Saturday, February 21, 2009

Casseroles...yes or no?

I come from a small family, my husband a big one. For some reason tho, my mother in law didn't make casseroles, which I think is odd.
We both grew up in the late 50's (he, not me ) 60's (both of us) and early 70's (he got married to his first wife in 1972, I was just a BABY. He didn't marry me until 1978 ), but these were the decades of the "casserole".
At least I thought so, because my mom made them all the time. And I just assumed that his mom would have too. She had a lot of kids, a lot of mouths to feed.
His family life surprises me sometimes....still after 31 years of marriage.
Like...he has never had a poached egg. WHAT?
He said that his mom had so many kids that she couldn't take the time... it was scrambled or nothing.

Let me get back to the "casserole". (I tend to digress...sigh)
In the dictionary, the definition of casserole is " a large deep dish in which food can be cooked and served."
So, I guess what you put in it, depends on you. A casserole can be many things, and I'm sure not many of us follow a "recipe" when it comes to casseroles. We make them from memory. Right? Are we on the same page?

Well, there are a few good casserole cookbooks out there...most of them "church" or "potluck" cookbooks. But you don't see a lot of them.

Most often one takes a little meat, adds some cream soup, cheese, veggies, rice, etc etc. One can stretch a little meat to feed a big family. I liked casseroles. Often we would have a casserole and a green salad and bread for supper. My mom, after she went back to work, would make up a casserole in the morning, I would stick it in the oven when I got home from school, she would whip up a green salad (this before the days of bag salad) and we were ready to go.

Granted....the casserole of my youth would never make it in the health conciseness era of the 21st century. Or would it? It's kind of a comfort food. I don't make casseroles often anymore, they are just not something my husband loves. (except Italian pasta casseroles, because his mother is Italian and made those kinds of dishes). Things made with canned soup, are just not right in his mind.
Except this one... Chicken Divan. It's easy, it's good and well, here it is. Company worthy? Maybe not, but its really satisfying and good.

Chicken Divan

3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2-10oz pkg. broccoli spears (or one bunch of fresh) cooked
2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup mayo
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Spread cooked broccoli in the bottom of a casserole dish. Next layer shredded chicken.
Mix soup, mayo and lemon juice and spread on top of the chicken.
Top with cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Oh and because it is 2009, I updated the soup to "healthy", so the casserole wasn't so bad, right?

Ready to go in the oven......


AK Mom said...

I love casseroles and make them for my family at least once a week.
I have updated the soup I use in each recipe to the "Healthy" variety as well. :)
I haven't made Chicken Divan, but you can bet that I'll be trying it soon.

Donna-FFW said...

Casseroles are a part of my menu maybe 1 time a month. I love one dish meals and I consider it one. I also use a Campbells one with swiss cheese and cream of mushroom, I though am bad, I didnt update it to healthy:) Yours looks great!

Jo said...

I love casseroles! I have to admit I'm not as good as you and I didn't use the healthy soup :( Yours looks yummy!

tamilyn said...

I love casseroles. Or as we call them in the midwest-hotdish. I love that it is easy to make, eat, clean up and everyone has a full and satisfied tummy! This looks really good; I'll give it a try.

Netts Nook said...

I love chicken divan it has been a while Thanks for sharing.

Sara said...

This looks really good! I make casseroles about once a month, they're always a welcome change from the standard meat/starch/veg plate.

Terri said...

Ah, com'on. What's not to love? Canned soup, mayo and processed cheese food! Sounds like the casseroles my mom made when I was a kid and the casseroles I fed to my kids. I still make them occasionally and we still love them.

RecipeGirl said...

This looks rather comforting and delicious!! Just saw that you were from Winnemucca! I grew up (for the most part) in Carson City!

Karen said...

You know Debbie, I never thought about this really, but I can't remember my Mom making casseroles, either! I've made them in the past but only for potluck gatherings. Hmm, that's strange now that I think about it! LOL

Cathy said...

My family loves a good casserole and chicken divan is a favorite.

Now you've got me hungry for chicken and broccoli.

Anonymous said...

I grew up on casseroles! My husband did not...and therefore is not a fan at all. I make a couple Italian casseroles that he does like...but that's it. I, on the other hand, love Tuna Casserole. It was my mom's specialty...but no one in my house will touch it :(

The Blonde Duck said...

I love casseroles. I make them all the time. This one looks stupendous!

Lynda said...

I don't make cassaroles like I used to, but I still love them. Any thing that goes in one pot is a hit with me!My mother used to make this recipe and I had forgotten that.It's comfort food at it's best.

Robin Sue said...

Ooh this sounds so good and it is only breakfast time for me! I do like certain casseroles but some can be gross. I guess lasagna can count as a casserole huh, one of my favorites!

Melissa said...

You can have a lot of fun with casseroles. This one looks tasty. :)

Reeni♥ said...

I love casseroles but not with soup in them. For some reason canned soup just doesn't sit well with me. I use broth, or cream or milk, or a combo instead. I have never made chicken divan. This is really good comfort food. I think it looks delicious!

Michele said...

I just can't do casseroles. It's like a mental block or something. Phil is the same way. If I even mention something along the lines of a casserole he crinkles up his nose. I think it is because we both ate so many of them as children of the 70's and 80's.

Friday Friend Recipe #202 -- Greek Pasta Salad

My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #202 (#willreallyfinishthissomeday) ...