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Monday, March 22, 2021

Broccoli/Foraged Oyster Mushroom Casserole: Easter Pleaser

Broccoli/Oyster Mushroom Casserole
Broccoli Casserole is one of those dishes that make any holiday special.  Why not make your menu POP with some fresh broccoli and mushrooms, nestled deep inside a creamy and delicious three cheese bath, and garnished with some crispy fried onions?  This time around I was fortunate enough to have some foraged Oyster mushrooms to saute into an earthy, meaty and amazing base along with some fresh button mushrooms for a homemade cream of mushroom Bechamel. This recipe is extra special, since it was the first time I'd found Oyster mushrooms in the wild.   This dish comes together in no time and is perfect with ham, chicken, beef or by itself.  

The original inspiration for bringing broccoli casserole into my cooking repertoire came from my sister Bonnie, who was in turn inspired by Mrs. June Robinson, her beloved late mother in law and the rest is delicious history.  Bonnie never showed me a recipe, but I remember her speaking about it and telling me  how she would prepare the dish for her family, in the manner Mrs. Robinson would prepare hers.  I started making my original form of this dish about 6 years ago, and it quickly became a household favorite, especially for my daughter Genesis, she's quite persnickety in her ways and palate, so when she approved, I accepted that as an indication of a winning dish.  The above featured is a request Genesis made.  She still loved it, even with the addition of the Oyster mushrooms.  

The cheeses for this recipe are key.  I like to use three types, all bringing different facets to this gem of a dish.  Ultimately, the choice is with the culinary artist, so play around with them, see what best fits the tastes of your family.  

Recipe:

6 c. broccoli florets, blanched and shocked

8 oz. sliced button mushrooms

8 oz. sliced Oyster mushrooms

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

1 1/2 c. chicken stock or vegetable stock

8 oz. extra sharp Cheddar, grated

8  oz. Colby and Monterey Jack Cheese, cubed

4 oz. Pepper Jack Cheese, grated

1/2 c. full fat mayonnaise

2 tsp. onion powder

2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

3 tbsp. AP flour

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)

French Fried Onions for garnish, optional

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 375*F.

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, onion powder and cubed Colby Jack and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed  saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter and heat olive oil together until butter is melted and there are small bubbles formed.

Add mushrooms and cook out moisture, about 5 minutes.

Gradually sprinkle in  flour and cook for about 1 minute.

Add garlic.

Whisk in stock and cook for several additional minutes until thickened.

Once thickened, whisk in milk slowly and reduce heat to medium.

Bring Bechamel to a gently rolling simmer and turn off heat.

Stir in Cheddar and Pepper Jack cheeses.

Temper in eggs.

Fold cream of mushroom into bowl containing broccoli mixture.

Pour broccoli mushroom blend into a large greased or nonstick sprayed baking vessel, about 11x9 or approximate size.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 40 minutes or until set and knife inserted comes out clean.

Remove foil and continue to cook until signs of golden color develops, about 10 minutes, give or take.

Garnish with French Fried Onions.

Carefully remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.


Broccoli/Oyster Mushroom Casserole before baking











  

 

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