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One-dish Wonders

One Dish Wonders

Casseroles offer diners familiar comfort while one-dish baking simplifies production demands.

Jennifer Gallagher


The University Club

Johnson & Wales University

Providence, RI

"We have a dining hall here devoted to home-style fare, which is very popular and features things like Shepherd’s Pie, American Chop Suey, Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, and of course, casseroles. Our southern students love the home-style offerings.

"Breakfast casseroles are big here; for example, we offer one with scrambled eggs, cheese, scallions, bacon and tomato that is very popular. Another one is Eggs Rancheros with salsa, green onions, peppers and Monterey Jack cheese.

"Cheese is a must; the gooier the better. And barbecue sauce. Students go for anything with those two things in them. Our vegetarians like the several non-meat options as well.

"When I was head chef at GTE Corp. in Taunton, MA, we didn’t offer casseroles, as the clientele demanded more upscale offerings. Here, I think the students crave the comfort and memories of home that casseroles evoke. They certainly aren’t looking for anything light and healthy in their casseroles!

"However, casseroles can be a challenge from a presentation standpoint. We serve ours buffet style, with lots of garnishes to make them look nice.

"We also serve them from back to front, so the customer only sees the front of the pan. When just about a quarter of the casserole remains, we switch it out with a fresh pan. We’ll resauce the quarters, add more cheese and repackage it with new garnishes, to freshen up the appearance."

Mindy Hickerson, MS, RD, LD

Director, Food & Nutrition Services

Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Lawrence, KS

"We prepare most of our special casseroles for catering functions, physician’s groups, outside community catering and our conference center. My assistant and I pour over all the recipes we can find; we search the Internet, magazines and bookstores.

"In the cafeteria the casserole bar is very popular I think because of the comfort factor. It features six casseroles a day such as broccoli casserole, a chicken and rice casserole, a tuna noodle casserole and white lasagna Florentine. Customers can sample each one, as portions are priced by the ounce."

White Lasagna Florentine

Yield: 24 servings

41Ú2 lbs. fully cooked white chicken fryer meat, diced

3 cups spinach, frozen, thawed, chopped and squeezed dry

3 cups ricotta cheese

1Ú4 cup garlic, minced

2 Tbsps. Italian seasoning, dried

1 tsp. crushed red pepper, dried

15 cups Alfredo sauce, commercially prepared

3 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

16 each lasagna noodle sheets, precooked, frozen, thawed

12 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Combine the following ingredients and mix thoroughly: chicken, spinach, ricotta cheese, garlic, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper.

2. Combine Alfredo sauce and Parmesan cheese in bowl and mix thoroughly.

3. To assemble lasagna: Spoon thin layer of Alfredo sauce mixture in bottom of two oiled 2-in. full-size steam table pans. Top sauce with layers of noodles, chicken/spinach mixture and mozzarella cheese. Repeat all layers three times, finishing with a thin layer of Alfredo sauce mixture and sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.

4. Cover and bake at 350°F (conventional oven) for 50-60 minutes. For convection ovens, cover and bake at 300°F for 20-25 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 8-10 minutes.

5. Remove casserole from oven. Let sit 10 minutes. Cut each pan into equal triangles. Keep warm above 140°F.

Recipe submitted by Mindy Hickerson, MS, RD, LD, Director, Food & Nutrition Services, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence, KS. Source: Tyson Foods, Inc.

Scalloped Potatoes Lorraine

Yield: 25 servings

1Ú2 cup vegetable oil

4 cups onions, thinly sliced

2 Tbsps. sugar

3 lbs. dehydrated scalloped potatoes

6 oz. powdered cheese

5 qts. boiling water

1Ú2 cup butter, melted

4 Tbsps. prepared horseradish sauce

8 cups Swiss cheese, shredded

4 cups bacon, cooked, crumbled

to taste salt and black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In saute pan, heat oil. Add onions and sugar; saute until onions are caramelized and tender.

3. In hotel pan, combine water with powdered cheese and butter; whisk to blend. Add onions, potatoes, boiling water, butter, horeseradish sauce and Swiss cheese, reserving 4 cups of cheese. Mix thoroughly.

4. Bake in oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

5. Remove from oven; top with reserved cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Recipe submitted by Jennifer Gallagher, Chef/Manager, The University Club, Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI.

Chili Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

Yield: 6 servings

For meatloaf:

11Ú2 lbs. lean ground beef

3Ú4 cup onion, finely chopped

1Ú3 cup saltine cracker crumbs

1 egg, slightly beaten

3 Tbsps. milk

3 Tbsps. chili powder

3Ú4 tsp. salt

For the potato topping:

3 cups prepared mashed potatoes

1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained

1Ú4 cup green onions, thinly sliced

1Ú2 to 1 cup taco seasoned cheese, shredded

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine meatloaf ingredients,

mixing lightly but thoroughly; gently press into bottom of 9-in. square

baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until no longer pink and juices run

clear. Carefully pour off drippings.

2. In medium bowl, combine all topping ingredients except cheese. Spread over meatloaf to edges of pan; sprinkle with cheese.

3. Broil 3-4 inches from heat 3-5 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Cut into rectangular servings.

Recipe submitted by Jennifer Gallagher, Chef/Manager, The University Club, Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI.

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