For highbrow dinners, lowbrow suppers or anything in between ... One-dish meals can be a cook's best friend

Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Most of us really take pleasure in eating one-dish meals. Whether we like beef, chicken or seafood, there's been a one-dish meal conceived to suit our tastes and the tastes of those we cook for. Cooking and serving a meal from one pot is the ultimate family-style fare, and for company, enjoying a meal that has been prepared family-style is the just right way to make even relative strangers feel at home.

When friends and families get together, especially during this time of year when plans for potlucks, graduations, weddings and other events are under way, casseroles and one-dish take-along meals take center stage.

From the ridiculously easy to the more complex, folks like to share food and recipes that will, hopefully, make any event where homemade food is enjoyed both extraordinary and memorable. Even a celebrity, like ABC News' Charlie Gibson, likes to share family recipes, and his enchilada casserole is surely a keeper.

Of all the meals we prepare, I believe the vast majority of us turn to one-dish casseroles when we are looking to cook something that is comforting, can be made ahead of time, and, if the occasion should arise, transportable.

From Gibson's family-friendly casserole to company-ready seafood lasagna, these one-dish wonders can be the best friend a cook ever had.

Sue Ade is a gourmet baker. She can be reached at

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