Hot Dish

Dorcas Reilly, the creator of the famous and loved (and also loathed) green bean casserole died this week. She was 92.  Perhaps she attributed her longevity to the casserole.

Thanksgiving is Daughter’s favorite holiday. She isn’t coming home until after Christmas, and she made me promise that I would cook Thanksgiving dinner for her then. The green bean casserole will be on the menu. It is one of her favorites. It has to be the traditional one Dorcas developed using cream of mushroom soup. Daughter also informed me that Brussels sprouts with bacon will be on the list. She has the whole meal planned, and will email the recipes to us. We will, of course, cook it to her specifications. Life is easier that way.

The favorite casserole, however, is the one printed below. We will also make this for Christmas/Thanksgiving dinner:

Butternut Squash Casserole
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    • 1 pound thinly sliced onions
    • 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 3/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
  •  2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from soft white bread
  • 2 cups (packed) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until onions are light golden, about 8 minutes. Add squash; sauté 4 minutes. Sprinkle sugar, salt and pepper over vegetables; sauté until onions and squash begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.

Spread vegetable mixture in prepared dish. Pour chicken broth over. Cover tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes. (Squash mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Reheat in 350°F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.)

Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, rosemary and thyme in medium bowl. Sprinkle over gratin. Bake uncovered until top is golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes.

What is your favorite hot dish? Which is your least favorite? What would you like to be remembered for?

46 thoughts on “Hot Dish”

  1. In March of 1998 a series of 16 nasty tornadoes struck southern Minnesota in a strip from Comfrey to Saint Peter. Hours after the storms had gone through there appeared–magically, it seemed–a collection of hot dish casseroles. Nobody asked for this. These hot dishes were baked by anonymous cooks. But there are some things Minnesotans know. Tornadoes make messes. Messes need cleanup crews. Cleanup crews gotta eat.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. In digging through my mother’s recipe books several years back – the sort of books that were really three-ring binders stuffed full with recipes from friends, the newspaper, and so on – I found in one of them recipes for “Donna L’s Hot Dish,” “Hamburger Hot Dish,” and…”Good Hot Dish.” The last one perhaps impying that the first two were not good? My sister-in-law makes a cheesy-hash brown hot dish that I quite like, but can’t cook at home because it’s 60% stuff Husband can’t eat (dairy and onions) – certainly one that could go along with “Good Hot Dish.”

    When it comes to it, though, I don’t think i want to be known for a hot dish recipe. A nice Bundt cake recipe on the other hand…

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I taught Second Grade Sunday school many years ago, and ran into some difficulty teaching the New Testament story of Dorcas, a worthy and charitable woman raised from the dead by St. Peter. The children couldn’t get past how funny her name was to them, as in the modern vernacular “dork” and “dorkas” mean something less than complimentary. Everytime someone said the name Dorcas, the children giggled and got very silly. I lost them entirely when I said that we even had a Dorcas Society in our town.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. I’ve actually been thinking about the last question a fair amount (as I ponder my own mortality). My “legacy” will be my photographs.

    Youngest daughter will be coming here in a couple weeks to help me get my life in order and one of the things I’ll do is show her how my digital photos are organized and things like that. So someone will be able to access them when I’m gone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I did the chamber of commerce stuff a few years ago there was a lady there who was a salesperson for he funeral parlor chain here in the tc.
      She creeped me out at first then after hearing her schtick a few times it really made sense. Nobody ever talks about dying and we should.
      If we all had the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed it would be wonderful. No problem being early but meaning to get to it is a problem for sure

      Liked by 2 people

      1. At one of the funeral homes here in Rochester, in the room of displays of caskets and corners and finishes and all that stuff, there was a framed picture of Bea Arthur. It just cracked me up. Why was it there? Did they bury her?? Was she their spokesperson?? Why Bea Arthur? I asked and they didn’t really have a reason; it was just a picture. Which I found even more funny. I joked that I was going to slip in there and put in a different picture of famous dead people every few months.
        Edward Everett Horton will be my first choice.
        Then maybe Harry Andrews. (actor).
        Just saw Forrest Tucker in a movie; he’d be good.
        I should probably slip my Great Grandfathers photo in there at some point…

        Liked by 5 people

  5. the green bean casserole is such a favorite at our house that we just noticed that we can not make too much
    2x 3x 4x all gone by the end of the week
    everyone loves that dish
    potato, wild rice, pasta with miscelanies all are good but green bean casserole is the magic one

    we keep those damn french fried onion things that never go bad in the cupboard for one reason only . green bean casserole and it is acrequired item

    shouldn’t wonderfully carmalized onions be able to top those tin foil toppings…nope
    don’t mess with green bean casserole

    or turkey soaked in brine for 2 or 3 days before cooking

    sweet potato’s need to be from the produce section not the can then cooked up with orange juice, brown sugar molasses and cinnamon at 350 forever
    they can sit in the oven all day if they need to
    and they just get better with time
    like lasagne

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The Green Bean Casserole is one of the three things son Joel knew how to make. He admonished me when I tried to use, say, Trader Joe’s Portabella Mushroom Soup to make it “healthier”. Yep, don’t mess with this recipe.


