Sunday, November 23, 2014

Janie's Rice and Broccoli

There are dishes that we associate with specific holidays and we hide those delicious recipes in our recipe boxes or cookbooks until that day of celebration arrives.  We store them away because we want to keep them where they are - in our Thanksgiving and Christmas memories.  We all have them and sometimes, we have several.  One holiday dish that is made in our house every Thanksgiving and Christmas and no other time of the year is "Janie's Rice and Broccoli."

I received this recipe from my sister-in-law Janie years ago and I have made it every year since whether we celebrated the holidays at home or at another family members home.  Janie is one of the sweetest people I know and she is a very good cook.  I have always appreciated that she has never gotten irritated with me for taking over her recipe but I have always called it Janie's Rice and Broccoli because it is truly hers. 

This is one of those great recipes that you can make at the drop of a hat because you usually have all the ingredients.  There is one thing that I don't typically have in my kitchen and that is Cheez Whiz - the unhealthy part of this recipe.  Well, butter might be considered not so healthy as well but I promise you, it wouldn't taste the same if you dumbed-down this recipe.  Use the right ingredients! Keep in mind when looking at what goes into this recipe that it is a holiday recipe.  Not typically known for their healthy ingredients, holiday recipes are usually full of either sugar, butter, salt, cream or cheese.  All good things but holiday recipes tend to have larger amounts of these ingredients in them than normal recipes might.  That is why they are so good and they remind us of holidays gone by.  Who doesn't love that?

So here is what you need to do to make Janie's Rice and Broccoli:

Cook 2 Cups of Uncle Ben's Rice according to package instructions.  Now one ingredient that you really can't skimp on is you HAVE to use Uncle Ben's rice.  Uncle Ben's Rice is plump and gives your casserole so much texture and really holds up with the other ingredients in this recipe so make sure you use it!

While your rice is cooking, in a large pot melt 1/2 stick of Butter.

Before we go any further, do you want to know an easy way to chop your onion?  I learned this a few years ago and I have done it ever since to quickly and safely chop onions.  Take your onion and cut it in half from the root to the top as you see in the picture above.  The root is the ugly part that looks kind of hairy and unkempt.

Peel off the first layer of skin before doing the next step.  Take half of the onion and lay it cut side down and cut the top side off and run your knife through the onion from the top toward the root but don't cut completely through.  Make about 3 cuts and then cut straight down until you are almost to the root.  When you cut your onions this way, your onion stays together while cutting because the root is still in tact and it holds it all together. 

Add your 1/2 Medium Chopped Onion to your Butter and let it cook until translucent.

Now add the can of Cream of Mushroom Soup and stir until well combined.

Add the jar of Cheez Whiz and stir until it is smooth and creamy.  I had a jar of the no-name brand of jarred cheese and I have to say, it did not taste exactly the same so you should really use the name brand (Cheez Whiz) fake jarred cheese!  It didn't taste terrible but I could definitely tell the difference.   Let this cook on low for about 5 minutes so that it is warm.  It looks pretty disgusting right here but I promise you that Cheez Whiz makes the sauce so creamy and rich.

This is what the sauce looks like before you add the Broccoli and Rice.  When you add the remaining ingredients into this hot and bubbly mixture it will help to coat everything completely.  Yum!

If you have fresh Broccoli you can use that but frozen Broccoli is fine if that is what you have on hand.  If your Broccoli is in large segments, chop it up a little so that it is in bite sized pieces.  If you use frozen Broccoli, try not to use the Broccoli that has just stems.  You NEED to use Broccoli florets. 

Dump in your 2 cups of chopped Broccoli and mix well.  Isn't this Broccoli beautiful?  This is the frozen stuff!

This looks good enough to eat but don't do it yet.

Sorry, one more picture. 

When this mixture is combined and smooth, add your Uncle Ben's Rice and mix again.

 As you begin to mix, this is what you will see.

This plump rice is the reason you MUST use Uncle Ben's.  You won't get this texture from regular rice.


Pour all the ingredients into a casserole dish and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

This is what it looks like when it is all done.  Doesn't this look divine?

The top will be golden brown around the edges and the inside will be soft and creamy. The broccoli is slightly crunchy and it just has this glorious flavor that tastes like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Seriously, it does!


Give this easy and delicious recipe a try.  You will not be sorry.

Thanks, Janie!

 Janie's Rice and Broccoli
1/2 stick of Butter,
1/2 Yellow or White Medium Onion, Chopped
1 Medium Jar Cheez Whiz
1 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 Cups Broccoli, chopped
2 Cups Cooked Uncle Ben's Rice

Cook 2 cups of Uncle Ben's Rice according to the package instructions.  In a large saucepan saute onions in butter until translucent.  Add the can of Cream of Mushroom Soup and the Cheez Whiz and mix until well combined.  The heat will help to melt the cheese and it will become this delicious sauce!  Add the 2 cups of chopped Broccoli and mix well again.  When the Uncle Ben's Rice is done, pour all of it into the large saucepan with the Onions, Butter, Cream of Musroom Soup, Cheez Whiz and  Broccoli and mix well.  Pour into a large casserole dish and cook at 350 for about 45 minutes.  the top will be golden brown around the edges and the inside will be soft and creamy.  Yum!

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