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

Cheesy Au-Gratin Potatoes

Au-Gratin fishedThis is a side dish that everyone loves! It might seem intimidating but I’m here to tell you, You Can Do It!
The hardest part is making a white sauce, and making a white sauce is really easy. Some people make the white sauce into a cheese sauce. I have made it this way before. However, I prefer to make it this way for a number of reasons. A white sauce also known as a Bechamel, a béchamel can be altered in many ways. One of my favs is adding lemon, capers and fresh dill for the topping on a broiled fish. Or the addition of Dijon mustard or whole grain mustard is a wonderful topping for chicken cutlets. So, if I have any leftover, it could be great for another meal this week. A béchamel is the base white sauce that is the starting point for many sauces. Wonderful additions to this sauce create great meals. The other thing to remember, is that there are no rules to this dish. It’s kind of like lasagna made with potatoes. You can add things between the layers that you love. One nice addition is caramelized onions. Another is Bacon or Jalapeños, or sautéed mushrooms. The cheese is also up to you, but I will say that I like to clean up my refrigerator on dishes like this. My go to cheeses are cheddar and american because they melt smoothly and creamy. I know american cheese isn’t really cheese but I love it. You are the boss on this dish, make it however you want to. This one is the traditional version for our Easter dinner.

Recipe:

White Sauce
Make a Roux:
au gratin-roux

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 TB butter melted in a 4 qt sauce pan on med heat
6 Tb. Flour
stir together and cook for a minute until bubbling.
add 4 cups of warmed milk ( almond milk works fine)
whisk until beginning to thicken
add 1 pinch of white pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 tsp of fresh grated nutmeg
cook over low heat until it coats the back of a spoon.
turn off heat and set aside.

Prep the rest of the dish….
6 medium sized Organic Potatoes sliced in 1/8th of an inch slices
12 oz or (1 1/2 cups) of shredded Cheddar cheese
9 slices of american cheese
salt and pepper
white sauce

13×9 inch pan
spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray
au-gratin-step 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

place a layer of potato slices
sprinkle with salt and pepper
au-gratin-step2

 

 

 

 

 

 

break 3 slices of american cheese in half and space them evenly over the potatoes
au-gratin-step 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese over the american cheese
drizzle about 1 cup of white sauce over cheeses
au-gratin step 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

repeat 2 more times.

bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. Let set for 15 minutes.
Au-Gratin fished

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

Ground Lamb Casserole

lamb casserole 2I have gone a little crazy for Lamb lately. I am just blown away by the flavor. Move over beef, because you have been replaced. It’s sometimes hard to come by, so when I see it in the store I grab a few and freeze them. I am not much of a crock pot girl, but I do love one pan dinners. This casserole is so tasty and cheesy and comforting, I guarantee you will love it. I wish I could tell you that lamb is better for you, I really can’t. It does contain higher levels of protein, but the fats are about the same. However, where beef is so mass produced and they fatten them up with grain, I would suspect that more sheep are grass-fed. This casserole is layered and baked. It’s creamy, hearty and has all the components, protein, starch, and vegetable in one pan. I knew it was good when my son had 4, yes you heard me correctly, 4 servings at the dinner table. Forget about leftovers, not happening!

Ground Lamb Casserole
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes

Potatoes
6 medium sized potatoes washed and sliced 1/4 ” thick slices
place slices in pot, fill just to top of slices with water,and boil until tender
Drain and place into a 13×9 inch glass baking dish, this is your first layer.
set aside

Cheese sauce
6 qt sauce pot add:
4 tsp butter and melt
4 tbsp flour
stir together and you have a roux
add:
2 1/2 cups milk, whisk in briskly
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
stir until thickened and then shut off burner…
add:
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese and 4 slices of american cheese; whisk in until smooth and creamy.
set aside

Ground lamb
1 medium onion cut in half and sliced into 1/8″ slices
2 tbsp olive oil
saute onions over medium high heat until tender
add:
2 lbs ground lamb or divide and use half ground beef and half ground lamb
cook with onions until done, lower heat to medium
add:
2 rounded tbsp flour, sprinkle over cooked meat, stir in completely
add:
1 tsp better than bouillon beef base
1 cup water
The mixture will thicken up into a gravy
turn off heat
add:
1 cup frozen or fresh Corn, optional
1 cup frozen or fresh peas, optional
add:
1 cup of the cheese sauce,  stir into the meat mixture…

pour the mixture on top of the potatoes, this is your second layer

Third layer
Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the top of the meat mixture.

Fourth layer
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup shredded cheese
mix and sprinkle all over the top.
Bake, Eat and Enjoy!