Monday, October 22, 2012


Oh boy!  The Presidential Debate is being held here tonight in Boca Raton.  All of South Florida is a buzz, it’s very exciting!  The news anchors are looking spiffy.  The protestors are silently handing out their flyers at Whole Foods.  The People are eager to hear from their candidate.  There are reported candidate sightings. 
Okay, it’s only exciting if you’re into it.  I am semi excited.  I’m good to watch the debates on TV for about 45 minutes then I’m done.  Then it starts to sound like each candidate is just repeating the same thing over and over just using different phrasing.  Really after 30 minutes, I feel like I’ve heard what they have to say. 
I am very concerned, however; that The Voice may be pre-empted for the debate.  I haven’t checked the TV programming, will it only be one hour tonight, or will The Voice be on at all?  Will I see my beloved judges; Adam, Cee Lo, Christina, and Blake? Oh, how this troubles me.  I really do wish the people who schedule the debates would take these things into account. 
Any who…before you watch the debate, or whatever you have recorded and can’t wait to catch up on, you’re gonna need to eat.  Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole is great to serve with whatever you have chicken, pork, beef, or on its own with a salad.  The rice is creamy because it’s cooked in milk; broccoli with cheese is meant to be; and cracker crumb topping is just good!
Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Start by sweating the onion and garlic in butter, over medium heat.
Once the onions are translucent, add the water, milk, salt,and pepper.
Heat the water and milk on the stove, bring it to a simmer, but don’t let it boil.
By heating the liquid on the stove the casserole will bake for less time in the oven.
This baking dish holds the same volume as an 8" x 8" x 2" dish.
Add the rice (I prefer Basmati), broccoli and 1 ½ cups of the grated cheese in a the ungreased baking dish.
I put the rice on the bottom, the broccoli over the rice, then sprinkled the cheese.
*Don’t rinse the rice; the starch will help to thicken the liquid, giving it a creamy consistency.

Pour the hot liquid over the top.

Gently mix the ingredients.
Be sure the broccoli is in an even layer.
Notice that I put the baking dish on a sheet pan,before putting the casserole into the oven for 20 minutes.
Put the crackers into a zipper bag, and roll a rolling pin back and forth over the crackers; until the cracker crumbs are the size that you like.

Mix the cracker crumbs and remaining ½ cup of grated cheese.

Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the casserole, and put it back into the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes; until the rice has cooked and absorbed the liquid.

Allow the casserole to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 6

½                           Small onion, small dice (about ½ cup)
1              clove     Garlic, minced
3              Tbsp.     Butter
1 ½         cups       Water
1 ½         cups       Whole milk
¾             tsp.        Salt
½             tsp.        Pepper
1 ½         cups       Basmati rice
4             cups       Broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
2             cups       Grated cheese, such as Cheddar, Swiss, or Fontina; divided use
1/2         cups       Cracker crumbs
1.        Pre heat oven to 375.
2.       Sweat the onions, garlic and butter in a 2 quart sauce pan over medium heat, until the onions are translucent.
3.       Add the water, milk, salt, and pepper to the sauce pan with the onions, just to heat the liquid to a simmer, but don’t boil it.
4.       In the meantime, into the bottom of an ungreased baking dish (8" x 8" x 2"), add the rice (do not rinse the rice), broccoli, and 1 ½ cups of the cheese (the other ½ cup will be used later).
5.       Pour the hot liquid over the casserole and gently stir, being sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
6.       Place the baking dish on a sheet pan, just in case the liquid boils over; and place the casserole in the oven for 20 minutes.
7.       Combine the cracker crumbs and the remaining ½ cup of cheese.  Sprinkle it evenly over the top of the casserole.
8.       Return the casserole to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes; until the rice has cooked and absorbed the liquid.
9.       Allow the casserole to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

  1. I adore bakes. I can't get enough of them. I usually make something similar with pasta but rice sounds like it would go very nicely!