Posts Tagged ‘broccoli’

Broccoli Cheddar Soup from 101 Cookbooks

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I made a broccoli cheddar soup recipe that I found on another blog, 101 Cookbooks. Though I, personally, am not very fond of broccoli, my husband is a fan. So is our roommate.

Plus, after Thanksgiving, I had another pound of fresh leftover broccoli, and I wanted to use it up.

The recipe looked so pretty. And I was excited about the croutons (which I may have made out of leftover dinner rolls…we are all about the leftovers this week). It also didn’t use velveeta or heavy cream, unlike most of the broccoli cheese soup recipes I came across. Plus, we had a bunch of leftover cheddar, too. This seemed like a place that all that cheese could shine.

The good news is, the cheese did shine in this soup, by the time I was done. If you like broccoli, the original recipe–found here–might very well be your new favorite soup. But me? I had to just about triple the amount of cheese in the soup to make it palatable. I guess that’s what I get for trying to stay on the healthy side of a broccoli cheese soup. The recipe below is what I ended up making. It’s full of delicious, cheesy goodness.

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks; serves 4-6

For the croutons:

  • 5-6 ounce chunk of bread, cut or torn into 1-inch pieces (About 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt 

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
  • 1 large head of broccoli (12 ounces or 3/4 lb.), cut into small florets
  • 2 cups freshly grated aged Cheddar, plus more for grating over the top
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees and place the bread chunks in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, olive oil, and salt, and pour this mixture over the bread pieces.  Toss to coat, then spread the bread out on a baking sheet and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the croutons are golden and crunchy.

While the croutons are toasting heat the remaining olive oil over medium high heat. Stir in the onion and sprinkle with salt. Saute for about two minutes minutes. Next, stir in the diced potatoes, cover, and cook for about four minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Uncover, add the minced garlic and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, check to make sure the potatoes are completely cooked. Once the potatoes are soft enough to eat, stir in the broccoli. Simmer just long enough for the broccoli to get tender throughout, 2 – 4 minutes. The broccoli will turn a lovely bright green color in the pot.

Immediately remove the soup from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Add the two cups of cheddar cheese and the dijon mustard, if using. Stir in about 1/2 a cup of sour cream or creme fraiche. You can adjust the thickness off the soup by adding more water or broth.

Serve sprinkled with croutons and shredded cheese.

Chicken Divan and Egg Noodle Bake

Monday, August 10th, 2009

This recipe is adapted from the Rachel Ray 365 No Repeats Cookbook that I got from mom for my birthday, and highlights one of the cool things about the cookbook. It’s organized around “Master Recipes,” followed by variations on the the theme. The master recipe in this case is a “Wild Cream of Mushroom Egg Noodle Bake, Hold the Canned Soup.” And if you’ve read the blog, pretty much ever, you know that we don’t do mushrooms around here.

Still, I liked the idea of ditching the canned soup and making my own. Even though, a can cream of mushroom soup is the foundation of every casserole, I’m not that big of a fan. It’s gray, and loaded with sodium and just kind of blah. Of course, cream of mushroom casserole doesn’t have much without the mushrooms, so I skipped the “master recipe” and went straight to one of the variations, a Chicken Divan casserole.

Didn’t miss the mushrooms at all, by the way.

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Chicken Divan & Egg Noodle Bake

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup whole milk or cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, diced
  • 4 slices bread, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound egg noodles
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 pound Emmentaler cheese, shredded

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the egg noodles.

2. To make the mushroom sauce: Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, sprinkle in the flour, and cook 1 minute, to cook out the raw taste. Whisk in the chicken stock, bring it all to a bubble, then stir in the milk. Reduce the heat to low and simmer. Season the sauce to taste with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg.

3. To make the casserole, heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the shallots. Cook for one minute, then add the chicken tender pieces and continue cooking until lightly browned and cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low, and let the liquid cook off.

4. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler to high. While the chicken cooks, cook the egg noodles in the boiling water, until al dente. Drain the noodles and return them to the hot pot. Add the cream sauce to the pot and toss the noodles to coat in the sauce.

5. Cook the broccoli in salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and reserve.

6. To make the croutons, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in nonstick skillet. Toss with the bread cubes and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until toasted all around.

7. Lightly coat a casserole dish with softened butter, then transfer the noodles & sauce to the dish and top with the chicken, broccoli, and croutons. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese, and place under the broiler until the cheese melts and is brown at the edges.

Note: This was pretty tasty. I’d probably try it again. I thought that the sauce was a touch on the thin side, and so I baked the casserole, instead of just melting the cheese under the broiler like the recipe suggested. I think the broiler would’ve been the right move, though. It got a little too dried out after baking.

