As the festivities of the holiday season pick up pace, I’m bringing you one of my go-to vegetarian casserole recipes.
A classy serving that looks as mouthwatering as it tastes; this lightly spiced baked dish makes a perfect accompaniment for your Thanksgiving or any other holiday meal.
Before I get to the recipe, hope you’ve had a chance to check out my upcoming e-cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ featuring Indian-inspired recipes for your Occasions, Holidays and Entertaining.
It’s perfect to own or gift for the upcoming holidays and available now right here on my website. Read the complete introduction chapter and all the details on this page.
And now on to the recipe for creamy casserole with chopped Jalapeño peppers, sweet yellow corn, fragrant herbs and spices, mixed in a nutmeg and cinnamon flavored white (béchamel) sauce. This dish makes a great side to my spiced butter turkey and holiday lamb roast.
- 2 cups sweet corn kernels, thawed if frozen
- 2 tablespoons chopped Jalapeño chili pepper (or use 1 tablespoon chopped Serrano or Thai chili pepper for a spicier kick)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil
- ½ cup shredded cheese (Gruyere, Cheddar or Swiss, all work well)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (gluten-free flour can be used)
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- To make the white (béchamel) sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan and add the flour to it. Cook flour in butter for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly. Add milk and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently so the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Turn off the flame when the sauce reaches a thick pouring consistency (it should be able to coat the back of your spoon, but should not have a porridge-like appearance). Sprinkle ground nutmeg, cinnamon, cracked black pepper and salt; stir well. Leave aside till required.
- In a sauté pan, add chopped red onion and Jalapeno peppers to olive oil. Cook for a minute or two; don’t let the onion get brown.
- Stir in the corn kernels, ground spices, salt and chopped herbs. Cook for 3 minutes on a medium flame for the flavors to marry.
- Add the prepared white sauce to the corn mix and pour into a greased casserole dish. Top the casserole with shredded cheese. Note: The casserole can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Bake it prior to serving.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake the casserole for 25-30 minutes, till the cheese forms a golden brown crust.
- Serve the lightly spiced casserole warm, accompanied by your favorite meat or as a vegetarian entrée.