Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole

With Father’s Day around the corner (and hopefully warmer weather too) I want to plan a fun menu that everyone will love but won’t be stressful or complicated for me. And really isn’t keeping mommy happy on Father’s Day the most important thing on everyone’s mind? No? That’s just me? Darn. Anywho, since I’m considering something along the lines of Chili Dogs and Cheese Fries for the main and side, I’m thinking I need some kind of vegetable deal to redeem us a bit. But not too much!

Mushroom Broccoli Casserole 1

I tried this out this weekend and it was a hit so I’m keeping it for the big day. I added breadcrumbs to the top during the last three minutes of baking. The added crunch made all the difference. I left out the cayenne pepper for the kids sake, though I would have loved to add it and I’m sure that it adds a nice punch.

Mushroom Broccoli Casserole 3

Mushroom Broccoli Casserole 4Mushroom Broccoli Casserole 2Mushroom Broccoli Casserole 5Also, I didn’t have any cooked rice on hand, so I used 1 cup of instant rice. It only needs five minutes so I could be sure it would have enough time to cook in the short time the casserole spent in the oven. I also used fresh broccoli instead of frozen and it didn’t seem to cause a problem.

Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole
Adapted from Sunny Anderson – Food Network

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for casserole dish
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 pound shiitake or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar-Monterey blend
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Special equipment: 1 1/8-quart oval casserole dish
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Butter casserole dish. In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter and flour over medium heat until golden in color to make a quick roux. The roux should resemble the color of peanut butter. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, heavy cream and chicken stock. Add broccoli, 1 cup of the cheese and rice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour into buttered dish and top with remaining shredded Cheddar. Bake until cheese is melted and golden, about 20 minutes.

During last three minutes, mix a cup of breadcrumbs with 1 to two tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle over casserole. Bake a few minutes until golden.

Broccoli Bite

French Fries

Okay, I tricked you, these fries are oven-baked. And maybe there’s some sweet potato…but there’s russet potatoes and onions too! Ooh, and the sugar from the sweet potatoes baking in the oven gives them a caramelized sweetness that’s to-die-for.

I got you back with caramelized didn’t I. CARAMALIZED!! Sorry, I’m focused, I swear.Fries

My mom made this for us a few months ago and now I’m sharing it with you. You’ll thank me later! The great thing about this recipe is that it’s not really a recipe. You can make as much or as little as you like, in whatever proportions you like. Personally I like to do equal parts of each because as with everything else in my life I can’t decide which one I like more.

French Fries – Baked, With Sweet Potatoes and Onions

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 4 yellow onions, sliced into thin wedges
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Breadcrumb topping

  • ½ cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • Cajun seasoning mix (optional if you want a little heat, to taste)
  • Grated parmesan cheese (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 375°

Mix the breadcrumbs, olive oil, and Cajun seasoning (if using) and mix together until the breadcrumbs absorb the oil. Set aside to use later.

Toss the potatoes, onions, salt, pepper and olive oil in a large bowl, evenly coating everything. Spread the mixture onto a parchment lines baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, Keep an eye on them though, they’ll bake pretty quickly since they’re sliced thin. Toss occasionally until they’re cooked through.

When you have about 5 minutes left add the breadcrumb mixture and sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese over the top and bake until slightly golden and the sweet potatoes get a little charred. This isn’t a thick coating.

The sweet potatoes will look a little black around the edges but that’s just the sugar caramelizing. Trust me, those are the best bits!