Saturday, 20 October 2007


broccoli & cheese casserole

When fall is in full swing in Vancouver and it's drippy wet outside I find myself wanting comfort foods. For some reason I associate cheese with comfort foods...especially ooey gooey melted cheese. I personally love an authentic fondue but only Bebe loves cheese. But I digress...I tried out a quick recipe I found in a magazine advertising Campbell's Condensed Mushroom Soup.

1 16 oz bag broccoli florets
1 can Campbell's Condensed Mushroom Soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 T butter, melted

Dump the whole bag of broccoli in a baking dish, add the mushroom soup, milk and cheese and stir the whole mixture. Mix the breadcrumbs and melted butter together and sprinkle that on top of the whole thing and bake it in a moderate oven (350F) for 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbling.

It was a cheesy & yummy way to eat broccoli!

Now, on another cheesy note...

macaroni & cheese with caramelized onions

I made this mac & cheese with a cheese sauce from scratch. I must admit I didn't follow any recipe but just kind of made a bechamel and then tossed in however much cheese looked good to me. I caramelized onions and garlic and mixed that in with the cheese sauce and finally topped the whole casserole with fried onions. I covered it with foil and baked it until it was bubbling hot, about 20-30 minutes.

Here's a rough approximation of the recipe as I recall it:

Cakebrain's Macaroni & Cheese with Caramelized Onions
1 box macaroni, cooked al dente
3 T flour
3 T butter
salt & pepper to taste
3 cups milk
2 cups grated old cheddar cheese
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
4 T fried onions

  • Make a bechamel sauce: in a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour, creating a roux. Cook the roux until golden brown and fragrant. Add salt & pepper. Add nutmeg if you like it. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps and burning. When the sauce is thickened, add the cheddar cheese and mix thoroughly. Allow the sauce to rest, covered and off the burner.
  • In a saute pan, heat the olive oil on med.-high heat and then add the onion. Saute the onions until they are translucent. Then add the garlic and continue cooking until the onions are caramelized. If you like some zing in your macaroni, you can add a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar or hot sauce here. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Mix the onion mixture with the cheese sauce.
  • In a large casserole dish combine the cooked macaroni and the cheese sauce. Mix thoroughly. The cheese sauce should look slightly runny because as it bakes it will be absorbed in the pasta. If you like your macaroni really moist, you can add more milk to the casserole if it looks too dry for your liking.
  • Sprinkle the fried onions over the whole casserole; cover with foil and bake in a moderate oven for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly
those aren't breadcrumbs, they're fried onions! yum!

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