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Country casseroles: keep suppers simple with these delicious recipes for classic casseroles.

CASSEROLES HAVE LONG BEEN APPRECIATED for their simplicity and ability to incorporate several ingredients and food groups into one neatly packaged concoction. Grains, veggies, protein and more can be thrown together for a quick meal any night of the week.

When I was growing up, my parents loved to fix casseroles, and they each had their favorite go-to recipes. My mother's masterpiece was shepherd's pie, piled high with mashed potatoes, and my father's specialty was a Cajun breakfast casserole, which was delicious morning, noon or night. When my brother was old enough to help with the cooking, his standby was good ol' tuna casserole. I can't remember what I liked to make as a kid. Memories of being the dishwasher--every time, I'm sure--have probably taken its place.

Another great thing about casseroles is that just about anything can go in them. As the saying goes, "necessity is the mother of invention." If you're in a pinch, with only a few ingredients on hand, or you have some leftovers that need to be used up, have fun, experiment, and see what kind of tasty concoction you can come up with.

Here are some recipes to get your culinary wheels spinning.

HAM AND POTATO CASSEROLE
Yields 8 servings.

2 pounds potatoes, cubed
3/4 cup butter, melted, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
1 container (16 ounces) sour cream
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups cooked, diced ham
2 cups course breadcrumbs

1 Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9-by-13-inch
baking pan; set aside.

2 In large bowl, combine potatoes, 1/2 cup
melted butter, salt, pepper, onion, soup, sour
cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese and ham. Turn mixture
into prepared baking pan.

3 In small bowl, mix breadcrumbs with remaining
butter. Sprinkle over mixture in pan, and top
with remaining cheese.

4 Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until potatoes
are tender. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

GARDEN CASSEROLE

Yields 4 servings.

1 pound lean ground beef
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 rib celery, sliced
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons fresh chopped chives, or
3/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cans (10% ounces each) cream of
mushroom soup
1 1/2 soup cans water
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Parsley, for garnish

1 Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter 2%-quart
casserole dish; set aside.

2 In skillet, brown ground beef. Drain. Season
with salt and pepper.

3 In large bowl, combine potatoes, carrots,
onion, tomato, celery, caraway seeds, chives
and garlic powder; mix well.

4 In prepared dish, alternate layers of meat
and vegetables.

5 In medium saucepan, combine soup and
water, and heat over medium heat until hot.
Pour over ingredients in casserole dish.

6 Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until
heated through. Sprinkle cheese on top, and
bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until
cheese is melted. Cool for 10 minutes before
serving. Garnish with parsley.

TUNA CASSEROLE
Yields 6 servings.



4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup minced parsley or thyme
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1 can (5 1/2 ounces) water-packed tuna, drained
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of celery soup
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
3 cups cooked and drained wide egg noodles
1 cup plain breadcrumbs

1 Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter lVi-quart casserole
dish; set aside.

2 In medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons
butter. Add and cook onion, parsley and peas
until veggies are soft. Add tuna, soup, milk, salt,
Worcestershire sauce and prepared noodles,
and mix well.

3 Turn mixture into prepared casserole dish,
and top with breadcrumbs. Melt remaining butter,
and drizzle evenly overtop of casserole.

4 Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or
until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Let cool
slightly before serving.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI
Yields 8 to 10 servings.

8 ounces uncooked pasta
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
2 cups chicken stock
6 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup dry sherry, optional
3 cups cooked, chopped turkey or chicken
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons minced parsley

1 Cook and drain pasta according to package
directions; set aside.

2 Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2-quart casserole
dish; set aside.

3 In small saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in salt
and flour. Add pepper, celery salt and chicken
stock. Cook over low heat until thick. Stir in
mushrooms, soup, almonds and sherry, If using.

4 Alternate layers of noodles, turkey and
mushroom sauce in prepared dish. Top with
cheese and parsley.

5 Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until
casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

HAMBURGER & CORN CASSEROLE
Yields 8 servings.

1 pound ground beef
1/4 pound pork sausage
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can (16 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
20 to 24 ripe olives, pitted and halved or sliced
1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup milk
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 Preheat oven to 350 F.

2 In large cooking pot over medium heat,
brown ground beef, sausage, onion and garlic,
breaking meat into crumbles as it cooks; drain
off fat. Stir in tomatoes, corn, olives, chili powder
and salt. Increase heat to medium-high, and
heat until mixture comes to boiling.

3 Pour into ungreased 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking
dish or 2-quart casserole dish.

4 In medium-size mixing bowl, combine cornmeal,
milk and eggs. Pour over meat mixture in
dish, and sprinkle cheese overtop.

5 Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until casserole
is hot, topping is golden brown, and cheese is
melted. Cool slightly before serving.
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Title Annotation:Recipe Box
Author:Trimble, Kellsey
Publication:Grit
Date:Jan 1, 2016
Words:1044
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