This dish has been served every year at my holiday dinner table, I double the recipe and sometimes even triple depending on how many people I have at my table, there is never anything left and I always receive rave reviews all around! --- two small cloves fresh minced garlic may also be added in and sauteed for one minute in butter before adding in the flour--- you will also find this recipe on my food blog http://kittencalskitchen.com/2009/09/15/blue-cheese-broccoli-bake/
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1⁄2 cup blue cheese, crumbled (for a milder blue cheese flavor reduce to 1/4 cup)
- 1 cup milk or 1 cup half-and-half
- fresh ground black pepper (optional and to taste)
- 1 1⁄2 cups Ritz cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- Set oven to 350°F.
- Grease a medium casserole dish.
- Steam broccoli florets until firm-tender (about 2-3 minutes) drain well then pat dry with paper towels.
- In a large saucepan melt 2 tbsp butter over med-low heat; add in flour and stir for 1 minute.
- Add cream cheese, blue cheese and milk; stir over low heat until melted and smooth, then add/stir in broccoli.
- Mix 6 tbsp melted butter with the cracker crumbs until well combined.
- Stir in 1 cup cracker mixture into the broccoli mixture.
- Season with black pepper if desired.
- Pour mixture into a casserole dish.
- Cover with foil or a lid and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven then sprinkle the top with remaining cracker crumbs.
- Return to oven and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
How do you improve upon perfection? You can't! All I can do is offer a tip to getting there easier. For the Ritz cracker crumbs -- 1 and 1/2 cups of crumbs is exactly one tube of Ritz crackers. Just squeeze the package with your hands and voila -- instant crumbs. Excellent dish! Thanks.
Served this with a standing rib roast, a cranberry-pomegranate pork tenderloin, Kittencal's Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, and a cranberry pecan spinach salad for Christmas Dinner. Outstanding. The blue cheese complemented the other dishes perfectly and was not overpowering for those who think they do not like blue cheese. The blue cheese adds just enough flavor interest to this dish. I did use bread crumbs instead of crackers, a personal preference. Also, I made the dish the day before, and then baked it just prior to serving. (I think I pulled it out of the fridge a bit before baking to let it start coming to room temp.) Our guests were none the wiser, so for those planning a big meal, add this to your list of make ahead sides. I have since made this a second time using Parmesean cheese instead of blue, as I am taking it to an Italian themed dinner party. After a taste (how could I resist?), I really like the Parmasean, too.
this was seriously AMAZING. my 5-year old son who I have a hard time feeding veggies said "Mommy, can you make like 10 batches of this next week!" I thought that was so cute. & my husband said wow, this is seriously "happy" food. we served with Broiled salmon, delish