Savoury bakes are versatile and can be used either as a main meal or as a side dish. For example, the following seafood bake can be used as a side for fried fish fillets or fish cakes, the pasta bake can be used as a side for barbecued meats and the vegetable bake can be used as a side for just about any savoury meal.
Seafood Crab and Prawn Bake
I have used a combination of crab meat and prawns in this bake, but you could also include morsels of fish.
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
The following quantities will serve two
Handy Hint: I have suggested using panko breadcrumbs for the topping on this bake, but you could use crushed cornflakes or crushed crackers as an alternative. If you are using cornflakes or crackers, you will not need to stir fry the crunchy topping in the butter.
- 500g crab meat
- 500g small green prawns, peeled and deveined
- 3 green shallots, sliced
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tbsp chilli sauce (or 1 tbsp chilli jam)
- 1 cup egg mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. In a large bowl combine the seafood, shallots, fresh chilli, lemon juice, chilli sauce (or jam) and mayonnaise. Spoon this mixture into a shallow baking dish or individual ovenproof dishes.
Melt the butter over a low heat in a small frypan. Add the breadcrumbs and stir fry for a few minutes to thoroughly coat the breadcrumbs with the butter. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the top of the seafood mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes.
I cook this bake a lot and the combination of veggies you use can change so much that you don’t ever feel like you are eating the same thing. The bake freezes well and can also be reheated in the microwave successfully.
The vegetables are simmered first either in milk, cream or coconut milk, and then baked in the oven. You will get a beautiful golden top on the bake which contrasts deliciously with the creamy veggies.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes on the stove-top then 20 minutes in the oven
The following quantities will serve two very generously as a main meal or four as a side
Handy Hint: You can use pretty much any type of veggie in any combination. Sliced potatoes, finely sliced fennel, baby carrots or finely diced carrots, shredded spinach or kale, parsnips, leeks, diced pumpkin and beans are all veggies that I have used. This bake is also a great way of hiding those veggies that are good for you but that someone in your family doesn’t like (or refuses to eat!).
- 1kg mixed veggies
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 cups milk, cream or coconut milk
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Place the prepared vegetables in a large saucepan with the crushed garlic. Pour in the milk, cream or coconut milk. Stir well to combine and then bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat. Continue to simmer until the veggies are nearly tender with just the slightest resistance when poked with a fork.
Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (this makes cleaning up easier). Carefully pour the veggies and the liquid in which they were cooked into the ovenproof dish. Spread the vegetables out in the dish into an even layer and then pop into the oven and bake until the top is golden.
Cheesy Pasta Bake
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes for boiling the pasta and 15 minutes to bake
The following quantities will serve four
Handy Hint: You can use any type of short pasta, such as penne, macaroni, fusilli, rotini, farfalle or orecchiette. Basically, use whatever you have in your pantry. I have also used a combo of different types when I only have a little of each left.
- 375g dried pasta
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 600ml milk
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 200g cheddar (or cheese of your choice), grated
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- 100g breadcrumbs (fresh or dried)
- 2-3 tbsp parmesan, grated
- 2-3 tbsp fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet. Drain well when cooked.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat and then add the flour to the butter. Stir well for a couple of minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the milk and garlic. Stir well until the milk mixture has thickened.
Add the cheddar cheese and continue to stir until the cheese has melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine the cheese sauce and pasta in an ovenproof dish.
In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan and parsley. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the cheesy pasta and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, or until the top is golden.
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #539 July 2015.