Jambalaya is a casserole. So is Coq au Vin. So is classic Hungarian Goulash. But let us not forget Turkey Tetrazzine. Or maybe we should forget. Maybe it's the Turkey Tetrazzines of the world made with leftover dried-out Thanksgiving turkey coming at us after the days of turkey soups and turkey sandwiches and turkey salads that have given the word casserole the kind of odor we look for behind the refrigerator. While Vollstedt's version of Turkey Tetrazzine doesn't ask for a can of cream of mushroom soup, and while it is made from fresh ingredients, the result is still going to be the same.
And that's one of the problems with The Big Book of Casseroles. It's so big, the demands of coming in with 250 recipes are so great, that classics of the genre that would be better off left to foggy memory are rejuvenated for another generation of unfortunate diners. The other problem is how the definition of casserole gets stretched by the author. Any substance covered with another and baked in an oven appears to be a casserole. When is baked fish a casserole and when is it simply baked fish? Such are the questions raised by Vollstedt's choices.
The book covers a lot of ground. Chapters include those on "Basics" (as in white sauce), "Seafood Casseroles," "Poultry Casseroles," "Meat Casseroles," "Vegetable Casseroles," "Baked Pastas," "Grain and Legume Casseroles," "Gratins," and "Low-Fat Casseroles." There are no dessert casseroles.
Vollstedt shows you where the casserole has been, and where it is. Use The Big Book of Casseroles as a launching pad for your own creative endeavors. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.