Monday, December 08, 2008

Broccoli Chicken Casserole on a Productive Day

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

I didn't have to work in the morning today (Thank Goodness!!) and I was going to sleep in this morning. But the stupid alarm clock woke me up early -- well, no, I'm the stupid one who forgot to set it off last night -- and I spent good 30 minutes in bed thinking about what I need to do today. Then I realized that it is the second Monday of the month today, which means it is the "big trash day" when we can throw away things like recyclable non-plastic trash (cans, bottles, cardboard boxes, books n newspapers, etc.) , old furniture and electronic wastes. The day comes only once a month, and since this is December, I would have to carry over big trash from 2008 to 2009 if I'd miss this chance today.

So I jumped out of the bed and grabbed the plastic bags full of empty cans and bottles to bring them to the designated place. I tell you what-- I never like riding a bicycle before breakfast. But it was a kind of emergency situation and there was no other choice because we are supposed to take our trash to the designated place only between 6 am and 8 am.

After the busy start of the day, I had breakfast, did my laundry, paid the rent (which I was supposed to do at the end of last month :P), went two supermarkets to look for a bigger garbage pail for the kitchen and picked nuts near someone's graveyard(!) for my Christmas wreath. Pretty productive so far, isn't it? Wait. That's not it. I have some more plans for the afternoon and evening, too.

And this casserole was a quick and easy lunch for me today. It was quick because I used store-bought white sauce. Although I put some breadcrumbs in it, the casserole turned out rather runny and it was more like what we call "guratan (gratin)" here. Well, I don't know... What's the difference between gratin and casserole anyway? I thought gratin was runnier than casserole but I may be wrong; they may be just different names for the same dish?

Anyway, now I'm stuffed with warm and cheesy food, and I'm ready to get some more things done before my work tonight.



K and S said...

wow! you sure got a lot done in the morning! and that gratin looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

Hello Obachan, what a productive day! I wish I had done so much on my day off.

I think country of origin is one of the differences between a gratin and a casserole. I would say gratins are casseroles but not all casseroles are gratins. Gratins tend to be shallower and as their name indicates have a "crust" on top -it could be cheese or breadcrumbs. And yes, some gratins are more liquid (but again, not all)

Anonymous said...

Obachan, you make me smile and wish I was more productive like you!

J P Hays said...

Before I started learning Japanese (which I still stink at quite a bit), I thought that gratin was a cheesy potato dish. But now I know better, and according to what I can tell, according to recipes and various sources, a gratin seems like a creamy or cheesy casserole with a crusty top.

Unknown said...

Nicole is correct to say that gratins are all casseroles. "Casserole" is the French name for the shallow baking dish used. "Gratin" means "crusted", namely, a casserole topped with breadcrumbs and/or cheese, which browns and crusts over as it cooks in the oven. Of course, vernacular use of the terms in Japan as 外来語 may be different.

obachan said...

K & S
It looked much better than this photo, actually. I don't like taking food photos under my room light, but it was a gloomy, cloudy day and I had no other choice.

Yep, it was one of those productive days that I have about twice or three times a year. LOL
And thanks for the clarification on the names. Yeah, it makes sense.

I'm glad that you smiled. ;)

I agree. Creamy and cheesy. I had never paid attention to the top being crusty or not before, but now that I've read your comment and several others, yeah the top IS crusty.

Wow, thanks! Now I'm totally clear about this. So "gratin" means "crusted." Makes sense.

I guess most Japanese people do not know or use the word "casserole" here. This type of dish is almost always called "guratan" meaning "gratin," I think. "Casserole" seems to be used (among professionals?) as the name of the shallow baking dish you mentioned.

Frederico said...

Hi Obachan,
Would you mind sharing the recipe for that casserole you made please?


obachan said...

Hi Frederico,

Thanks for your interest, but actually there's no recipe. I just mixed store-bought white sauce with chopped chicken breast (sauteed with onion and salt'n peppered) and blanched broccoli, added cheese on top and baked in a toaster oven. I didn't measure anything at all. Sorry.

Frederico said...

Thanks Obachan!
That's good enough for me. :P

Anonymous said...

Broccoli Chicken Casserole does look wonderful for kids of all ages. Thanks for sharing with Broccoli Chicken. I know my grandson will love eating long as he can use his fingers.

obachan said...

Hope he doesn't burn his fingers... ;)