Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Broccoli Rice Casserole

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My Broccoli Rice Casserole is a great side dish, wonderful for the holidays, and perfect for family get-togethers.

I’m using a quick-cooking long-grain white (Basmati) rice because it’s my favorite. You could definitely substitute short-grain rice like Arborio which also would be delicious, it’s a personal preference. I’m also using frozen broccoli florets for this dish.

Most Broccoli Rice Casserole recipes call for sour cream, here I’m substituting Mascarpone cheese because whenever I can add Mascarpone to dishes, sweet or savory, I do.

One other option I’ve added to this recipe is to add a light sprinkling of breadcrumbs over the top of this dish, totally up to you. Let’s get started.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Breadcrumbs

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (2-quart) casserole dish, 1 (3-quart) saucepot, colander, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, aluminum foil, medium-size mixing bowl, large mixing bowl, chef’s knife

Note: One bag of rice makes about 2 cups of cooked rice. I made both bags of rice to ensure I’d have 2 cups of cooked rice.

Ingredients:
1 pound (16 ounces) of frozen broccoli florets, thawed, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups of long-grain white rice, parboiled (Basmati, Success Boil-in-a-bag)
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced (substitute short-grain rice, Arborio rice)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted, extra butter for greasing baking dish
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups of chicken broth/stock, reduced-sodium or unsalted (substitute vegetarian broth)
2 cups of whole milk (substitute 2%)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
2/3 cup of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature (substitute sour cream)
1 cup (8 ounces) of mild Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese mix (substitute sharp cheddar)

Topping: optional
Combine
1/4 cup each of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs and Panko
2 tablespoons of finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley for topping (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by buttering the baking dish and placing it onto a rimmed baking sheet pan. Fill a large pot with water. Submerge the 2 bags of quick-cooking rice. Bring up to a boil, add a pinch of salt, cook the rice, according to box directions, only half the time, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, remove the 2 bags, allow the water to drain, open, and dump the parboiled rice into a medium-size mixing bowl. To the same pot of hot boiling water add the broccoli, stir, for 1 minute, drain into a colander, transfer to a large mixing bowl, set aside.

In the same pot, add the butter, onions, and garlic and sweat them for a few minutes or until translucent (you don’t need to develop any color)n add the flour, stir it all in for a minute then add the milk and stock. Whisk well to get rid of any flour lumps and simmer while stirring the whole time until the mixture thickens.

Add the seasonings, whisk them in to combine really well, then add the 2/3 of the cheese and Mascarpone cheese followed by the partially cooked and drained rice and broccoli.

Give everything a big stir (at this point the mixture is runny and that’s exactly what you want because the rice will soak up the sauce as it cooks) pour into the buttered baking dish, cover with foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the foil, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese (this would be the time to add the seasoned breadcrumb mixture over the top if desired) place back into the oven, and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot. There you have it my Broccoli Rice Casserole.

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Updated-Zuppa Toscana Soup With Homemade Parmesan Croutons

Tuscan Soup With Parrmesan Croutons

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This soup is one you’ll have to try, it’s my Updated-Tuscan Soup With Homemade Parmesan Croutons.

Filled with chicken sausage, potatoes, and kale, and topped with homemade croutons. I decided to make a lighter version, instead of pork sausage, I’m using chicken sausage here but, turkey sausage would be just as delicious. The heavy cream added just at the end gives a touch of silkiness to the soup.

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Below is a picture of Tuscan Soup With Homemade Croutons by my daughter, Melissa. She made it her own by using an Italian-style vegan sausage and substituted spinach for the kale.

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Let’s start with the potatoes.

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Kale

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Homemade Ciabatta Croutons (3)

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Homemade Croutons

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, large mixing bowl, 6-quart stockpot, Serrated knife

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds chicken sausage (substitute pork or turkey), casings removed
6 large red potatoes, sliced thin, then cut into half-moons (as seen above)
2 bunches of organic kale, chopped (8 to 10 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package of frozen yellow corn, drained and thawed
1 yellow onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-quarts chicken broth, unsalted
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:
Prepare the Potatoes:
In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the sliced potatoes. Par-boil sliced potatoes for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well, transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking prep all the veggies.

In a 6-quart Dutch oven, over medium heat, add olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and fresh rosemary, cook for one minute, until fragrant. Add diced onions and diced red bell peppers, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook and continue stirring for another 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

To the pot, add the chicken sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage. Next, add the dried thyme. Cook sausage until brown, about 15 minutes. Chicken sausage is lean so there is no fat to drain.

Still, on medium heat, add the pre-washed chopped Kale in batches. Once the first batch goes into the pot, stir and combine until wilted. Add the second batch and repeat the process. Add the sliced potatoes, chicken broth, and corn. Stir to combine. Cook for 10 minutes.

Turn the heat down to low, add the heavy cream, stir and simmer for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Cover to keep hot. There you have it my Updated-Zuppa Toscana Soup With Homemade Parmesan Croutons.

Click the link below for my recipe for Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

Zuppa Toscana

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Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

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During the colder months here in Florida, I love making one-pot meals like soups and stews. Chili is definitely one of our favorites. I’ve played around with some recipes and found I like this one the best. It’s easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of prep. The best part is… everything’s done in the slow cooker! This is my Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili.

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Crock Pot

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Cilantro

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: soaking beans overnight
Total  Time:  6 hrs 45 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 7-quart Crockpot, chef’s knife, large mixing bowl, 1 (2-cup) measuring cup

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 pound of dried Great Northern beans, soaked and rinsed
2 ribs of celery, diced and cut into half-moons, include chopped leafy tops
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (4-ounce) cans of  Hatch green chilies, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 quart of chicken stock, unsalted
1 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup Masa
1 (15-ounce) package of frozen corn
2 limes, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges for serving
1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated, 1/2 cup reserved for serving
2 avocados, sliced for garnish
Cilantro for garnish
corn tortilla chips for serving

Directions:
The night before, pour 1 pound of dried Great Northern beans into a large mixing bowl. Cover the beans, by 3 inches, with water, cover, and place on the counter. The next day, drain and rinse the beans to remove any excess starch.

Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the cumin, coriander, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, white pepper, and Kosher salt. Sprinkle the spices over the chicken. Add the beans, celery, garlic, canned chilies, onions, and diced bell pepper.

Pour in the chicken broth, put the lid on and cook on low until the beans are cooked through, about 6 hrs.

Mix the milk with the Masa in a small bowl then add to the slow cooker. Add the frozen corn, straight from the freezer, and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a board and shred using two forks. Return to the slow cooker, then add the lime juice, sprinkle in the Monterey Jack cheese and stir to melt.

To serve: Ladle the chili into a porcelain serving bowl, garnish with extra cheese, cilantro, avocado slices, and a lime wedge. Place a few tortilla chips in or on the side for garnish. This is my Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili. Serve hot.

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