Introduction: OVEN BAKED BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER IN CHEESE SAUCE WITH SMOKED SAUSAGES
Although I have added slices of Kiolbassa's Jalapeno Beef Smoked Sausage to this recipe it is one of the most versatile recipes that I have ever created. You don't have to use sausage flavored with Jalapeno Peppers; you can use plain smoked sausage, or Chirico, or Kielbasa, sausage. If you don't like sausage, you can make the casserole with cooked chicken or pork cut into pieces or strips. If you are a vegetarian, you can make the recipe without meat; try adding 8 ounces of your favorite mushrooms - just stir fry them along with the garlic and onions. I have used the Jalapeno flavored smoked sausages because "I Like it Hot!"
Step 1: INGREDIENTS (3 Servings)
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CASSEROLE:
- 2 cups fresh Broccoli Florets
- 2 cups fresh Cauliflower Florets
- 1 TBS Olive Oil (I like Bertolli's Extra Light Tasting Oil)
- 2 Shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 or 4 cloves Garlic, smashed, peeled, and finely chopped
- 3 links Kiolbassa Jalapeno Beef Smoked Sausage (or about 9 to 10 ounces of sausage of your choice) cut on a bias into approximately 1/4" slices (maybe just a little thicker).
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
- *Cheese Sauce (recipe below)
- 1/4 teaspoon each dried, Rosemary, Tarragon & Thyme
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced Almonds
INGREDIENTS FOR THE *CHEESE SAUCE
- 1 TBS Unsalted Butter
- 1 TBS Flour
- 1 cup Milk (I used Almond Milk)
- 1-1/2 cups cubed Velveeta Cheese cut into 1/2" size (I used Velveeta Jalapeno Cheese, but you can use any cheese of your choosing).
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt (I used Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (I used Splenda)
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Smoked Paprika
(This is Velveeta's Cheese Sauce Recipe before they started packaging Cheese Sauces separately; however, I changed the recipe butter to unsalted butter, the milk from 2% fat regular milk to regular almond milk, the table sugar to Splenda, thus saving a little over 40 calories per serving - and making it healthier)!
Step 2: PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat a 9"x 9" ceramic or glass baking dish with cooking oil spray and set aside.
- Steam the Broccoli and Cauliflower over salted water for 3 or 4 minutes, or until just crisp-tender; then drain and place them in the baking dish and set aside.
Make the Cheese Sauce:
Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat.
- Remove from heat when butter has melted and slowly whisk in flour until mixture is smooth. Gradually add in milk.
- Return pan to heat and bring mixture to a bowl while constantly stirring (I don't know whether it was my stove or the fact that I used Almond Milk, but I had to increase the temperature to medium until the mixture began to boil; otherwise, I might have been stirring it for a long, long, time)!
- As soon as it starts to boil, add in the cubed cheese and continue to stir until completely melted. Remove pan from heat; add seasonings, cover, and set aside. (Keep pan on back of stove if possible, so as to keep it warm).
Stir-fry Sausage, garlic & shallots, and add to baking dish:
- Add 1 TBS Olive Oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
- When the oil becomes hot, saute the sausage until 1st side just begins to brown; then flip sausage and repeat process.
- As soon as both sides of the sausage are just slightly browned, turn heat down to medium and stir in the garlic and shallots and continue to stir fry for another minute or two,or just until onion becomes translucent.
- Remove sausage, garlic & onion mixture and add to baking dish.
- Stir in spices, toss sausage & vegetables to mix thoroughly, pour cheese sauce over everything, sprinkle with Smoked Paprika and top with shredded Parmesan.
Step 3: DIRECTIONS
- Cover baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
- Uncover casserole and continue to bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown (do no overcook; to avoid vegetables from becoming "mushy" you can switch from oven heat to "broil" and quickly brown the cheese if necessary (I do this by simply leaving the uncovered baking dish on the center rack - no need to raise it up).
Remove from heat; top with toasted almonds, serve!
Step 4: TIME TO EAT . . .
A hot dish for a cold night! Freshly steamed broccoli and cauliflower served with smoked sausage in a creamy cheese sauce along with a slice of homemade skillet cornbread and a glass of Barefoot's California Riesling wine (and yes, those are ice cubes in the wine glass; I like my white wine chilled and my refrigerator is not large enough to hold a 1.75 liter bottle of wine so I chill the glass and add the ice cubes)!
Remember, "Some Like it Hot!"
Step 5: NUTRITION
I have calculated the nutrition of this recipe to the best of my ability using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Analyzer. According to this analysis, the broccoli and sausage mixture contains approximately461calories per serving, and it appears that the Velveeta Cheese Sauce will add an additional 149 per serving.
calories per serving