The family was running the estate sale in Claremont three days ago. I thought most of the good stuff might be gone by the time we got there this third day of the sale. It had. It had been a trip to just give our old truck some freeway time. An estate sale is a good excuse.
I always look for cookbooks. This time, the family kept all but a few of the volumes. Only as we were leaving did I spot two of those archetypical three by five metal boxes on the kitchen counter. One had little in it, but the other had all the recipes this lively square dancer had collected since the seventies. Opening the box, I saw the cards were jammed into the little metal space as tight as they could be.
Pulling a good pinch of the 3x5 cards out, I spotted “Broccoli Casserole.” That sounded good.
One can of cream of mushroom soup, it began. Oh, dear. One cup of cheese. One half cup of Mayonnaise. Triple oh, dear. I remember wonderful fattening dishes very well, but we don’t eat that way anymore.
Pulling out more cards, I see that most seem to fall into the same category: High fat, high carbs, too much cholesterol, and high salt. I can taste all that good stuff now, and my mouth waters. Online I find, the eternally young Paula Deem offers us the traditional 1950’s Broccoli Casserole. Her’s has even more mayo. I won’t let her suck me in.
Can I make any of these old favorites better for me in these days of calorie counting, no salt, or few carbohydrates. It seems an adventure to discover the Italians make a béchamel, the old white sauce, using olive oil. That sound like a better alternative than a ersatz béchamel with cornstarch.
If the mushrooms were minced and gently sautéed in an olive oil - broth combo, they could be added to the low fat béchamel and equal something with only a few grams of fat. Over the broccoli the sauce goes to be topped by one of the new no fat cheeses that really melts or even better for the taste buds, less of a really sharp cheddar. Then again, you can use that awful fat free mayo as suggested in Cooking Light.
Ah, the delights of modern cooking. I’m laughing and sure Kay would be laughing too.