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice Casserole

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

This one is not for my mother. In fact, she should probably just stop reading. She doesn’t eat broccoli, and she doesn’t eat casseroles, and so she’s not going to like the rest of this post very much.

But for everyone else, this is a quick, tasty casserole. Very easy to put together, and pretty tasty. With brown rice and lower fat cheese soup, it’s also a pretty healthy alternative to the normal cheesy broccoli casserole. The layer of stuffing on top adds a nice balance of flavors, seals in the moisture, and also gets just a bit crispy.

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice Casserole

  • 2 cups instant brown rice (I used Minute Rice), prepared without butter
  • 1 can 98% Fat Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  • 2 cups cooked chicken chunks
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 package green giant broccoli with cheese sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 box StoveTop stuffing, prepared with water only
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 quart casserole with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Prepare instant rice according to package directions, omitting fat. Set aside. Microwave broccoli & cheese sauce according to package directions. Set aside. Prepare package of StoveTop stuffing, with water only (omitting the fat).

3. In a medium skillet, saute onions and celery with the olive oil, until tender. Add the rice, soup, package of broccoli & cheese, and shredded cheese and stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes.

4. Remove the dish from the oven and spread the StoveTop mixture across the top of the casserole. Return to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until heated through completely. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note: I only used half a can of soup, but I think it would’ve been better with the whole can, so I’d recommend that. This wasn’t anyhting too special, but I’d probably make it again.

Broccoli and Chicken Stir-Fried Rice

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Tonight, for dinner, I made Chicken Fried Rice with Broccoli. Now if you know me, I know you’re probably thinking:

“Broccoli! Again?”

What can I say? I’m trying to like it. And I’m getting pretty good it. This dish, another from Cooking Light, was easy to make, tasty, and healthy on top of it. As usual, I made some changes to the original, but I was happy with how it turned out. We had potstickers along with the fried rice, for a whole take-out at home scene–but much healthier.

One of the nicest things about this recipe is that it’s designed to use up leftover chicken. Gotta love those shortcuts!

Broccoli & Chicken Stir-Fried Rice
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine; Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  sesame oil
  • 4  cups  broccoli florets (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 cup matchstick cut carrots
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2  cups  cooked brown rice
  • 1  tablespoon  minced garlic
  • 2  teaspoons  minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 2  cooked chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
  • 2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  hoisin sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  rice wine vinegar
  • 1  teaspoon  cornstarch
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt

Preparation

Heat sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, carrots, and onions; sauté for 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup broth; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove broccoli mixture from pan.

Place pan over medium-high heat. Add cooked rice; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli mixture, garlic, ginger, pepper, and chicken; toss well.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Stir in salt.

Note: This was very good, I’m sure we’ll make this again. It basically turned out to be a cross between Chicken & Broccoli in Garlic Sauce and Chicken Fried Rice. As usual, I used Alton Brown’s Baked Brown Rice for the rice in this dish. As I said above, this recipe is great for using up leftover chicken, but I didn’t have any of that, so I used a storebought asian marinade on boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

Monday, January 5th, 2009

My name is Teri, and I don’t like broccoli. At all.

Occasionally, I will tolerate broccoli flavored things. Like cheesy rice. Or cheesy casserole. Or cheesy sauce on a baked potato. Or cheesy soup. You might have noticed a trend, and it’s got very little to do with broccoli.

Still, the Barefoot Contessa cookbook has proven itself again and again, and this glowing review at the Amateur Gourmet gave me the courage to try it (incidentally, I was pleased to see that someone else likes the Back to Basics cookbook as much as I do). But as far as the broccoli goes–guess what? I liked it!

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics

  • 4 to 5 pounds of broccoli (I’m not that crazy! I used about a pound and a half for the three of us)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced (I just minced mine)
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

2. Spread the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until crisp tender, and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

3. Remove the broccoli from the oven and toss with 1 1/2 tablesppoons of olive oil, the lemon zest, the lemon juice, the pine nuts, Parmesan, and Basil. Serve while hot.

I couldn’t believe how tasty this was—it was more like fresh pesto than anything else. The broccoli wasn’t bitter at all, but instead had a dark, nutty flavor. The dressing, with the lemon, oil, and basil really brightened everything up. And of course, what isn’t better with cheese? You know the drill–no green cans. Freshly grated. I’m pretty sure I’ll make this again, especially since we bought a giant bag of broccoli at Costco, and I’m going to have to use that up somehow.