I love when I am able to recreate foods that bring me back to childhood. Rice-a-roni was a favorite side dish of mine while growing up. Actually it still is, but as we are always making efforts to cook with less processed and more fresh foods, I’m happy when I come across knock-off recipe’s that allow me to pull that off. This dish was rich, full of flavor and passed the ‘seconds test’ from my husband ;) My kids happen to love broccoli, but for those that don’t, this a great way to sneak it in. I served this as a side to these Baked Parmesan Pork Chops which were also outstanding. Just be careful not to over cook them as I almost did!
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing pan
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and a few cracks fresh black pepper
2 + 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used only 2C and it was plenty)
1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 cups cooked rice ( I used brown)
2 -3 cups cooked broccoli florets
Grease a 9×13-inch casserole pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large saucepan melt the butter over low heat; add garlic and saute until fragrant.
Whisk in flour and cook 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly.
Slowly whisk in milk, mustard and season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer 4 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese and parmesan; stir until mostly melted; remove from heat.
Stir in rice and broccoli florets, pour into casserole pan, sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over top.
Bake 30 minutes until bubbly and lightly golden on top. Allow to set 5 minutes before serving.