Sunday, January 17, 2016

Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole

Here's another healthy dish we had last week. I served it with baked chicken that you can find here. Of course it would have been healthier without the cheese, but then there would be no convincing my kids to eat it. Three out of four ate it without complaining, which is pretty good for broccoli. I loved the option of cooking the rice in my rice cooker, which I did, and it saved me some time. 

Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
adapted from
3 TBSPs butter
1/2 large onion, diced
2/3 cup uncooked wild rice blend, rinsed
1 pound broccoli
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp ground mustard powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 TBSPs all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 TBSP butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice to onion and cook for 1 minute, then add 1 1/3 cups water and a few pinches of salt. Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to lowest temperature and cook with the lid on for about 50 minutes (or whatever amount of time is suggested on your package of rice). If you’d like a rice cooker to do this for you, transfer onions, water and rice to the machine and set the machine.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel broccoli stems and dice them into large chunks. Cut florets into 1-inch pieces. Cook in boiling, well-salted water for 2 to 3 minutes, then drain; set aside.
3. You can use this same pan (after dumping out the broccoli water) to make the cheese sauce. Melt remaining 2 TBSPs butter in pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mustard powder, a pinch of cayenne and garlic and let sizzle for 1 minute. Add flour and whisk until combined, cooking the butter-flour mixture for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in milk, whisking constantly, then broth. Bring to a simmer and cook mixture at a simmer, stirring the whole time, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in 1/2 of grated cheese until melted. Season generously with salt and pepper.
4. Combine cooked wild rice blend and broccoli in a broiler safe 2-quart baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over the rice and broccoli mixture, making sure it's spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake casserole for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly, then place under the broiler until cheese is toasty on top.

Serves 4-5 as a generous side

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