Many people will start making plans to hit the gym and shed some weight once the New Year is here. But before folks go making healthy resolutions for 2017, they’ll probably want to indulge in a big hearty meal on Christmas Day. What better way to fill up on food during the holidays than with a good old casserole?
Below is a list of a few prize-worthy casserole dishes that are sure to be a big hit at Christmas dinner:
Classic Green Bean Casserole: Cook four cups of cut green beans in a pot of boiling water. Once beans are tender, drain the water before adding in one can of Campbells’ Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, one teaspoon of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of milk, a dash of black pepper and 2/3 cups of French’s French Fried Onions. Stir and pour mixture into a 1 1/2 –quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the casserole is hot and bubbling. Stir, then sprinkle one cup of onions on top of the dish. Bake in the oven for another five minutes or until the onions are golden brown.
Sweet Potato Casserole: While the oven is preheating at 375 degrees, place about eight peeled and cut sweet potatoes into a pot of cold water. Add a generous amount of water and allow water to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the sweet potatoes cook until easily pierced with the tip of a knife for about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and return sweet potatoes back to pan on medium heat. Stir until liquid evaporates and a thin film covers the bottom of a pan for about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, then add in 1/2 cup of milk, four tablespoons of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Mash until creamy before seasoning potatoes with a dash of salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish and then cover the top of the mixture with 2 cups of mini marshmallows. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the center of the mixture is warm and marshmallows are lightly browned.
Corn Bread Casserole: Grease a nine-inch square baking pan while the oven preheats to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk one cup of sour cream with six tablespoons of unsalted butter, one large egg, one teaspoon of kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon of pepper. Mix in one eight ounce package of corn muffin mix until well combined. Using a spatula, fold in one pound bag of thawed frozen corn, one 15-ounce can of cream-style corn, four ounces of grated sharp cheddar cheese and two thinly sliced scallions. Pour mixture into greased baking pan and bake for about one hour.
Creamy Shrimp Casserole with Buttery Crumbs: Grease a 3 1/2-quart glass baking dish with butter. Arrange 2 pounds of medium shrimp, shelled and deveined (hold the shells for later), in a single layer in the dish. Cover with plastic and refrigerate. Using a medium saucepan, combine three cups of heavy cream with 1/4-cup of dry sherry before stirring in shrimp shells and adding a dash of salt. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Strain liquid into a large glass measuring cup through a coarse sieve.
Using a medium skillet, melt down one tablespoon of solid butter over medium heat before adding in six medium scallions, minced, and stir for about three minutes. Add in shrimp cream and simmer for five minutes. Pour the heated mixture into a bowl, then stir in two teaspoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of ground pepper and a dash of hot sauce. Let the liquid cool until tepid. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and evenly pour liquid cream over them while the oven preheats to 400 degrees. Using a rolling pin or heavy pan, crush four cups of small oyster crackers until crumbs form. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in four tablespoons of melted better and 1/4 teaspoon of sweet paprika. Scatter cracker crumb mixture over the shrimp and pat to smooth. Bake the casserole in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked through.
Remove from the oven. Preheat the broiler, then broil casserole for 30 seconds until the topping is evenly browned. Let stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.