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Fennel provides a slight licorice flavor, ground mustard adds zing and winter vegetables and smoked sausage combine with hearty bread and melted cheese to create a satisfying meal.
1 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet™ Fennel Seed
1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Mustard, Ground
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ White Pepper, Ground
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 pound cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 pound lean smoked sausage, cut in 1/2-inch slices and halved
1 package (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces Italian bread, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast fennel seed in large dry skillet on medium heat 30 seconds. Add mustard and white pepper; continue to stir spices 30 seconds or until aromatic. Remove from pan. Lightly crush seeds with a mortar and pestle or with the back of a skillet. Set spices aside.
Melt butter in same skillet on medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots; cook and stir 7 to 8 minutes. Add cauliflower; cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in sausage and toasted spices; cook 3 minutes or until heated through. Pour into greased 4-quart casserole.
Toss cheese with flour in large bowl. Add milk, eggs and bread cubes; stir gently to moisten bread. Pour into casserole; mix gently with vegetables and sausage.
Bake, uncovered, 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
(Amount per serving)