Cheesy Broccoli Bake with Kraft Shredded Cheese and Philadelphia Cream Cheese

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At the NRA Show (National Restaurant Association Show) in May I saw Chef Marc Murphy make a dish featuring #EverydayDairy ingredients and broccoli.  Since we absolutely love broccoli, the Buy $15 save $5 sale at Dominick’s was the perfect reason to give it a go.  Everything dairy I needed was on sale, like Kraft Shredded Cheese and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  We tend to eat our vegetables plain so adding an extra level of flavor is a good change.  Sometimes steamed broccoli gets a tad boring, sadly not all of us like eating fresh broccoli.  So, this recipe is a perfect way to add some extra variety to our dinner table!

Before I moved to Chicago, I lived in the Seattle area and right down the street from a Lucerne dairy.  I grew to love Lucerne products while living there and shopping at Safeway.  I was so glad to learn when I moved away, that here in Chicago Dominick’s carries Lucerne products too.  Next to making my own cottage cheese, my absolute favorite brand is Lucerne.

For this reason, I shop at Dominick’s at least once a week.  Even though Lucerne products aren’t part of the Buy $15, Save $5 sale, I still found exactly what I needed to make my recipe.  You can check out the rest of my shopping trip in my Google+ album.

Cheesy Broccoli Bake is a great way to get your family to eat their veggies and get more dairy into their diet.  This recipe uses three cheeses, butter and milk.  It also works with either high fat or low fat ingredients.  Turns out great either way.  It was a hit, two pounds of broccoli and it was almost entirely devoured during dinner!

Cheesy Broccoli Bake

2 pounds broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash and cut broccoli into bite sized pieces.  Remember to peel and slice the stem too.  Place in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven 15-20 minutes.  Broccoli will still be firm, but able to be pierced with a fork.

To make the rue, melt the butter in a large pot and when melted add flour, whisking to combine.  Continue whisking for a full minute and slowly pour in milk, continuing to whisk.  When incorporated, allow mixture to cook until thickened.  When sauce has thickened, turn off heat and whisk in shredded cheddar cheese.  Then add cubes of cream cheese, use an immersion blender or transfer hot liquid carefully to blender and blend until smooth.

By now your broccoli should be roasted, remove from oven, pour some cheese sauce into pan and toss to coat broccoli.  Cover with remaining sauce, dust with bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.

Return to oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until bubbly.  If you’d like it a little more crispy on top, broil 2-4 minutes more.  Remove from oven and serve.

Let me know what your family thinks of this super simple way to dress up broccoli.  It also works great with other veggies.

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