Chicken,  Main Course,  Meals For Two,  Recipes

Meatball Sub Converted to a Comfort Casserole For Two

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?

meatball sub casserole recipeIf I like the ingredients, why wouldn’t I make this convenient, simplified meal ?

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.

Define Casserole:

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.

Joy of Cooking declares our preconceived thought of a casserole, as described above is actually a “mock casserole.”

“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

Joy of cooking meatball sub casseroleThis recipe is an ideal, substantial dinner for two.  Instead of a traditional meatball sub, the bite-sized chicken meatballs are packed in a casserole dish, instead of on a hoagie roll.

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

 

 

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