The Meataterian Nightmare
I’ve aptly dubbed this dish the Meataterian Nightmare because it has many of the dreaded veggies that carnivores can’t stand. I modified the original recipe derived from the vegetarian cookbook 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles. In it was a one titled Winter Vegetables for a Crowd. It’s basically a compilation of hearty vegetables smothered in a cheese sauce and baked off in an oven. Simple and easy. Since we’re in the north now I figured it was a good choice as a side dish for Christmas dinner. Having made it once already I added a few twists to suit my personal taste. This recipe is cool because you can throw virtually any vegetable in there that you like.
|3 cups halved Brussels spouts
3 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups pearl onions (or substitute 2 cups chopped white onions)
2 Yukon gold potatoes, chunk chopped
4 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups shredded Gouda
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
|Note: When cutting up the Brussels sprouts remember to cut off the rather tough end of the stalk. It’ll be easier to cook in the end plus you get rid of the first couple of layers of leaves that tend to be a little on the unsavory side in both taste and appearance.|
2. Cook Brussels sprouts, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and onions in boiling water until tender – about 10 minutes.
3. Drain vegetables in a colander and pat dry excess water with a paper towel. Note: This is very crucial in getting this dish right. The sprouts and cauliflower retain a lot of water even when left to drip dry so it is essential that you try to get rid of as much water as possible lest you be left with a runny dish in the end.
4. In a small saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter or margarine over medium high heat. Stir in flour till absorbed. Stir in milk and broth; bring to a boil stirring constantly. Stir in Gouda.
5. Mix vegetables and sauce together with a wooden spoon.
6. In a small saucepan, melt remaining butter or margarine over medium heat. Remove from heat; add the bread crumbs and oregano and stir until the butter or margarine is absorbed.
7. Pour creamed vegetables into a large 3 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle mixture over them evenly. Bake for 30 minutes (uncovered) or until topping is browned.
Alternate: Substitute a Cheddar / Mozzarella mix or Swiss instead of Gouda.