"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Casserole

i needed a quick dinner the other night. i also needed to get rid of the incredible amount of broccoli i'd accidentally purchased. my bad.

Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Casserole

2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces (1/2 cup panko bread crumbs - optional)
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted; plus two tablespoons chilled
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pounds broccoli (about 3-4 medium heads of broccoli), florets cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tblsp onion powder
1 1/4 cups white rice
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Pulse bread, panko, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and melted butter in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add garlic. Set aside.

Steam the broccoli for about 5-7 min (until bright green & semi cooked)- Melt remaining butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion powder & rice, stirring constantly, until rice is translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, half-and-half, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Toss in the broccoli about 5 min before rice is done. Take off the heat & stir in cheddar cheese, cayenne, remaining parmesan.

Pour the mixture into prepared baking dish and top with bread crumb mixture. Bake until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes. Serve.

this was awesome. seriously. if you toss in some chicken you could call it a day.
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