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CASSEROLE TIPS

-- To save time, , stock up on pre-cut and peeled vegetables such as carrots, onions and broccoli florets available in either your supermarket produce aisle or salad bar.

-- To save time, , stock up on pre-cut and peeled vegetables such as carrots, onions and broccoli florets available in either your supermarket produce aisle or salad bar.

-- Use dried herbs in dishes that require longer cooking (more than an hour) rather than delicate fresh herbs, which tend to lose their flavor when exposed to extended periods of high heat.

-- If you desire a crisp, browned topping, don't cover the casserole as it bakes.

-- When reheating casseroles, it's best to defrost them in the refrigerator overnight. If that isn't possible, cover and reheat in a 350-degree oven, allowing almost double the baking time. To test for doneness, insert a knife or a wooden skewer in the center of the food.

-- When you don't have the specific casserole baking dish called for in a recipe, think big. Use a pan of equal or slightly greater volume. However, if you substitute a pan that is shallower than the one specified, reduce the baking time by 25 percent; if the pan is deeper increase the baking time by 25 percent.

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- Herald staff report

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