Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Vols, Broccoli-Rice, and BBQ Sauce

The Ex-Ex and I went to Tennessee a couple of weekends ago to see Son #2.  It was Parents Weekend and a good excuse to escape Durham and head over the river and across the mountains.  Oh, and we had two tickets to the football game.

The Vol Boy didn't even go to the game.  His loss.  They won.  But the first half was ugly.  (My daddy, Tommy, loved the half-time shows of college football game-- the marching band more than the game, I think.  He came to games at Appalachian my senior year just for the music!)
I was in the true spirit of things in my new t-shirt, clutching the program the Ex-Ex spent 8 whole dollars to buy for me.

We went to a picnic and broccoli-rice casserole was served.  The Ex-Ex looked at me and said "You could make that."  He's right.  So, I did.  I googled to find a recipe, stumbled upon a new website, Salad in a Jar, and made Paula's recipe.  Absolutely delicious.

I used to hate the prep work behind recipes.  Now, I love it.  I don't care about making messes or cleaning up.  I just find it very relaxing.  So, chopping up mushrooms, celery, onions and mincing garlic aren't bothersome to me.

I made the casserole and grilled pork chops for the Ex-Ex.  Bull City Burger and Brewery now bottles their sauces and that just seemed the perfect main course for the meat lover I live with.

I didn't even ask him to fire up the "real" grill.  I did them on my cast iron grill that fits over the gas burners on the stove.

He pronounced the meal the best he'd had in a while.  Go me!!  I love happy eaters.  Especially those who eat seconds of broccoli-rice casserole.

Broccoli-Rice Casserole (no canned soup)
from Paula at Salad in a Jar
serves 10

4 c. (10 oz) fresh broccoli florets and stems, chopped (stems should be very finely chopped)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
3/4 c. minced mushrooms
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
12-oz. can 2% or regular evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (you can use any cheese you like- I used Cheddar and Monterey Jack)
1 1/4 c. cooked rice (I used brown rice, not the instant kind)

Steam or microwave (about 3 minutes on high) chopped broccoli and stems until tender but still bright green. Squeeze lemon over broccoli.
Melt butter in skillet.  Add onions, garlic, celery, and mushrooms and sauté until softened.  Stir in flour and cook about one minute to take away the raw flour taste.  Whisk in milk and continue whisking until slightly thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add 1 1/2 c. cheese and stir to melt.  Remove from heat.
Combine broccoli, rice, and cheese sauce.  Turn into 1 1/2 quart greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. cheese.  Bake at 350˚ until bubbly, about 30-40 minutes.

Bon appétit and Go Vols!

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