You can debate me on this all day long but I'm absolutely convinced that I was raised on the most delicious, home cooked meals EVER. My mom was a master of taking a package of chicken breasts, a can of soup and a dash of spices and creating something spectacular in under and hour. She had an uncanny ability to take the most unappealing of meats (liver, squirrel, etc) and turn them into tender, juicy delectable fare. This is a genetic trait seems to have skipped right over me, unfortunately. I have a knack for taking the most choice cut, beautifully marbled steak and turning it into snow tire consistency. 🤷🏻♀️
The magic that my mom could perform on a roast beef was nothing compared to the wizardry that she could work with vegetables. She was an expert at taking a vegetable that was absolutely intolerable to her children and turning it into something that we all begged for. Believe me when I tell you that I was not a kid that loved broccoli but I can't even begin to add up how much of my mom's cheesy broccoli casserole I consumed as a child. Thank goodness for a mom who could disguise vegetables as appetizing, flavorful sustenance.
There was nothing fancy about my mom's broccoli and cheese casserole recipe. (A recipe that I'm fairly certain was handed down to her by her sister.) Frozen broccoli florets, Velvetta cheese, butter and Ritz crackers were the keys to successful broccoli transformation. The recipe was simple but the results were extraordinary.
If you were lucky enough have grown up eating home made cheesy vegetable casseroles, you know exactly what I'm talking about. All it takes is brief walk past the Velvetta cheese display at the grocery store and I'm instantly transported back to my childhood and Easter dinners with my family gathered around a table filled with ham, potatoes, freshly baked rolls and of course broccoli cheese casserole.
There's absolutely no point in trying to compete with my moms beloved broccoli casserole but I have a feeling that this recipe for Three Cheese Broccoli and Cheese Casserole will appeal to an entirely different audience than the Velvetta version. It's not that I don't think that children will like this recipe, I just feel like it appeals to a more mature and refined palate. Broccoli and cheese casserole for grown ups - if you will. I'll never stop craving my moms version - just adding this to my vegetable repertoire as well.
Three Cheese Broccoli Casserole
3/4 cup panko
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
6 Tablespoons butter
2 pounds broccoli florets
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons flour
3 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped American cheese
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Bake 15 minutes at 400. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
This is the stuff that makes summer cook-out memorable. Broccoli casserole goes with everything from burgers and fried chicken to apple stuffed pork tenderloin medallions like the ones in the picture. I don't think that this dish was ever intended to be picnic fare but I think broccoli casserole tastes even better when eaten outside on paper plates - old school. Fancy or casual - broccoli casserole is just about the most perfect side dish.
Like my page on facebook.
Follow me on Instagram