Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole

This is such a yummy dinner. You could toss in cooked, cubed chicken if you want. I like to make it in the morning and throw it in the fridge until dinnertime. I got this from my favorite recipe source Cook's Country.

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole
serves 8-10

2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp. butter, melted; plus 2 Tbsp, chilled.
1 garlic clove, minced
2 lbs. broccoli, florets cut into 1" pieces, stems peeled & chopped. Keep separate! (2# is about 3-4 medium heads of broccoli)
1 onion, chopped fine
1 1/4 c. white rice
4 c. chicken broth
1 1/4 c. half-and-half
1 tsp. salt
2 c. shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Prepare topping: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 400 degrees. Grease 9"x13" baking dish. Pulse bread, 1/4 c. Parmesan, and melted butter in food processor until coarsely ground. Add garlic.

Make filling: Microwave broccoli florets, covered, in large bowl until bright green and tender, 2-4 minutes; set aside. Melt remaining butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion and broccoli stems until softened, 8-10 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, half-and-half, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until rice is tender, 20-25 minutes. Off heat, stir in cheddar, cayenne, remaining Parmesan, and broccoli florets.

Top and bake: Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and top with bread crumb mixture. Bake until sauce is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Serve.

Make ahead: Filling can be prepared, placed in greased baking dish, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for 1 day. Refrigerate topping separately. Bring filling to room temperature before adding bread crumbs and baking as directed.