The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever

July 7, 2010 · Posted in Bestselling Cooking Books 

Product Description
A good cook once said that a casserole is a blend of inspiration and what’s on hand. Beatrice Ojakangas must have had inspiration by the gallon to come up with these 500 casseroles. From a breakfast of Eggs Florentine to a dinner of Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing soon even the most casserole-wary cook will be dishing about these delights. Yummy treats like Parmesan and Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche and Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp are just right for parties. Even appetizers … More >>

The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever

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5 Responses to “The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever”

  1. K. Denton on July 7th, 2010 8:17 am

    This is a big book. The last recipie is on page 609, so there are lots to choose from. There is a wide range of choice, from appetizers to desserts, with more chapters on breads, side-dishes, “for crowds”, “for two”, and “for kids”. Just browsing through, many sound delicious. The ones I have made were indeed very tasty. Ms. Ojakangas uses few prepared ingredients, and includes a recipie section of easy sauces to substitute for canned cream soups. One of the things I like best is that the author is health aware. The recipies are light on sodium, and many are light on fat. I plan to make a lot of these, and am looking forward to working my way through this book.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. P. Johnson on July 7th, 2010 9:56 am

    Overwhelming amount of info, many interesting meals. The details are what make this worth buying. Chapter on no-knead casserole bread, including the much vaunted NY Times method, is worth the $16.xx price.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Jerry Saperstein on July 7th, 2010 11:16 am

    Some people have claimed to be turned off by this book because it has a couple of recipes that use Hormel Spam as an ingredient. I think that’s a joke by the author, Beatrice Ojakangas, that backfired: she lives in Minnesota, the state where Spam is manufactured. It is, not surprisingly, pretty popular in the state. But I guess not everyone gets the joke.

    Aside from that, this book very well lives up to its title as “The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever”.

    Ojakangas opens with a history of the casserole and again incorporates her Minnesota background by explaining that the casserole in those parts is called a “hot dish”. I have consumed many a “hot dish” at gatherings in Minnesota. And many a casserole at home, where such dishes are a favorite in a busy household.

    This book already has lots of pages flagged – because it is loaded with great recipes. We had one this week, a chicken noodle casserole, that was absolutely scrumptious.

    After an introduction to the basics of casseroles (e.g., sauces, etc.), she moves into the goodies: 16 chapters of yummies. (I admit to not liking fish and shellfish, but I include that chapter in the count anyway.)

    Appetizers & First Courses

    No-Knead Casserole Breads

    Breakfasst & Brunch Casseroles

    Poultry Casseroles

    Beef Casseroles

    Pork Casseroles

    Lamb, Veal & Game Casseroles

    Pasta Casseroles

    Grain & Legume Casseroles

    Fish & Shellfish Casseroles

    Side-Dish Casseroles

    Vegetarian Casseroles

    Casseroles For Crowds

    Casseroles For Kids

    Dessert Casseroles.

    More than 500 recipes, many of them that set my mouth watering at first reading.

    Most of the recipes are reasonably simple and quick to prepare. Lots of fun new (to me) things to try like a No-Egg Breakfast Potato Hot Dish and a Curried Chicken Breast Casserole.

    A couple of small negatives. The recipes are printed in a reddish ink and somewhat difficult to read. There aren’t enough illustrations. Neither of these is a show stopper.

    Overall, a great treasure for those who like “hot dishes” or, as the rest of the country calls them, casseroles. And having written this review and browsed the recipes once more, I’m hungry. Fortunately, I can look forward to the Ancho Chicken Breast With Corn for dinner tomorrow night.


    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Choosy Cook on July 7th, 2010 12:47 pm

    A far cry from dated “dump-in-a-can-of-soup” high-fat, low nutrition casseroles, the recipes in this cookbook provide a fresh take on traditional time-saving dishes. With an emphasis on the addition of whole-grain starches and fresh veggies, and with suggested substitution of home-made sauces (recipes provided) rather than the sodium-laden canned cream soups that taste of artificial ingredients and canned broths with their chemical bouquet, the author has provided some extraordinary–and even sophisticated–alternatives to the same old, same old.

    Food snobs may well take note of recipes like Summer Salmon Casserole and the side dishes that include pilafs and whole grains not commonly cooked in casseroles, such as barley, bulgar, millet, and quinoa. I count myself among those who enjoy cooking and eating quality food. This book provides numerous choices–without sacrificing quality–for days when time is short.

    I’m a little surprised by the negative reviews from people on low-sodium and/or low-fat diets. While it’s true that many of the recipes include heavy cream and salt, the author notes that evaporated milk (granted, not necessarily a taste favorite) may be substituted for the cream to reduce fat content. Also, most people on low-sodium diets are already aware of the need to reduce stated amounts of salt in any recipe or to substitute an herb blend like Mrs. Dash to perk up a dish. However, with a little extra reading through this recipe collection, even individuals on restricted diets will find something new and pleasing.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. H. Laack on July 7th, 2010 3:38 pm

    Ms. Ojakangas defines “casserole” broadly enough to include breads and desserts that are prepared in a casserole dish. Because of the size of the book, however, the wide net she casts does not mean there is skimping in the main reason most people will turn to a book with this title.

    The range of recipes is broad–and yes, it does include a Spam recipe or two, but just go ahead and skip that if you don’t like it; there are lots of other dishes here that are far more healthy.

    The best part of the book, and why I have given it four stars instead of just three, is that the author provides a lot of information on making sauces so that that otherwise ubiquitous canned soups are avoided. She also gives pointers on substitutions, encouraging hesitant cooks to try using ingredients that they have available to create new variations.

    While we may all yearn for days of fabulous salads, fresh baby vegetables straight from the garden or farmers market and professional level presentations of broiled fish or select cuts of beef, we also know that casseroles are a wonderful mainstay for many (most) of our home-cooked meals. This book will be an inspiration and guide for anyone looking for something just a little different for that next run-of-the-mill weeknight family meal.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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