Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Veggie Cooking: Not Your Momma's Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole
By far Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole is one of my most favorite foods. It's one of those things that when you see it on the menu you get all excited because if it's a good one that meal is going to be out of this world. But if it's bad..........you better hope you didn't have to pay a lot for the food because the you will leave the establishment in a pout. I have no idea why this is. For most other foods this equation does not apply. I have had bad pizza and thought nothing of it, salty seafood gets a whatever, and cheesecake that tastes like not much I can overlook, but Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole, ho ho the forgiveness for bland ends there. I feel this way about Corn Casserole, Squash Casserole, Creamed Spinach, homemade Ranch Dressing, and Red Velvet Cake as well. In case you aren't from the area my momma was raised in the South, thus my uppity demands for veggie side dishes that deliver the goods. So I set forth to make my epitome of broccoliness mixed with heaven. Not too dry, not too green, and not too fancy. I came up with three different soup possibilities that you can use depending on what you are looking for. Cream of Broccoli for a nice family comfort appeal, Broccoli Cheese for epic cheesiness, or Cream of Chicken if you aren't going meat free or that's what you have in the house. They are all yummy choices. But the true secret I found was using Arborio rice. This adds a creamy touch that I often found was lacking in the other recipes. The rice is inexpensive and you don't have to buy five pounds of the stuff, it's worth it trust me.
Not Your Momma's Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole
1 cup dry Arborio rice
1 16 oz bag frozen baby broccoli, you don't have to defrost
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can Crm Broccoli OR Crm Chicken OR Broccoli Cheese soup
8 oz Velveeta, cut into cubes
1/2 sleeve butter crackers, crushed
2 tbsp butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Cook the rice according to package directions. While the rice is cooking saute the onion in the olive oil until soft, add in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add in the broccoli and saute with the garlic and onion until the broccoli is hot. Add in the soup and Velveeta, turn off the heat and get to stirring. Add in the rice as soon as it is done and mix until thoroughly combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the rice mixture into a greased 2 and 1/2 quart baking dish. Mix the cracker crumbs and melted butter. Spread these over the casserole and bake for 1 hour, until nice and golden brown.
This would be great with grilled veggies or meat!
Let us know what you think of this when you make it. Do you have any meatless recipes your family can't live without? Let us know and we will share them with our blogger buddies, with due credit of course.
Keeping it piping hot,
Kelly, the origami ninja