy to make, clean up

Many people love to cook but don’t like the cleanup afterwards. Some recipes require multiple pots and bowls to create. Jambalaya is a perfect example of a one pot dish. Today, let’s take a look at another type of labor saving dish, the Casserole.

A casserole is a great way to cut down on your cleanup. In many cases, you are only using the pan that you’re baking and serving in. You may have to use a bowl or sauté pan for others. Even then, your cleanup is minimal. Today, I have gathered some traditional dishes, Turkey Casserole and Sweet Potato Casserole, along with a seafood one, Shrimp and Crab Casserole. Any of these are welcomed at any lunch or dinner meal. Let’s head to the kitchen!

This recipe is from my mom. Traditionally served between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this recipe is a great way to use up leftovers from the big meal. As tasty as this dish is, there’s no reason to wait until the holidays to cook it.

Turkey Casserole

2 cups Pepperidge Farms stuffing

1 can French-style green beans

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 cups turkey, diced

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons butter

1/4 cup hot water

Salt and pepper to taste

Arrange in casserole dish 2/3 cup dry stuffing, green beans, diced turkey, mushroom soup and milk. Mix together. Dot with butter. Add hot water, salt and pepper. Top with 1 1/3 cups of stuffing. Bake at 350℉ for 25 minutes.

This seafood casserole is very versatile. You can use it as a stuffing for fish or shrimp. Using two of the most eaten seafoods, this dish will quickly disappear at dinnertime.

Shrimp & Crab Casserole

1 pound shrimp (41-50 count), peeled and deveined

Creole seasoning to taste

1 lemon, grated zest and juice, in all

3/4 stick butter

1 pound white crabmeat

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups bread crumbs

2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon basil, chopped

1/2 bunch green onions, chopped

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Rinse, drain and lightly season shrimp with Creole seasoning, 1/2 of lemon zest and juice, set aside. Repeat seasoning technique with crabmeat. Melt butter in a skillet, sprinkle with Creole seasoning, cayenne, and garlic. Toss crumbs in butter mixture until lightly toasted. Stir in fresh herbs and set aside. Lightly butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Begin layering the dish with the ingredients, starting with 1/2 of the shrimp followed by a layer of 1/2 of the crabmeat. Top this layer with some of the green onions and breadcrumb mixture. Repeat layering the casserole again, until all of the ingredients are used. You should end with breadcrumbs at the top of the dish. Gently pour half-and-half over top. Bake until top is golden brown, approximately 45 minutes. Serve.

Here’s a traditional dish often found on a Thanksgiving table. This casserole can also double as a dessert. Whether as a side dish or dessert, this treat is welcomed at any time of the year.

Sweet Potato Casserole

4½ cups sweet potatoes cooked and mashed

1 stick butter melted

1/3 cup milk

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs beaten

1 cup light brown sugar

½ cup flour

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup pecans chopped

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, 1 stick melted butter, milk, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Spread sweet potatoes mixture into the baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and flour. Cut and mix in 3 tablespoons butter until the mixture is creamy, them stir in the pecans. Sprinkle pecan mixture over sweet potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

It’s great to end a meal with only a handful of items to wash. Casseroles are a perfect example of this. They are also well accepted by your dinner guest and have them asking for more. So give yourself a break with the dishes and make a casserole tonight. You will be sitting down relaxing after dinner in no time.

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