Monday, February 15, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: February 15, 2010

Broccoli-rice casserole.

Where did casseroles come from?  Are they uniquely American/Canadian?  Did some magazine editor invent the idea in the '50s?  Or do they have origins in Medieval Europe?  Did some pioneer woman come west and, owning only one pot but plenty of food, figure: well, I have soup and potatoes and meat and aw, hell, all this food's gonna end up in the same place anyhow.  I wonder. 

This particular one's very good, reasonably healthy, and without potato chips anywhere in the recipe.

Broccoli-rice casserole
2 cups cooked rice (I like to use one cup of brown and one cup of white)
2-3 cups broccoli florets, very lightly steamed until just barely tender
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2% works just fine but I wouldn't use fat free)
2 t. vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 t. minced garlic
3 T. flour
2 cups milk
3 T. yogurt or mayonnaise, optional for extra creaminess
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and saute the onion until tender but not browned.  Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes more.  Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is golden brown and fragrant.  Add the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Spray a large casserole dish (or 9 x 13 baking pan) with cooking spray.  In the sprayed dish, combine the rice, broccoli, cheese, milk mixture, and yogurt if using.  Stir well; smooth out the top.  Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and spray them with cooking spray.  Bake in the oven 20-30 minutes, until the casserole bubbles.

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