Today’s review is the homey Sunday Casseroles: Complete Comfort in One Dish by Betty Rosbottom. Casseroles make me think of growing up Lutheran and potluck dinners at church. Any good Lutheran can whip up a casserole, and I’m still in love with the warmth and ease of a one-dish meal. My mom was famous for making turkey tetrazzini the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas. She’d make a quick white sauce, add Kraft parmesan if she thought of it, peas, fettucini, and leftover turkey. We didn’t love it, because it was lacking the white wine and parmigiano-reggiano the original recipe calls for. I had it once, made the long way, and it was delicious. This book provides 60 recipes for a variety of (traditional) recipes, and gave me lots of ideas for recipes to renovate too.
Layout and design:
The book is very pretty, with clean, easy to read serif typeface and appealing color coding. The opening chapter provides some excellent tips for casserole cooking, cookware, and pantry essentials. Chapters include Chicken & Turkey Favorites, All Manner of Meats, Seafood Specials, Market Vegetables, Casseroles Under Cover, Casseroles with Pasta, and Breakfast Casseroles. Besides an index there is a “casserole directory” in the back, listing recipes suitable for crowds, picnics and tailgates, holidays, one-hour, less expensive, splurge, healthful eating, and ones that freeze well. I love it when an author takes that extra step and makes the book even more useable for readers.
Most recipes have a full-color photograph by Susie Cushner, and they are just gorgeous. It’s very tough to photograph casseroles, as they tend to be beige or one-color, and it’s even harder to capture the melty goodness of a hot dish. She has done both.
All the recipes sound amazing. Here are the ones I would try if I had no diet restrictions: chicken sweet potato and bacon casserole, cider-baked pork red cabbage and apples, shrimp baked in coconut and lime rice, creamed peas and spring onions with buttered bread crumbs, smoked sausage kale and mushroom cottage pie, rigatoni with spicy tomato sauce kalamatas and two cheeses, and mushroom popover casserole. Yum.
What I liked about the book:
I wasn’t so keen on:
Recipes were not coded for special diets; nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters. Recipes are not low-sodium or gluten-free.
People with no diet restrictions. A few recipes are vegetarian.
Not recommended for:
Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, celiac/gluten-free, migraine, or low-sodium diets
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.