Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Broccoli Gratin

I've been on a personal quest.

I have a subscription to the Food Network Magazine, yet how often do I make recipes from the magazine? I'd prefer not to answer that. But if you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I've recently been trying to rectify this situation.

So when I wanted to make a quick side dish one day, I shirked my trusty computer's Bookmarks folders and instead picked up my Food Network binder. This happens to be exactly what it sounds like: a binder where I've gathered Food Network Magazine recipes that I want to make. I ran across a Brussels Sprouts Gratin recipe that called for a few non-standard items I already had on hand: heavy cream and breadcrumbs. And who doesn't love using up items that are already in the kitchen?

Unfortunately, I have come to realize that in spite of my repeated attempts to like brussels sprouts, this just may not happen. In light of this, I quickly swapped in broccoli for the sprouts and all was right again in my world.

Broccoli Gratin
adapted from Food Network Magazine's Brussels Sprouts Gratin recipe

Print Recipe
  • ~1 1/2 lbs broccoli
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Italian style but any kind should do)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
  • Butter or Pam (or similar cooking spray) for the dish
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2) Spray the bottom of a 1-1/2 qt baking dish with cooking spray or coat with butter, as desired.

3) Place the broccoli in salted, boiling water for 3-4 minutes, or until tender.

4) Drain the broccoli and chop into bite-sized pieces. Add the broccoli to the baking dish.

5) Add the red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper to taste. Toss to coat, then spread the broccoli out evenly in the dish.

6) Pour the cream on top of the broccoli, then sprinkle with the cheese and breadcrumbs.

7) Add the pieces of butter on top of the broccoli.

8) Bake the dish until the dish is bubbly and the cheese is melted through, ~15 minutes.

In my version, I opted to take a shortcut and use canned breadcrumbs. Don't. My breadcrumbs provided great flavor, but the texture was more like dust. These breadcrumbs would be fine in a meatloaf, but take the time to make homemade breadcrumbs for this dish.

Beside that little hiccup, I have to say I really enjoyed this. I love broccoli, so I was already one step ahead of the game. After adding some butter, heavy cream and cheese to the mix, this dish just became a new "go-to" item for me.

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