Do you have a vegetable side dish that you know will put a smile on your face every time you make it? This creamy, cheesy veggie bake does it for me. John’s not big on cheese so we’ll just ignore his comments about too cheesy.
What I like best about this is that it’s made from ingredients I always have in the house. Yes, I used a bag of mixed frozen vegetables. The sauce is made from butter, flour, cream cheese and cheddar cheese and on top is a bit more cheddar and some French fried onions.
To you purists out there, my apologies for using store bought ingredients but honestly, don’t we all call on those things from time to time? Our lives are really busy and I’d rather open a bag of frozen veggies than eat McDonald’s when I’m short on time.
Sadly, I had a phone call when I put the onions on and they could have been less brown. Why do people assume that since you work from home you can stop to chat anytime?
I served this dish to a dear friend from Victoria who was up on the coast getting the last few rays of summer sun before heading back to wintery Melbourne. Before I started the dish I asked if she liked cheese and John said, “Australians don’t ALL like cheese like you Americans.” yeah yeah, whatever.
She did like cheese so I put the steaks in the sous vide and popped this dish in the oven and dinner was done. We had chocolate fondants for dessert but I always put those in the oven just before we sit down to eat and they come out piping hot and ready for whipped cream or ice cream. (in this case both)
I used cauliflower, broccoli and carrots along with a chopped onion in the sauce but I would use this sauce on any vegetable I liked. When I children were growing up, I had one that refused to eat vegetables. At. All. He would, however, eat them if they had a cheese sauce on them because that covered up the taste, he said. Whatever works, I say.
- 500 grams (1 pound) frozen mixed vegetables
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon mixed dry herbs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ block cream cheese softened and cut into chunks
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup French fried onions
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Steam the vegetables according to the package recommendations. They only need to be thawed to work in this recipe. Then place in a casserole dish.
- Add oil to a skillet and cook the onion until it's translucent, you don't want any color,
- Add the butter and when it's fully melted, toss in the flour and stir to cook the flour for a minute or so.
- While whisking, add the milk and whisk until the sauce thickens.
- Add the cream cheese and the cheddar cheese (reserve a bit of cheddar for the top) and stir until smooth.
- Mix in the herbs and then pour over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the reserved grated cheddar and then into the oven for 25 minutes. It should be golden brown.
- Add the French fried onions and bake for only five more minutes. Seriously - only five minutes.