  6. I like casseroles… some are better than others.

    In the production of ‘Barefoot in the Park’, that I worked on, the wife makes supper. As an audience member it’s unclear what it is… some sort of hot dish it appears.
    But in the rehearsal and show reports, it’s called ‘goulash’. You don’t hear much about goulash these days.

    Except here. Thanks for the trail!

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Calling it goulash doesn’t make it so. It’s a hamburger casserole. My mother used to make it too, and called it that as well. It must have been a required subject at school.
          The closest I’ve come to real goulash is at Kramarczuk’s and, while they’re not Hungarian, the dish bore no resemblence to goulash casserole, so I’m assuming it was a reasonable resemblence to real goulash. It was fabulous.

          Liked by 3 people

  7. I make a black bean enchilada bake from Recipes for a Small Planet that is excellent. Kinda like a Mexican lasagna.

    I actually love the sweet potato with marshmallow casserole but until the last few years (since vegetarian marshmallows came along) I’ve had to forego!! Vegetarian marshmallows have been a dream come true for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Favorite is my dad’s macaroni and cheese (longhorn cheddar, and the last line of the recipe is “Dot with butter”).

    Second fave is a recipe from our Joanne called Chilaquiles – probably a relative of the VS’ enchilada bake above – it involves grated zucchini (or whatever) and is a good way to smuggle a vegetable into a meal. Found as an entree under Blogroll in Kitchen Congress, at top left of this page.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think using tater tots should be required in favorite casserole lists.
    If you just put tater tots in a dish that’s good, if you add ketchup that’s real good . If you add cheese it’s a meal, if you add onions and green peppers you are in a waffle house and it’s off the griddle instead of a casserole.
    Does anyone have the worlds nest potato recipes handy? I am a potato hound these days and I love the bake, pan fried, microwaved, but I go to places and theirs are so good. There are obviously potato tricks I don’t know.
    Feels like maybe there a Saturday blog in there somewhere Renee. Want me to spruce it up,a bit for november? Oh that’s right november is out other fearless leader.( no vegetarian marshmallows in my potato’s please.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In thinking about this, I’m not sure my mom EVER made a casserole (that’s St Louis talk for hotdish). But I’ve said here before that she’s not a great cook (and doesn’t enjoy cooking) and not adventuresome in the kitchen.


    2. Tim, while working at the school I was forced to learn about some of the shortcuts in the “food industry.” One of the tricks about hash browns, is dehydrated potatoes, easily found at Costcos. They come in small containers (similar to what you buy whipping cream in), and you simply re-hydrate them with boiling water. Then you fry them. Hans loves them. I introduced him to them years ago when he was going on an extended kayaking and camping trip, and he was agonizing over what to bring for breakfast. He’s a big breakfast eater. These hash browns can be augmented with whatever you like, or eaten plain. They are a staple in our household for Hans’ brunches.


  10. A good hot dish is a treasure. Probably my favorite is Wild Rice Barron. Served with a salad of butter lettuce, cucumber and green onions, a good chunk of crusty bread, some sweet butter, and I’m all set. I don’t think of Chili con carne as a hot dish, but I suppose it can be, and that’s a dinner that’s always appreciated at our house. We like it spicy, served over spaghetti Cincinnati style, with a crisp salad on the side. Tonight we’re having a ground beef, cabbage hot dish based on the idea of cabbage rolls but without all the fuss.

    Can’t think of a hot dish I don’t like, although I’m not crazy about marshmallows on top of sweet potato; too sweet. I do like a good tuna hot dish, though.

    I’d like to be remembered as a good friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The problem with me and fish is that I grew up a thousand miles from the ocean. I now love sea food when I am at the coasts. Old fish is old fish.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My problem is the exact opposite, Renee. I don’t think I ever ate a fish I hadn’t caught myself until I was sixteen. It took me a good long while to figure out that living inland needn’t be a hindrance to enjoying fish. But yes, if you’re spending a time near an ocean, by all means indulge.

        Last fall, we spent a week in northern Minnesota. We ate nightly in a restaurant that contracted with local fishermen for the catch of the day.
        I took full advantage, and it was wonderful.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I used to have a recipe for a hot dish made with chicken and water chestnuts and cream soup. I usually used cream of celery, because I like the flavor better than cream of mushroom, which is the usual go-to for hot dish recipes. I don’t recall what other ingredients were in it, but I think it had crushed potato chips sprinted over the top. Don’t know what happened to that recipe… I misplaced it somehow. It was easy and tasty.

    Liked by 1 person

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