Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Roasting Veggies for Other Uses

on May 18, 2013

This isn’t really a recipe per se but more of a way to help eliminate a problem in certain recipes.

Those of you who have tried my chicken and broccoli recipe are aware that the broccoli leaves a watery residue in the bottom of the pan. It’s not icky, I just find it annoying and it waters down that luscious cheese sauce.

Last week I decided to put together a simple casserole using some leftover ham, rice, eggs, milk, cheese, broccoli and mushrooms. I knew the broccoli and mushrooms would leave liquid behind as they cooked so I decided to try and circumvent the problem.

Admittedly, this dirties some extra pans but I’ve never been shy about making a mess of the kitchen lol. Jene is blessedly patient with me and just sighs and cleans up after me.

So… I preheated the oven to 500F. I put about 12 ounces of frozen broccoli on a cookie sheet and lightly drizzled it with olive oil. I could have just tossed the sliced mushrooms on the sheet at this point and called it good. However, I wanted the mushrooms to have some extra flavor so I took another step with them.

Mushrooms went into a saute pan with a tablespoon of butter, a 1/4 cup of freeze dried shallots and a splash of white wine. When they had released most of their water, but not all. I added them to the sheet pan and spread them evenly among the broccoli.

Then I put the whole thing in the oven and roasted them for about 10 minutes (maybe 15, I wasn’t watching the clock). I pulled them out when the broccoli was still firm and bright green but starting the caramelize. At this point, the moisture had been cooked off and the mushrooms had released the last of their moisture.

The results were excellent. There was no wateriness in the casserole at all. It came out with tender veggies and not the least soggy. In addition, the roasting process added another layer of flavor. I will be doing this roasting process again when I make Chicken and Broccoli later this weekend.

And just because some people might wonder… here’s a rough recipe for the casserole I made. I didn’t measure anything so please forgive me for it being a big vague.

Ham, Veggie and Rice Casserole Stuff

5 cups diced ham (this was leftover from a ham I’d baked earlier that week)

5-6 cups cooked rice

6 eggs (i think)

1/2 – 1 cup milk

2-3 cups grated cheese (I used colby jack but cheddar would work well too)

10-12 ounces sliced mushrooms

12 ounces frozen broccoli

1/4 cup freeze dried shallots (or 2 fresh shallots finely minced)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 pan. Prepare the broccoli and mushrooms as described above. Mix everything except the eggs, milk and cheese together in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, milk and cheese together in a separate bowl, then mix into the rest of the ingredients. If your rice is freshly cooked and still hot, mix fast so that the eggs don’t curdle. Mix in some black pepper or other spices as you choose. I used Penzeys Mural of Flavor for seasoning. It doesn’t really need salt because of the ham.

Spread the mixture into the baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes or until everything is bubbly and it starts to brown on top. I didn’t actually look at a clock to see for sure how long this was.

For someone who’s supposed to be sharing recipes, I’m not very good at writing them down!

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