This is a recipe I obtained from the Dietician that was employed by my family in Milan, Tennessee. It is always a hit and even Jody, that does not really like broccoli, really enjoys this one!
4 to 5 broccoli crowns
1 large onion, diced
2 pounds of mushrooms, your choice
1 bulb of garlic
½ to 1 pound of bacon fried to a crisp and chopped fine
1 pound cheddar cheese shredded
½ to 1 stick of butter
4 tablespoons of flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chicken Broth for blanching the broccoli
2 cups of half and half or heavy whipping cream
2 cups of Crushed Ritz Crackers or Goldfish Crackers
Using a large pot, place the broccoli crowns and diced onion in and cover with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and blanch until tender. Remove and strain through a colander and let sit. When cool, place in food processor and process until lightly minced.
In another deep skillet or sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the minced garlic to bring out the sweetness of the garlic. Place the wiped off mushrooms in to reduce over low heat. This makes a great mushroom stock for the casserole also.
When mushrooms have reduced to half, take some of the broth and mix in a small bowl with the flour to make a slurry. I generally roast the flour in the oven for about 5 minutes or in another pan on the stove top before making the slurry. That takes the pasty taste out of the dish.
Add the slurry to the mushrooms and let thicken a bit. Keep stirring as you do not want it to burn.
Add the 2 cups of cream and let it thicken a bit.
Now it’s time to create the casserole!
In a large bowl, add the broccoli and onions, 2 eggs, cheddar cheese and mix. When ready, add the mushroom white sauce to the mix, slowly as you do not want the eggs to cook all the way just yet. Add half the crushed crackers and fold in.
Butter up a 9 by 11 deep dish casserole dish and add the mixture to it. Top with the rest of the cracker crumbs and place in 350 degree oven until it is bubbly, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Serve hot or cold! Without the crackers this makes an excellent broccoli dip for the table by adding a quart of sour cream to the finished dish.
For a shortcut, replace the mushroom white sauce with a can of cream of mushroom soup, the fresh broccoli with the frozen in the bag broccoli.
“The Picture is a small family dinner here in Houston”