The term CASSEROLE refers to both a baking dish and the ingredients it contains. My husband, and others for that matter, seem to cringe at the thought of a CASSEROLE for dinner? Why?
We love meatballs, but do not like the disaster of eating a sub sandwich stuffed with an unsteady red sauce; it usually ends up all over me.
This dish works because…
Using chicken, we make the meatballs leaner and more healthy. The sauce being confined to a casserole dish, allows you to enjoy the accompaniment with each bite-sized meatball.
The bread and cheese become enhancements to the dish, making the meat the main attraction in each forkful.
Serve with a simple, side salad and you get a delicious dinner for two.
A casserole’s ingredients can include meat, vegetables, beans, rice and anything else the cook desires. Often a topping such as cheese or breadcrumbs is added for texture and flavor.
Every kitchen should be equipped with both a 2-quart and 3-quart casserole dish, preferably with lids; however, aluminum foil can work in a pinch.
I own plenty of casserole dishes; unfortunately, I do not have individual portion dishes. Therefore, I prepared the Chicken Meatball Sub Casserole recipe in one larger dish, dividing it into individual portions before serving.
“Mock Casserole – a mixture of several foods, once of which may be a pasta or rice in a sauce. The mixture is often precooked or consists of a combination of precooked and quick-cooking food; and it is served in the baking dish in which it was heated.” –Joy of Cooking
Joy of Cooking declares TRUE CASSEROLING, is placing a tight-fitting lid on the baking dish. “Generous quantities of butter, fat or oil are added, and sometimes a small amount of stock. The stock, plus juices from the food, condenses on the lid and supplies a self-basting effect. A very long, low-temperature cook takes place, barely a simmer, creating a delicious residue; the residue is degreased and deglazed, which forms a sauce for the dish. This is also called à l’étouffée.” (Joy of Cooking, Rombauer, 1931)
Chicken Meatball Sub Casserole
Topped with a baguette slice, or two, and covered in melted, gooey provolone cheese, makes for a hearty, comforting meal.
Serves 2 Prep to Serving: 1.5 hours
Recipe has been modified from originally appearing in October 2014 issue of Cuisine for Two