The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Broccoli Cheese Casserole

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Level: Easy

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Description

Broccoli cheese casserole is a staple at my Thanksgiving table. The original calls for Cheez Whiz, so I decided to give it a makeover with real cheese!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
  • 3 slices Bread, Pulverized In The Food Processor
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • ¼ teaspoons Sea Salt
  • FOR THE CASSEROLE:
  • 8 cups Fresh Broccoli Florets And Stems, Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces (stems And Florets Separated)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ cups Onion, Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 1-½ cup Milk
  • 4 ounces, weight Fontina Cheese, Shredded
  • 4 ounces, weight Sharp White Cheddar, Shredded
  • 2 ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
  • ¼ teaspoons Sea Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg

Preparation

For the bread crumb topping:
Heat oven to 350°F, place bread crumbs on a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the oven. Every two minutes, move the bread crumbs around, so they don’t burn. Repeat until the crumbs are crispy and have lost all their moisture, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

For the casserole:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Lightly spray a 2-quart casserole dish with olive oil (or other cooking spray).

Add the broccoli stems to the boiling water first, and cook for one minute. Then add in the florets and cook three minutes more. Drain the broccoli in a colander, then run cool water over the broccoli until it’s cooled.

Place the broccoli on a clean towel, gather the sides until you form a ball, and squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the broccoli. Reserve to a large bowl.

Place 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions, and cook for 7 minutes, until the onions are translucent and just starting to turn golden brown. Add in the flour and whisk for one minute.

Slowly add in the milk, whisking constantly until all the milk is incorporated with no lumps of flour. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken slightly, about 2-4 minutes.

Lower the heat to low, and add in the fontina cheese, whisking until just melted. Repeat with the other two cheeses.

Once all of the cheeses are melted, add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, whisking well.

Pour the sauce into the bowl with the blanched and drained broccoli and toss to coat the broccoli. Place it in the oiled casserole dish. Set aside.

Now back to the breadcrumbs. Heat the butter in a pan over medium-low heat until just melted. Add the breadcrumbs and salt, and mix to coat evenly, then distribute them evenly over the broccoli cheese mixture.

Place casserole in the oven and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove dish from oven and set it on a rack.

Let it rest for 5 minutes before enjoying!

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