Ahhhh. The south's infatuation with a good baked dish is a love affair as old as Baptist guilt. I can smell the bubbling cheese and liquid butter now (but I feel bad about it).
You'd be hard-pressed to find compartmentalized eating issues (you know, where you don't let your food touch) from those of us raised in casserole country (aka: the famed after church pot-luck community most commonly found in inadequately cooled and dingy basements of hundred year old churches). A casserole is basically all of your food touching and creating a symphony of flavor, united under the heat of 325 degrees and packed full of healing properties like butter, cream, eggs and bacon. Did you have a baby? Did someone die? Well, you're all getting casseroles. Commence the casserole train!
These one-dish delicacies are as lazy as a summer day and when you find your signature casserole, you are as loyal to it as a hound dog is to a rabbit trail. You basically marry your signature casserole... And that means no one else can bring the same casserole to any function ever (this is why southerners don't move around -- you don't want to lose jurisdiction of the Hash Brown Bake you're regionally known for and you know Miss. Dottie has been jockeying for your spot since the "Easter Hunt & Brunch" of 1998). They'll share these sacred recipes with you (much suspicion surrounds a woman that won't share her recipe), but it goes unspoken that you vow to only make it either 1.) while in another county or 2.) just don't, under any circumstance, ever make it. Otherwise, it's a "Sasserole" (don't be sassy).
Want to see a very clean and quiet blood bath? Attend your local Methodist Church Recipe Book Planning Committee meeting for a gentle tug of war over recipe rights... "Well, Joyce, you know Suzanne always makes the rolls... what about your congealed salad? (insert tone of allegation) You always make that." (Note: Someone once asked for and then published my mother's recipe for pizza crust, her signature dish, as THEIR OWN in a church cookbook. It was not pretty and Sunday School was... let's say frigid.)
A casserole means anything that is made up of multiple ingredients and becomes magical in an oven setting. A quiche, which is a casserole, typically has a crust, but my momma's recipe is crustless and oh so delicious. You could call it a frittata... (but don't). I make this for brunches with my lady friends and always get compliments... which, naturally, I cannot accept.
Quiche is such a comfort food to me. Served with apple sauce and macaroni and cheese, quiche was my favorite go-to "get better" meal growing up and I always get those same fond feelings each time I eat it.
In the verbatim words of Debra Sadler....
QUICHE RECIPE (Makes 1 large deep-dish pie or 2 smaller pies)
Choose 1.5-2 cups of your favorite vegetables (frozen 'mixed vegs' work nicely for a quick quiche)
I sauté the following vegs in a butter & oil mix:
1/2 med.onion, 1 celery stick,
1-2 med. diced carrots, 1-2 med. diced potatoes
Then I piled on fresh spinach over cooked vegs (fill generously, b/c it really cooks down)
Place all the veg mix into pie dish
Mix following ingredients in blender & pour over vegetable mix:
4 large eggs
1 c. cottage cheese
1/2 c. milk or sour cream (or mix of both)
1/2 c. flour to create 'crust' (I mix whole wheat & unbleached white flours.)
If mixture seems especially thick, add (a bit) more milk.
Top w/1 cup shredded cheese(s) of your choice.
This is a fun recipe to experiment with & come up w/your own favorite quiche!
Suggestions: All spinach & mushroom quiche.
Add one of these to your vegetables - bacon, ham, salmon or tuna
Bake at 350º for approx. 40-50 min. on middle rack of oven.
So happy quiching! ... just don't bring bacon and pea to any ladies luncheons because Miss. Dottie has rights on that one.