Thursday, October 1, 2009

Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

One comment I get often when people I know in real life discover my blog is "Wow! I wish I had time to cook that much!" I give this comment the side eye. Doesn't everyone have 24 hours in the day? The next comment I get often is "I like to cook- I just don't have the motivation." Now this comment I understand! I love cooking and baking and will elect to spend a whole weekend in the kitchen. But a Monday night after working all day, writing a paper, cleaning the bathroom... ugh... no thanks! Most of the time I'll force myself to just make what I had planned but sometimes we do end up with take out or at Blue Wasabi, our absolute FAVORITE sushi restaurant.

When I made this macaroni and cheese it was one of those "just get your butt in the kitchen and stop moaning" kind of nights. I had practically dialed the pizza place and hung up 5 times as I argued with myself on whether or not to cook. Then I remembered this recipe and rushed to the freezer to make sure I had frozen broccoli. Sure enough I did so off to cooking I went. This macaroni and cheese is some seriously cheesy stuff! It was delicious. The broccoli really infused the taste and every bite had a hint of broccoli- delish. I will say this is much better as a side dish than a main course. I made it as a main course and I personally felt it was a little heavy even when using all reduced fat ingredient and cutting the butter in half. If you love macaroni and cheese and broccoli give this a shot- its quite tasty.

Source: Adapted from Joelen's Culinary Adventures


2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 (8-ounce) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed and coarsely chopped
8 ounces pasta, cooked
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs or 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and whisk in all-purpose flour; cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes.

Whisk in milk gradually; cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add shredded cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in broccoli and pasta. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs or parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes.