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Old 09-27-2016, 11:02 AM   #1
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What are the main elements you need to make a good tray bake?

I've got interested in tray-bakes. Especially when I'm busy translating or interpreting. So far they haven't been too bad, but I realise there's more to it than meets the eye. They do exist in Italy, but not that much, and so far I've found most of them disappointing. So when, in today's Guardian newspaper there was an article on them I read it avidly. Amongst other things, they mentioned the best elements of a good tray bake, which were:

1. Main vegetable
2. Soft vegetable
3. Hearty add-on, such as beans, chickpeas, good bread torn
4. Liquid veg.stock, white wine
5. Herbs
6. Flavour boost Lemon/orange zest, spices, chorizo sausage.

I thought I'd ask the experts, so here I am, because they're so convenient. I can prepare everything in the morning ready to put in the oven whenever convenient.

Many thanks

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Old 09-27-2016, 11:21 AM   #2
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I must say I don't think I've never heard of a "Tray Bake". It sounds familiar to me but ... using the word "tray" sounds sort of like a cookie sheet? not practical for wet things?

It sounds like the purpose is to put all your food in a roasting pan and just slide it into the oven? Supper's ready?
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:23 AM   #3
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What is a tray bake?
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:46 AM   #4
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I asked Mr. Google, and I think this is the article Di is referring to:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...he-modern-cook

Most of the other articles are about cakes baked in trays to be cut into slices afterwards. At first I thought she was referring to casseroles, or what Minnesotans refer to as hot dishes.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:53 AM   #5
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tray = roasting pan - got it!
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:05 PM   #6
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don't forget some cheese if you help it.......````:)
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:28 PM   #7
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I'm referring to a roasting pan - over here, this kind of dish is referred to as a 'tray bake'. From what I've read on D.C. you do them quite lot. The ones they talk about here don't have much liquid in them, hence the reference to 'bake'. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe Australia's where they're popular!!

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Old 09-27-2016, 12:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by di reston View Post
I'm referring to a roasting pan - over here, this kind of dish is referred to as a 'tray bake'. From what I've read on D.C. you do them quite lot. The ones they talk about here don't have much liquid in them, hence the reference to 'bake'. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe Australia's where they're popular!!
Ive never heard of them and after looking at the article I've still never heard of it as a "thing" much less a popular in the US. Ive never made one and Ive made pretty much everything.

Casseroles and hot dishes are more popular here. They are very different from how a tray bake is described in that link that tenspeed provided, although they are a bunch of stuff assembled together and baked in an oven.

Tray bakes look interesting ...
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:56 PM   #9
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I'd call casserole, which is totally my wheelhouse, we eat casserole's four days a week around here.

Less liquid? So less a stew? My idea of a roasting pan is for roasting meat, has a riser that keeps the food off the bottom and allows the fat to drip down. I do a ton of casseroles, which are kind of thicker than a stew, and sometimes have eggs or something to thicken them.

I'll use a square or rectangle pyrex for a casserole, though, or even my give quart enameled cast iron.

General in a casserole rather than a stew, I will layer the ingredients, and expect it to be more dry than wet.

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Old 09-27-2016, 02:03 PM   #10
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Maybe, after all, they ARE a British thing. A typical one would be something like a chicken and chorizo sausage traybake:

Chicken thighs and drumsticks
coarse chopped and fried onion
garlic to taste
paprika (sweet and hot), salt and pepper
small potatoes cut in half and part cooked
pieces of chorizo the size of half your thumb
fresh very ripe tomatoes cut into large chunks or tinned whole plum tomatoes cut into large pieces
chopped mixed herbs (parsley, thyme, etc)

Chop and fry the onions, garlic
Add the herbs and paprika
Add the chicken pieces and cook for a minute or so
Part cook the potatoes, par-boil them and add to the tray, and mix well with the other ingredients, then add the chorizo sausage pieces.
Mix everything well with your hands making sure everything is evenly distributed. Bake in a fairly hot oven until the chicken and potatoes are completely cooked. There should be no moisture left in the baking tin, the chicken should be perfectly cooked, and it should be possible to pick up the pieces of chicken by hand.

This kind of dish is very popular in the UK at the moment because it's convenient, easy to do, you can be as creative as you like, you can use stuff up...the advantages are endless. I thought the concept came from the U.S., because it's just the kind of intelligent cookery you would do!

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Old 09-27-2016, 02:16 PM   #11
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naw, in a lot of the food magazines, roasting vegies is all the rage. I think this is just taking it one step further..

This does not have cheese but it has a great herbed loin which lent deliciousness to the vegies...



Course, I threw the vegies in about 1/4 to 1/2 way for the roast, when the roast and rack came out to rest, gave the vegies that extra time to roll in the pan sauce and finish up.



wow, sorry it's so big!
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:51 PM   #12
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oh, my, how yummy, yummy does that look, you dragn!
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by di reston View Post
Maybe, after all, they ARE a British thing
I'd still call it a casserole. But I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Where is Chief? Don't we call that a one pot in Minnesota?

