Saturday, February 14, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Being a Canadian I love anything with cheese, especially lovely oozing melted cheddar!
This is such an easy and super tasty side dish

(Feeds 4 people)
1 medium size head broccoli (stem cut off and florets separated)
1 medium size head cauliflower (stem cut out and florets separated)
1 cup milk
1 cup cubed strong (mature or vintage) Canadian cheddar
3 tbsp flour
2 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tsp dijon mustard (or 1/2 tsp mustard powder)
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
1 tsp paprika
salt & pepper to taste

- Steam broccoli and cauliflower until al dente. You don't want them too soft or mushy. Put in a baking dish and keep aside


- Melt butter in a saucepan.
Keep temperature on a lower heat.
- Whisk in the flower until mixture turns into a ball (if a ball is not forming just add a tiny bit more flower)
- With a wooden spoon flatten ball and cook out the flower a bit (still on a lower heat).
- Turn up the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the milk until all is smooth (liquid will thicken with some time). Never allow sauce to boil or bubble

- Stir in the cheddar (reserve some for topping) and allow to melt in the white sauce, then add mustard
- Add nutmeg, chili flakes, paprika, stir
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Turn temperature back down between low and medium. Let sauce thicken.
Sauce is ready when it falls off the wooden spoon smoothly

- Pour cheese sauce over top of the broccoli and cauliflower and stir just a little bit, avoiding breaking the veggies more
- Bake in oven for approximately 25 min at Gas Mark 7 (425 F), or until cheesy top is golden (Top with the reserved cheddar for the last 10 min)

Serves great with any main of your choice, chicken, fish, or if you're a veggie it could serve nicely with stuffed aubergines or stuffed pepper

NOTE: Of course you can use any strong cheddar you want. Maybe it's all in my head and being a proud Canadian but I always seem to prefer the flavour that comes out of Canadian cheddar :)


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