Broccoli cheese casserole

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WOW! This is definitely a grown up version of a comfort food I loved as a kid. As I have already said, I do not like Velveeta or cheese whiz (which many of these recipes have). This packs a ton of flavor with real cheese ingredients. It is not dry and not over wet. It is really as perfect combination. It is a also a great way to use leftover rice.

 

1 leek, cleaned and trimmed white parts only

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 shallot, diced

1 large head fresh broccoli, trimmed

4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon mustard powder

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups cooked white rice – leftover works great

2 cups milk

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, diced small or shredded

3 tablespoons cream cheese

1/2 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed

 

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the broccoli florets. Boil 3-5 minutes. Drain well and allow to drain in a strainer while preparing the rest so that all of the water is removed.

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In a saucepan, melt the butter and cook the onion, shallot, and leek for 5-10 minutes or until soft but not caramelized. Add the dry mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir well.

Add the flour. Mix well. Slowly add in the milk stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook while stirring 2-3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Stir constantly until melted. Remove from the heat.

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In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, rice, and cheese sauce. Mix fully. Pour this into a prepared 8×10 casserole pan. Top with the crushed Ritz crackers. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until top is just browned.

 

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