Monday, September 22, 2008

Changing Seasons

Summer is my favorite season. It's warm outside, the sun shines, and there are so many different kinds of seasonal fruit to choose from. Today, the calendar has caught up to what I've been thinking for the last week or so: summer is over. The leaves are falling in our yard, the heat is on in the mornings, and I've started cooking more cold-weather food. (Since we don't have air conditioning, I try not to use the oven in the summer.)

Last night we had one of our favorite casseroles, Broccoli Rice Casserole. DH and I first tasted this at Threadgill's Restaurant in Austin, Texas. In Austin, you can buy the casserole at the grocery store. Once we left Austin, we had to make it ourselves. I finally picked up a copy of the Threadgill's cookbook a few years ago, and cut the recipe down to manageable size (which is why there are weird amounts like 2/3 can of soup). I usually bake this in a 9x13 pan:

Threadgill's Broccoli And Rice Casserole
1.5 cups long grain rice [uncooked]
1 Tb butter
2/3 cup diced onion
2 heads broccoli, chopped medium-coarse (use flowerets and softer part of stalk)
1/3 cup cold water
2/3 lb Velveeta, cut in 3/4-inch cubes
1 can sliced water chestnuts
6 oz mushrooms, sliced
2/3 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)

Cook rice and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, melt butter and sauté onion. Add water and broccoli to skillet. Cook over medium heat [covered], stirring occasionally until broccoli is slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in cheese, water chestnuts, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, and cooked rice. Place mixture in covered casserole dish and bake for about 25 minutes. Stir and bake 25 more minutes.

Adapted from Threadgill's: The Cookbook, by Eddie Wilson

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