Old School Broccoli Casserole

This is another one of my mom’s recipes for something that always seems to make an appearance around the holidays.  While it may not be the best thing for you, it’s really tasty and easy to make.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 (14 oz.) bags frozen broccoli florets
  • 32 oz. Velveeta cheese, melted
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
  • Ritz crackers, crushed – for topping

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Blanch the frozen broccoli in boiling water, strain and set aside in a large mixing bowl
  • Melt the Velveeta and butter – you can either do this in a sauce pan over medium heat or in the microwave
  • Pour the cheese and butter mixture over the cooked broccoli and stir
  • Season the beaten eggs with salt, pepper and garlic powder, add it to the mixture and combine well
  • Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish and top with the crushed Ritz crackers
  • Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes – 1 hour (cover with aluminum foil for half the time)
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Baked Stuffed Shrimp

Rumor has it (i.e. my mother thinks) that this is the Twin Oaks recipe for baked stuffed shrimp.  Whosever recipe this is has done something right, because it’s delicious.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. large shrimp (U8-12), deveined with the tails still on
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 tsp white wine
  • Optional: 1/8 cup (2 tbsp) parmesan cheese, powdered
  • Optional: 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a saute pan – add in the chopped onion and cook until translucent, then add in the garlic and white wine and cook until the garlic is fragrant, but not burned
  • Add in the breadcrumbs and crushed Ritz crackers and combine well
  • If you want to add in the parmesan cheese and/or fresh parsley, do so now and stir well
  • Using a spoon, stuff the split side of the shrimp with as much stuffing as it will hold
  • Line the shrimp up with the tail upright and the un-split side down in a baking dish with high sides and bake at 375°F for approximately 20 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked and the stuffing is browned on top

Baked Stuffed Mushrooms

These stuffed mushrooms are by far the best ones I’ve ever had.  To make them, I combined my mom’s recipe with the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe – the result was the ultimate baked stuffed mushroom.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 links of sausage (I used one sweet and one hot), removed from the casing
  • Approximately 25 large stuffing mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of scallions (about 8 chutes), finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2/3 cup crushed Ritz crackers (1/2 of a sleeve)
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup powdered parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 5 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Marsala wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Clean the mushrooms and remove all of the stems
  • Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tbsp of olive oil and 3 tbsp of Marsala wine – set aside
  • Finely chop all of the mushroom stems and set aside
  • In a large saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute the loose sausage meat – make sure you keep separating the meat with a spoon so it doesn’t clump together
  • Once the sausage is browned, add in the chopped mushroom stems and 2 tbsp of butter and saute until the mushrooms have given off their liquid and they’re tender
  • Add in the scallions and saute for a few minutes
  • Add in the pressed garlic and saute for an additional minute or so
  • Stir in the Ritz cracker crumbs and panko breadcrumbs and thoroughly coat them with the mixture
  • Add in the mascarpone cheese and stir until the mixture is creamy (if you want a drier consistency, feel free to add in more panko)
  • Lastly, off the heat, stir in the parmesan cheese
  • Now, you’re ready to stuff your mushrooms!
  • Stuff each mushroom with a heaping amount of stuffing
  • Snugly line up your stuffed mushrooms in a baking dish
  • Bake at 325°F for 50 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the tops are browned