Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Cheesy Broccoli Bacon Potato Bake

Very sad news this weekend for a nearby community that the St. Albert Cheese Factory burned down. St. Albert orange mild cheddar is a staple in our house and I occasionally spring for a bag of their cheese curds as well as a snack food for the kids or if we're going to make poutine. Here's a picture of the uniquely Canadian delicacy we made a few weeks ago with homemade fries, gravy from a mix and their fresh cheese curds.

At the grocery store tonight the clerk restocking the St. Albert cheese section said the product was selling very quickly. She said a woman came in just before me and bought over $200 worth of St. Albert cheese since the news reports are saying that it would take about a year for the factory to be up and running again.

So with cheese on my mind and a big bag of broccoli florets in the fridge I decided to go with a simple, yummy, not-so-healthy casserole including many of our favourite ingredients. How yummy was it? So yummy that my kids tried to pick out the bacon and cheesy broccoli bits straight from the cooking dish before their dad got home, and so yummy that there are no leftovers.

Cheesy Broccoli Bacon Potato Bake
adapted from this recipe 

  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 small onion 
  • 2 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar + extra to sprinkle on top if you like cheese. We like cheese.
  1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Fry 5 slices of bacon. Remove bacon, and drain some bacon grease into a clean bowl. Crumble the bacon once it's cool to the touch. 
  3. In remaining bacon grease, fry onions for 1-2 minutes, add potatoes and broccoli, adding back some bacon grease if needed. Saute until fairly tender. Add in the crumbled bacon and remove from heat.
  4.  Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour, cook for a bit, and then slowly whisk in the milk. While continually stirring, bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the shredded cheese until it's all melted. Add black pepper to taste. I don't add any extra salt since the cheese and bacon are already both quite salty.
  5. Put the sauteed vegetables and crumbled bacon into a greased casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce on top.
  6. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes. If you're aiming for a super cheesy dish, around the 20 min mark sprinkle on extra shredded cheese.

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