Roasted Vegetable Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan is a layered casserole of roasted broccoli, cauliflower and sliced chicken breasts smothered in a decadent red-wine-Parmesan-cream-sauce.

With sliced almonds, roasted red peppers, onions and garlic, it is not the old school Chicken Divan made with canned soup and sherry. . . Do people still make that?

Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong generation…. 

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Baked Broccoli Cheese Rice

Rice and broccoli florets swimming in a cheesy sauce and baked to a bubbly, golden brown.

This is my knock-off of broccoli-au-gratin-rice-in-a-box. You know, the San Francisco treat. The one I happily grew up on. Years ago I said my goodbyes to cut down on overly processed foods.

Purely by mistake, a box ended up in my groceries. . …. 

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Broccoli Cheese Baked Potatoes with Bacon

Broccoli Cheese Baked Potatoes with Bacon

Large russet potatoes are baked until tender and then topped with an irresistible broccoli cheese sauce and crumbled pieces of smoky, salty bacon. The broccoli cheese sauce is exceptional eaten all on its own, and turns a boring baked potato into something completely crave-worthy.

I love when I can use simple, basic ingredients to turn out something special like this. The cheese sauce begins with a garlic bechamel and is made with a combination of Gouda and extra sharp cheddar. Broccoli loves cheese and garlic. This I know to be true by the delicious outcome. A side dish that eats like a main and will steal the show no matter what you serve alongside!

Broccoli Cheese Baked Potatoes
(by Reeni)
4-5 large baking potatoes (like Russet or Idaho)
6 slices bacon, optional
4 cups Broccoli florets (before steaming)
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
8 ounces cheese, shredded (I used a mix of Gouda and Extra Sharp Cheddar)
sea salt and fresh black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Wash potatoes, prick with a fork a few times and wrap each one in aluminum foil. Bake until fork tender about 1 hour.

2. About 40 minutes into potato cook time cook bacon and steam broccoli until tender. Cook the bacon in a large skillet, stove top or in the oven in a cast iron skillet or baking pan until crispy.

3. When broccoli is cooked, melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat, add garlic and saute until fragrant, whisk in flour, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking often. Turn heat up to medium and slowly whisk in milk. When milk starts to boil add cheese and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked broccoli.

4. Drain bacon on paper towels and crumble. To serve slice potatoes lengthwise and spoon a generous amount of broccoli cheese sauce over top followed by a sprinkle of bacon.

Broccoli Cheese Baked Potatoes with Bacon

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Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin

Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin

Broccoli and cauliflower florets are smothered in a cheesy, garlic sauce and then baked off for one of the most comforting side dishes I know of. A sprinkling of bread crumbs over top forms a golden brown, crunchy crust that seals in all that molten, cheesy goodness. It’s rustic, warming and homey, just the type of thing that long, winter nights call for.

This is one of my favorite ways to eat broccoli, even though it’s low on my list of vegetables I like. Unlike cauliflower, which I naturally gravitate toward. That’s why I feel it’s safe for me to say that even the most pickiest of eaters will have a hard time turning this down. It transforms into something entirely different. And entirely delicious.

Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin

Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin
(by Reeni)

9 cups broccoli and/or cauliflower florets*
4 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup flour
sea or kosher salt and fresh pepper
red pepper flakes, optional
2 cups whole milk
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 heaping tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs

1. Grease a deep sided 8×8-inch casserole dish. Lightly steam the florets until just tender but still firm. Add them to the casserole dish. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat and saute garlic until fragrant. Whisk in flour and cook 2-3 minutes. Season well with salt, pepper and a dash or two of red pepper if desired. Slowly whisk in milk, turn up heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Add 1 + 1/2 cups cheese, stir until melted, remove from heat. Pour over the florets in the pan.

3. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese then with the bread crumbs. Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbly and top is golden. Remove and allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.

*1 large head of each

Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin

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Crispy Broccoli Dippers and Cheese Sauce

Crispy Broccoli Dippers & Jalepeno Cheese Sauce

I was a tiny bit disturbed by this week’s BSI ingredient. Broccoli doesn’t usually find its way into my cart. It’s not that I hate it. At one time it was a favorite. For a couple of years I ate broccoli almost every day, sometimes twice a day. I think it was a lifetime’s worth of broccoli for the average person. When this long broccoli binge wore off I never wanted to look at broccoli again. But I must admit I really enjoyed eating these cornflake encased broccoli dippers – the perfect vessel for the thick and creamy, spicy cheese sauce.

To make them the broccoli ‘trees’ are dipped into egg and then into cornflake crumbs and baked rather than fried. I like to leave some of the stalk on for holding on to when you dip. While the trees are cooking make the cheese sauce. The jalapeno is very mild, you can grill it first to bring out a little more heat or omit it all together.

This week’s BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient) is broccoli, chosen and hosted by the very sweet Chaya of Chaya’s Comfy Cook. Chaya is fairly new to blogging. If you haven’t paid her a visit stop by and say hi. She has been cooking up a storm of delicious food.

Crispy Broccoli Dippers & Jalepeno Cheese Sauce

Crispy Broccoli Dippers and Cheese Sauce
(by Reeni)

Fresh broccoli (about 1 and 1/2 pounds)
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
Sea salt and fresh pepper
2/3 cup cornflake crumbs

Cheese Sauce:

1 jalepeno, minced, seeds and ribs removed
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup whole milk
8 ounces extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and dry the broccoli. Cut the broccoli head apart into stalks. In a small bowl whisk the egg and milk. Season with salt and pepper. In another small bowl add the cornflake crumbs. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Dip the ends of the broccoli into the eggs and then into the cornflake crumbs one by one. Set on baking sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until crispy and broccoli is tender.

While the broccoli is baking start the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan saute the jalepeno and garlic in a bit of olive oil until soft and tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the butter, melt and add the flour. Whisk until well combined. Let cook for about two minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring just to a simmer and then add half the cheese. Whisk until melted and add the rest of the cheese. Whisk again until all the cheese is melted and sauce starts to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and season again with salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat and serve with the crispy broccoli.

Printable Recipe

Crispy Broccoli