From My Carolina Home

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Squash Broccoli Casserole

Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and I am sure those of us in the US are getting our shopping lists ready and our tables set.   This really is my favorite holiday, in the thick of the holiday spirit with good food and family, football and friends.  My mother and I loved to cook together for this holiday.  Some things cannot be changed, though, we have to have turkey and dressing, and jellied cranberry sauce that shows the imprint of the can on the side.  We might change the dressing/stuffing recipe from year to year, make a pumpkin cake roll for dessert instead of pie, but the thing we liked to mess with most was the side dish.  Few usually care about the vegetable, so why not make it more memorable.  Steamed broccoli will do if we run out of time, but where’s the fun in that?  A few weeks ago I was in the kitchen with some inspiration, and made this dish.  It was a hit with the dinner party that weekend, and I thought the perfect time to show it to you was right before Thanksgiving. You know, it would make a great vegetarian entree too.

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Begin by gathering the ingredients.  Have I ever told you that this is called setting up a mis-en-place?  It is so you have everything at hand when you begin.

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Split the squash in half length-wise, remove the seeds, and place cut side down in a roasting pan. Roast the spaghetti squash at 350 degrees for one hour, then let cool for a bit so you can handle it. Rake the pulp into a bowl with a fork.

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Saute onion and leek in a pan with olive oil until translucent.

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Chop cooked broccoli, I sometimes use the leftovers from another meal.

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Mix egg with ricotta in a bowl.

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Add salt, pepper, and the sauteed onions and leeks.

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Mix until well incorporated.

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Add squash and broccoli and mix well.

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Pour into a baking dish, top with cheeses.  If you want to make it a day ahead, refrigerate at this point.  Let it come back to room temperature before proceeding, or put the casserole in a cold oven and add some time to the baking to allow for the oven warm up.

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and cheeses are lightly browned and melty. Guests dug into this so fast I almost didn’t get a finish photo!

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Yum!  It was definitely a hit, and would work wonderfully for Thanksgiving.

Spaghetti Squash Broccoli Casserole

1 3-lb to 3-1/2-lb spaghetti squash
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large leek
1 tablespoon olive oil
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 cup cooked chopped broccoli
4 oz grated Mozzarella cheese
2 oz grated Parmesan cheese

Split the squash in half length-wise, remove the seeds, and place cut side down in a roasting pan. Roast the spaghetti squash at 350 degrees for one hour, then let cool for a bit so you can handle it. Rake the pulp into a bowl with a fork. Saute onion and leek in a pan with olive oil until translucent. Mix egg with ricotta. Add salt, pepper, onions and leeks. Mix until well incorporated. Add squash and broccoli and mix well. Pour into a baking dish, top with cheeses. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and cheeses are lightly browned and melty. Enjoy!

Winter Veggie Side Dish Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Download the pdf recipe – Squash Broccoli Casserole

One more thing, my turkey is in the refrigerator defrosting since Saturday. I’ll be brining it again this year. If you’d like to see how that is done, I posted it last November. Click on How to Brine and Bake a Moist Succulent Turkey. You need to get the turkey defrosted by Wednesday to start, it usually takes 4-5 days in the refrigerator to slowly defrost.  If you don’t have that kind of time, give it a head start on your counter for about 12 hours first, then finish in the frig.

What do you have as your vegetable dish with your holiday dinner?

 

Sharing

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17 Comments

Lightening Up a Comfort Food Dish – Chicken Mornay

When I was in high school, my mother worked as a manager at a local hotel.  She would frequently let me come and have dinner in the restaurant while she was on duty.  They had a dish on the menu I used to get all the time, and haven’t made in years.  Of course, their version was full of fat, and not something I  would want to do today unless some changes were made.

Chicken Broccoli Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

When I scored these individual gratin dishes (aren’t they wonderful with the vegetable motif?), I started thinking about how I could use them. Maybe I could re-invent that mornay. I had just what I needed in the frig.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

I stirred olive oil and flour together in a pot, replacing the butter likely in the original.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

Heating it to boiling, stirring constantly to make a roux.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

Add 2% milk, stirring constantly until thickened, replacing the whole milk and cream used in the original recipe. Add shredded cheese to complete the cheese sauce.  Add salt and pepper.  You could use a low-fat version to further reduce the fat.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

I sprayed the dish with no-stick spray, and placed a piece of sourdough toast in the bottom.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

On top, I placed sliced cooked chicken.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

Then chopped broccoli from last night’s dinner.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

Top with the cheese sauce…

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

then shredded cheese. I used Monterrey Jack and Cheddar.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees, until bubbly and cheese is melted and golden, slightly browned.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

Place the hot gratin dish on a plate for serving, and eat it right out of the baking dish. It stays nicely hot all through the meal.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

The toast on the bottom stays nicely crispy, the perfect counter to the creamy sauce. Great for leftover chicken or turkey, with broccoli or even asparagus.  Yum!

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

Chicken Mornay

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese, Monterrey Jack and Cheddar
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, or to taste
Cooking spray
2 slices bread, toasted
1 cup cooked chicken
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese blend

Make the sauce by heating olive oil in a pan, add the flour stirring constantly. Cook one minute, making sure to stir well until it bubbles and all the lumps are gone. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Spray two individual gratin dishes with cooking spray. Place a piece of toast in the bottom of each one. Divide the chicken evenly between the two dishes, and repeat with the broccoli. Pour 1/2 the sauce on each gratin, then top each one with half the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve immediately in the gratin dishes. Serves 2. Enjoy!

Chicken Broccoli Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

Do you have a recipe for individual baking dishes like these?

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home