Comfort & Joy: Broccoli Mac 'n Cheese
What is your favorite comfort food?
Mine, hands down, is macaroni & cheese.
I rarely make it, because it's so fattening and I can't just have a small portion, so I just look at it longingly on other blogs.
When I was in college, we would come home after a late night of partying and my roommate Maryellen would make up a batch of that strange macaroni & cheese from a box.
That product was new to me, my mother never bought that fake powdered cheese stuff.
We had Stouffer's frozen mac n cheese, and it was reserved for nights when we had a babysitter, so the sitter could just pop it on the oven. I loved the crusty burned cheese on the aluminum baking dish.......I am regressing........let me finish the late night munchie story.
So, Maryellen would make this cheesy stuff from a box and I would add fresh steamed broccoli spears chopped up to it, and we devoured it! It became our Saturday night recipe!
I have no idea why I was thinking about that delicious combo of broccoli with macaroni, but decided to make it (sans the powdered cheese stuff in the pouch!).
It came out terrific. This would be a good way to get broccoli haters (are there still any out there?) to eat the little green trees.
College Dayz Macaroni & Cheese, graduated:
1 head fresh broccoli, cut into small florets, steamed
8 oz. elbows or your favorite dried pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) butter
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups of whole milk
1/4 cup flour
salt & pepper
Steam your broccoli florets or boil them for 4 minutes until nice and green and remove with a slotted spoon, put aside. You can cheat and use the same water to cook your pasta in (hey, you don't have to wait for another pot to boil!).
Cook pasta as per directions and don't be tempted to use the whole box.
Use only 8 oz. of pasta, or the dish won't have enough sauce!
Make your cheese sauce in a heavy saucepan, by adding the butter and flour and whisking until a roux is formed, then gradually whisk in the milk to desired consistency.
Now add your steamed broccoli and cooked macaroni to this mixture, salt and pepper.
Place in a buttered baking dish (you could add buttered bread crumbs or panko to the top if you really want to go crazy), and bake at 375F for about 45 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.
Best eaten after 11 pm on Saturday night.