Though food is what sustains us and gives us energy not everyone is at leisure to prepare elaborate dishes every day. In this fast paced world everyone is looking for quick fixes to satiate their hunger though, no one is ready to compromise on the taste and quality of food too. Casserole and hotdishes are such foods which can be prepared in no time without any issues with the taste or the nutritive value. The popularity of the dishes can be gauged by its frequent presence in the menus of funeral and thanksgiving dinners not to forget family gatherings and potlucks.
Casserole Versus Hotdishes:
Both are very popular dishes in the USA, having similar origins and are baked before serving. Both are an amalgamation of numerous ingredients such as meat and vegetables which supply proteins and carbohydrates in addition to other nutrients.
More About Casseroles:
Casseroles are named so after a glass or earthenware vessel in which food is cooked or baked and served. The dish has a long history dating back to the 18th century. Casseroles primarily use rice, chicken and sometimes sweet bread too. There are four main components of the casserole which is supplied by many ingredients. The starch is supplied through grains, potatoes, noodles or pumpkin. The proteins in the dish come from beans or other legumes and tofu while some soup is also added to the dish in the form of chicken or vegetable stock, wine, cider or vinegar. This is mainly done to help in mixing the ingredients up and a crispy crust completes the casserole. The casserole is cooked without covering the vessel. Typically lighter varieties of meat are used in the casserole preparation. There are many varieties of casseroles such as Tuna, Shepherd’s Pie, Mac and Cheese, Sausage and Apple Breakfast casseroles to name a few. In countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and UK the casseroles are cooked covered unlike their US counterparts. The two step process involves browning of the meat or vegetables on the stove and baking them in the oven using the liquid.
This is a type of casserole which is popular in the North and South Dakota and Minnesota areas of USA. Though the components of the hotdish such as a crust, soup, proteins and starch are similar to that of the casserole instead of a rice base potatoes are used in the form of chips, hash browns or as strings. Potatoes are a significant ingredient of a hotdish and rice is never included. Heavier meat varieties like red ground beef are used and thicker soups such as cream of mushroom or corn soups are used as the binder in hotdish instead of a soup as in the case of a casserole. The number of ingredients added to the hotdish is comparatively lesser in number when compared to the casserole. The most popular hotdish varieties are Tater-Tot Hot Dish and Minnesota goulash. It is to be noted that hotdishes do not include cheese as an ingredient unlike casseroles.
Both hotdish and casserole are wholesome nutritious meals prepared with minimal effort and time. However, it is to be noted that both of them practically have all the ingredients of the food pyramid. They are now considered as a staple and a comfort food in USA with most people enjoying them with beer or alcohol. Both the dishes are either had as a main course or as side dish. The baked foods are a healthier option for people who tend to lean towards fried fast foods to satisfy their hunger.