Another Christmas Season is upon us and with it the meals with family and friends. This past weekend I spent time with my mom and siblings celebrating an early Christmas. My mom wanted to prepare a pre-Christmas dinner that closely replicated something she did 12 years ago – primarily the Crown Roast of Pork. My family members and myself either flew or drove to my mom’s house. While the main event was this weekend; I flew to my mom’s on Thursday. It allowed me to spend a bit more time with her and to help her do some of the prep work.
The menu wasn’t overly complicated – Butternut Squash soup, oranges hollowed out and stuffed with cranberry orange sauce, Crown Roast of Pork, stuffing and a vegetable dish (Swiss Vegetables) from a recipe card she got in the grocery store. Everything on the menu has been prepared before – except the Swiss Vegetables. I read the recipe and found it included packaged fresh vegetables, shredded cheese, a cream soup, pimentos and French fried onions. To say I was skeptical was a major understatement. And boy was I surprised. We did make a few substitutions – nothing unusual for me – but it turned out really well. I was busy with the Crown Roast and stuffing so I didn’t get a picture but it looked really festive and tasted even better. Here’s our version of the recipe – you can find the original online if you are so inclined.
- 16 oz. of a mix of fresh cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot, cut up in uniform small pieces.
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- 1 ¼ Cheddar Cheese, divided
- 1 4oz can diced pimento, drained
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 2.8 oz can fried onion rings
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut up vegetables and parboil in lightly salted water.
In a large bowl combine soup, 1 cup of the cheese, pimento, sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in vegetables and transfer mixture to 1 ½ qt. casserole dish.
Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining cheese plus French fried onions. Bake 5 minutes more, or until cheese melts. Serve hot.
The red of the pimento and the green of the broccoli make it a truly festive dish for the holidays. This dish could also be made with a combination of Swiss and Parmesan cheese. The nuttiness of the two cheeses would work very well with the vegetables. And lest you think this dish is not for those with a discerning palate, my sister has dined at some of the best restaurants all over the world – think Alinea and the French Laundry – and she loved it enough to have seconds!
Now if only I could get out of this airport and on a plane home.