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Best Casserole and Bake Recipes

Casserole & Bake RecipesA casserole, from the French for "saucepan," is a large, deep pot used both in the oven and as a serving vessel. The word casserole is also used for the food cooked and served in such a vessel, with the cookware itself called a "casserole dish".  In British English, this type of dish is frequently also called a bake.

Casseroles usually consist of pieces of meat (such as chicken) or fish (such as tuna), various chopped vegetables, a starchy binder such as flour, potato or pasta, and, often, a crunchy topping.  Liquids are released from the meat and vegetables during cooking, and further liquid in the form of stock, wine, beer, gin, cider or vegetable juice may added when the dish is assembled.  Casseroles are cooked slowly in the oven, often uncovered. They may be served as a main course or a side dish, and may be served in the vessel in which they were cooked.

A characteristic method of preparing casserole in the United States and Canada is to use condensed soup, especially cream of mushroom soup. Examples for casseroles that can be prepared in this manner are tuna casserole (with canned tuna, cooked pasta, sometimes peas, and cream-of-mushroom soup) and green bean casserole (green beans with cream of mushroom soup, topped with French fried onions). A similar staple food, macaroni and cheese, can also be prepared as a casserole.

Casseroles are a staple at potlucks and family gatherings.

In Minnesota and the Dakotas, where they are one of the quintessential foods of the region, casseroles are called hotdish. The potato casserole Janssons frestelse is a legacy of the Scandinavian immigrants of the area.

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