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Old 09-27-2016, 03:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by erehweslefox View Post
I'd still call it a casserole. But I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Where is Chief? Don't we call that a one pot in Minnesota?

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Aside from coloquial expressions, I think the following is pretty universal...
IMHO
A casserole is usually a dish, often with a lid, that is made up of pretty much already cooked ingredients, put together and heated and or reheated in the oven.

A stew is wetter, starting with raw ingredients, usually needing a long cooking time to tenderize. Can be done on both on the stove top or in the oven; with a lid to retain moisture.

A one pot or pan meal, is more often with raw ingredients and almost always done on the stove top with minimal time (as in not hours and hours like a stew but might be long enough to do rice or potatoes). Starting with one ingredient and then just working your way thru all the additions into the same pot. (and served from that same pot - LOL - why dirty another dish!)
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dragnlaw View Post
Aside from coloquial expressions, I think the following is pretty universal...
IMHO
A casserole is usually a dish, often with a lid, that is made up of pretty much already cooked ingredients, put together and heated and or reheated in the oven.

A stew is wetter, starting with raw ingredients, usually needing a long cooking time to tenderize. Can be done on both on the stove top or in the oven; with a lid to retain moisture.

A one pot or pan meal, is more often with raw ingredients and almost always done on the stove top with minimal time (as in not hours and hours like a stew but might be long enough to do rice or potatoes). Starting with one ingredient and then just working your way thru all the additions into the same pot. (and served from that same pot - LOL - why dirty another dish!)
Great breakdown. I agree in theory with that. I guess I see more stews and casseroles than one pot or pan meals where I am.

Quick edit: always good to know the terms, as most places I go I try to pick up at a local bookstore the local church/community/Cuthulu cult etc.(ok just kidding on the last, Never been to Arkham) cookbook. I lost a bunch in the last move, as sadly one of the boxes that never made it was a cookbook box, but they give me great ideas.

Seen one pot, but pan meal is new. Good to know.


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Old 09-27-2016, 05:13 PM   #16
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It's not a casserole. It's a newly popular method of easy cooking called a sheet-pan dinner where a protein and vegetables with seasonings are baked in the oven on a sheet pan. A half sheet pan is a 13" x 18" shallow baking dish with a lip a half inch high.

It's for smaller pieces of meat, chicken or fish, not roasts.
Here are some examples:

http://www.thekitchn.com/5-sheet-pan...e-meals-235991

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/qu...-pan-dinners#1

I saved this one a few weeks ago: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2016/08...een-beans.html

I've been reading about it for the last six months or so and I'm planning to incorporate it more into my cooking now that the weather is getting cooler and I don't mind having the oven on that much.

Since I can't stand for long periods, I can do the prep sitting at my peninsula and then the cooking is hands-off. And, as di noted, it can be prepared several hours or a day in advance and cooked whenever you want.
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:29 PM   #17
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What are the main elements you need to make a good tray bake?

Not a term I was familiar with either, but having grown up in the land of casseroles and hotdish, a tray bake is definitely not one of those.
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by erehweslefox View Post
I'd still call it a casserole. But I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Where is Chief? Don't we call that a one pot in Minnesota?

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Chief is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - the Great Lakes State! (I grew up in southeastern Michigan )
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:02 PM   #19
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Chief is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - the Great Lakes State! (I grew up in southeastern Michigan )
I know, I'm the worst, all of you upper Midwest staters look alike ;) Lots of ponds we call lakes state, right? I've heard Yoopers are a special breed. I can tell you there are some places there I would drive twelve hours without sleep to just camp for the weekend. Have done so in Texas (Big Bend), Nebraska, and here in Pennsylvania.

Have some very nice relatives from St. Paul area. Need to go camping and canoeing up there soonest. I mean all those lakes hook together, right? 'says the guy who lives on a state bordering Erie).

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Old 09-27-2016, 06:42 PM   #20
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Aside from coloquial expressions, I think the following is pretty universal...
IMHO
A casserole is usually a dish, often with a lid, that is made up of pretty much already cooked ingredients, put together and heated and or reheated in the oven.

A stew is wetter, starting with raw ingredients, usually needing a long cooking time to tenderize. Can be done on both on the stove top or in the oven; with a lid to retain moisture.

A one pot or pan meal, is more often with raw ingredients and almost always done on the stove top with minimal time (as in not hours and hours like a stew but might be long enough to do rice or potatoes). Starting with one ingredient and then just working your way thru all the additions into the same pot. (and served from that same pot - LOL - why dirty another dish!)
I believe we've had this discussion before... and you missed one popular appellation - the hotdish. That's what most casseroles were called in my parents' social circles when I was growing up in Minnesota in the 50's and early 60's.
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