Monday 4 December 2017

Madhouse recipe : Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Bake

If you're looking for an original way to get the kids to eat their veggies with minimal complaints, this is a good place to start. When he was little, Pierre used to love having "Tree Fu Tom trees" on his plate, but these days, he turns his nose up at broccoli. I'd seen lots of American recipes online for "rice casserole" dishes, so I decided to use them for inspiration. I thought the rice would end up soggy and overcooked but it's actually a great way of cooking rice if you need to be getting on with other things while it cooks.

 Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Bake

ingredients :

6tbsp butter
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
2 cups grated cheese
180ml water
1 chicken stock cube
180ml milk
2 bay leaves
2 onions
4 mushrooms
a head of broccoli
salt, pepper, garlic granules
4tbsp flour
250g rice
extra cheese slices or grated cheese

Start off by preheating the oven to 200° and briefly boiling the broccoli - it needs to stay bright green and retain some crunch. Melt half of the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave and stir in the breadcrumbs. Once it's cooled, stir through half of the grated cheese. Set aside.

Put the water, stock cube, milk and bay leaves in a pan and bring to a simmer.

Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and gently fry the onions for a couple of minutes, so they go soft but don't take on colour.

Add the mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes until they have gone soft.

Turn off the heat and stir through the flour.

Transfer the mushroom/onion mixture to a casserole dish and pour the warm milk mixture on top, removing the bay leaves. Stir to create a thickish sauce. Add the remaining cheese, the salt, pepper and garlic granules and the uncooked rice. Stir again and put in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the rice is cooked. (Exact cooking time will depend on the rice - mine was quick cook 10 minute rice and it was in the oven for 20 minutes.)

I still had lots of liquid sitting on top of the rice but a good stir with a wooden spoon led to a creamy rice mixture.

Stir the cooked broccoli through the rice mixture.

Scatter over the breadcrumbs and top with extra slices of cheese, if you like. I had a few slices of leftover raclette cheese so I added those.

Pop under the grill until the cheese topping is golden brown and crispy.

This could be eaten on its own as a vegetarian option or to accompany meat. If you have fussy eaters, you could chop the broccoli into smaller pieces so that they can't pick it out and leave it on the side of the plate !

Adding to this month's #KitchenClearout linky as it used up my last few slices of raclette cheese and finished off a box of dried breadcrumbs.

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