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How to Cook in Casserole Dishes

278 pages
Library of Alexandria
There is no doubt that the fashion of cooking in casseroles or earthenware dishes has come to stay in this country; and it is hardly a matter of surprise when the advantages of this form of cookery are really understood, whether it be actual casserole cookery, so called, or cookery in fireproof utensils. Cooking “en casserole” is a term which signifies dishes cooked and served in the same earthenware pot or utensil, though, as every one knows, the original French word is the generic name for a stewpan or a saucepan. The old idea of a casserole was some preparation of chopped fish, flesh, or vegetables enveloped in a crust of cooked rice, macaroni, or potato. Properly speaking, however, a casserole is a dish, the material for which in many instances is first prepared in the sauté or frying-pan and then transferred to the earthenware pan to finish cooking by a long, slow process which develops the true flavors of the food being cooked. The sooner the casserole utensil becomes an indispensable part of our kitchen outfit the better, for it makes in every way for economy,—economy of materials, time, and labor,—as materials often too tough for ordinary cooking may by this means be served in a nutritious and tender condition. When casserole cookery is thoroughly understood, many combinations of food and many inexpensive viands will be put to use and very palatable results obtained. Casseroles nowadays take on all shapes and sizes, from the dainty individual dishes up to a size sufficient for serving a large number of persons. Of late years the prices of these utensils have been reduced so greatly that they are within the reach of the most modest housewife’s pocketbook, and then at the same time the actual pots and fireproof dishes have been improved enormously in quality.