Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

My friend Roseanne used to make a version of this recipe many years ago. Since then she has moved out of, then across, the country. Luckily, we are still in touch! I have been making this recipe every year for Thanksgiving since she first introduced me to it. It has evolved over the years, this is the current rendition.

If you have any type of aversion to dairy, you will want to avoid this dish altogether. And, sadly, despite the copious amount of vegetables, there really is nothing healthy about it. But it is Thanksgiving, after all, and it only comes around once a year.

I normally make as much as will fit in my largest casserole, and I also never measure anything. This time I have tried my best to keep track of what I've done, and made a more modest amount to serve maybe 8 as a side dish?

Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

3 Cups Broccoli Florets
3 Cups Cauliflower Florets
2 Tbsp Butter
12 Ounces Mushrooms, halved then sliced into thick slices (about 4 cups)
Salt and Pepper
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced or Pressed
Pinch Nutmeg
2 Tbsp Flour
1 Cup Broth
1 Cup Half and Half
3/4 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I like Medium)
French's Onions

Steam the broccoli and cauliflower and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, a generous pinch of salt, and some pepper. Cook until the mushrooms begin to give off their liquid, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg (I always put nutmeg in any white sauce I make: it reminds me of Swedish Meatballs) and cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and cook and stir for about one minute. Stir in the broth and cook for one or two minutes, then add the half and half. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 8 or 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, and the mushroom mixture. Stir in the sour cream and shredded cheese. Scrape into a baking dish. At this point you can bake it in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, then sprinkle the top with French's onions and return to the oven until the top is browned. Or, if you are eating later, cover the casserole and refrigerate until ready to bake. The cold casserole will take longer to bake. It should be nice and bubbly and golden brown the top. If you have to bake it at a lower temperature because there are other things in the oven, no worries. (It seems like most Thanksgiving recipes have to bake at 350.) Just bake it a little longer.

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