Friday, January 23, 2009

Broccoli-Cheddar Puff and an Award!

Does anyone else have recipes in their recipe box/binder that they know they want to make someday but just never get around to actually doing it? Well, that sums up this recipe for me. I have a big binder that I keep all of the recipes I've found that I know I want to try someday. This recipe has been in my binder for years and years (it's so old, I have no idea where I got it). It just looks and sounds like something I'd love. But... I'd never gotten around to making it.

So I finally decided that I needed to make it already! I usually stick to easy side dishes that I can whip together in a hurry. I think that's why I kept passing over this one. It is rather time consuming and something you need to plan ahead for. But it's perfect for company and will certainly end up being the star of your meal. And I absolutely love the bright colors - the greens and yellows look so delicious.

So... bookmark this recipe and try it one of these days! Even if it takes you a year or two, it'll be worth it!

Broccoli-Cheddar Puff

5 Tbsp. butter or margarine
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 and 1/4 cups whole milk
8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
2 boxes (10 oz. each) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and squeezed dry
7 large eggs, separated
1 and 1/2 cups coarse soft fresh bread crumbs (from 3 slices firm white bread)

1. In 4-quart saucepan, melt 4 Tbsp. butter over medium-low heat. Stir in flour, salt, and ground red pepper until blended; cook 1 minute, stirring. Gradually stir in milk; cook until mixture boils and thickens, stirring frequently. Stir in Cheddar; cook just until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in broccoli.

2. In small bowl, with fork, lightly beat egg yolks. Stir in about 1/2 cup cheese sauce. Gradually pour egg-yolk mixture into cheese sauce, stirring rapidly to prevent curdling. Cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease shallow 3 and 1/2 quart ceramic casserole dish or 13x9-inch glass baking dish. In microwave-safe small bowl, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in microwave oven on High 15 to 20 seconds or until melted, swirling bowl once. Add bread crumbs; stir until well combined.

4. In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. With rubber spatula, gently fold one third of whites into cheese mixture. Fold cheese mixture gently back into remaining whites.

5. Pour mixture into prepared casserole. Sprinkle crumb mixture on top. Bake 40 minutes or until top is browned and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve immediately.

Now for the award! Allie over at Finding Inspiration in Food was kind enough to pass this award onto me. I'm honored, as I think her site is fantastic. I need to take some tips from her on her great food photography.

There are so many amazing blogs out there, but of course I have a few of my very favorites who I'd like to pass this award along to.

First, Cathy from The Tortefeasor. Her food always looks amazing and her commentary is top notch. I'd love to be able to tell a story even half as well as she does. Thanks for always keeping me laughing, Cathy!

Jaime from Good Eats 'N Sweet Treats deserves this so much! Her food creations are absolutely gorgeous - they look better than most I see in cookbooks and magazines. And she has great taste. I want to try everything she posts!

My dear friend Michelle from Sweet Sensations. She is a very old friend of mine and is one of the kindest, sweetest people I know. Her food creations are also very sweet. You'll be drooling all over your keyboard when you see some of the things she makes.

Thanks again Allie for this award!


Cathy said...

Oh Melissa, this broccoli cheddar puff looks amazing! I think this could totally be a meal in itself! It would be so warm and comforting this time of year!

Congrats on your award -- it is so well deserved! I have yet to read one of your posts and not want to make whatever you are posting about! And you are so sweet to pass it on to me -- thank you so much for your kind words; I am flattered! Have a great weekend!

Jaime said...

wow, i'm so flattered! thank you!! :)

Unknown said...

I have really got to try this out for my family. It looks wonderful.

Donna-FFW said...

Oh my! This looks amazing also! I have to make this as my next side dish!