For my daughter Morgan who will soon be moving out on her own and will have to cook. Here are the basic directions for making cream broccoli or for that matter any vegetable you feel will benefit from milk and cheese. Grandma used to make creamed carrots to accompany meatloaf when I was a child.
1 bunch of broccoli, steamed until crisp tender
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. mild tasting oil
1 small onion, minced
salt & pepper to taste
2 slices American cheese or 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, or any combination
Toasted bread cubes, optional
Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish. Steam the broccoli and place in the dish.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat butter and oil. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Stir in the flour and cook a minute, do not allow the flour to brown (this is a roux). Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly to mix into the roux. Cook stirring occasionally until thickened.
Remove from the heat and stir in the salt & pepper (white pepper looks nicer) and the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Pour over the broccoli.
Top with toasted bread cubes if desired.
Bake, covered, at 350F for 20-30 minutes.
The reason this always shows up on our holiday table is that it can be made ahead up to the point you need to bake it. Bake until bubbly, about 30-40 minutes.