Cauliflower-Broccoli Au Gratin

broccoli and cheese casserole

Broccoli and Cheese Casserole topped and baked

Here’s a perfect side dish that makes you forget you are not having some form of starch. It’s rich and creamy and so delicious. There definitely will not be any leftovers!!!

Prepare a pot of water with 2″ of water and bring to a boil.

add broccoli florets…
1 medium head of broccoli cut into florets
steam for 4 or 5 minutes or just until tender, remove and cool
add cauliflower florets…
1 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets
steam for 5-7 minutes or just until tender, remove and cool.

Set aside broccoli and cauliflower while you prepare the cheese sauce.

Cheese Sauce:

In a 5 qt sauce pot on medium high heat
melt 4 Tbsp butter
add 4 tbsp of flour
stir together
add: 3 cups of warmed milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
simmer on low stirring constantly for about 8 minutes
lower heat to low
add 10-12 slices of american cheese (do not use cheddar)
stir until fully incorporated into a smooth creamy sauce. Sauce should be a pourable thick consistency. If your sauce gets too thick just add a little milk, if not thick enough add more cheese.

broccol and cheese casserole

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, place all of the cooled broccoli and cauliflower, pour the cheese sauce over…

Topping:
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup plain Panko bread crumbs
mix completely and sprinkle evenly over top of veggies.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes
let cool for 5 minutes and serve.
broccoli and cheese casserole 2

Alfredo Sauce

A lot of people like Alfredo sauce. It’s a tad bit unhealthy as we all know, but rather delicious! The one that I used to make at the restaurant was very fluffy and lighter than the average. There are a few reasons for that. Parmesan cheese can be very sharp in flavor and it’s difficult to use enough of it to thicken cream. To cut down on cost and to get better thickening ability, we add flour to the cheese. It actually makes for a milder flavor and allows the garlic to shine through. In a restaurant, you always have a large amount of bulk items ready to go. Staples, as they say. One of our staples was a big container of melted butter, seasoned lightly with lemon juice, and parsley. ┬áThis was used in everything that required butter. I would say the ratio is, 1/2 stick or 2 oz melted of butter to 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice and 1/4 tsp parsley, and always stir well before using. The next very important staple is Parmesan Cheese. Ratio: 1/2 cup parmesan cheese to 2 tsp all purpose flour, mix well. One more staple for this recipe, salt mixture…1 c. of sea salt with 1/2 tsp white pepper mixed well. You can use black pepper if you want, white pepper is much stronger so you can double the black pepper. For this double serving of alfredo you will only be using a pinch or two of the salt mixture. Okay now we are ready. This will be two servings.

Alfredo Sauce

In a Saute pan, place on burner on medium heat.
add:
2 oz. well mixed lemon butter mixture
1/2 tsp minced garlic or 2-3 cloves chopped
2 good pinches of salt and pepper mixture
1 cup heavy cream
simmer until hot…
add 1/2 cup or more of parmesan cheese mixture, add until you achieve the thickenss of the sauce you prefer
using a wire whip stir together. Turn off heat. Immediately, pour over hot cooked pasta.

Variation: Add any cooked vegetables you like such as broccoli or asparagus. Warm them before adding to the alfredo and fold them in at the last minute.