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The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever Paperback – September 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Beatrice Ojakangas has written over 20 cookbooks. She teaches cooking classes in her home near Duluth, Minnesota.

Susie Cushner is a Boston-based photographer.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Original edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811856240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811856249
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
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.
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful By K. Denton on November 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
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.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By P. Johnson on October 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Claire C. on May 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
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.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Sara Powell on November 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book so I could make quick, tasty dinners after work without sacrificing flavor, and I figured casseroles would be a perfect solution. This is a thick book, and it has tons of recipes. The recipes are a little difficult to read because of the color palette they chose, but I hoped the recipes would make up for it. I picked five casseroles, and while they all turned out and were pretty easy to make, I can't say I really enjoyed any of them.

First I made the Finnish Salmon Casserole so I could work some fish into the menu. The casserole is basically potatoes, onions, and salmon, none of which really has an assertive flavor, and it ended up very bland. The second casserole was Chicken with Mushrooms and Artichokes. This one was much better than the salmon, but it still felt like something was missing. Third was the Baked Spaghetti Casserole. This is basically spaghetti baked in a dish with cheese, and it was good, but I think heating up some jarred pasta sauce would have given me the same result and would have meant less work. For the fourth I tried something off the wall, since I was looking for flavor and hadn't found it. I picked the Chicken Curry Casserole. This was the strangest one, and honestly, the leftovers went in the trash. The combination of coconut milk, Indian curry powder, and green pimento-stuffed olives was really bizarre and definitely clashed. The last casserole I tried was the Chicken Diane, which was good, but also could have used some more flavor.

I guess I could doctor up each of these casseroles so that they're a little more interesting flavor-wise, but that kind of defeats the purpose of buying a quick casserole book.
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