Saturday, 27 March 2010

Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

I know, I know...there are so many different recipes for macaroni and cheese out there - but since this is one of our favorite dishes I couldn't help but post it.  The first time I made my own roux (or 'white sauce') I was nervous, but it really isn't difficult!  Apart from burning the butter, you can pretty much save it any stage (and even then you can start again).   Seriously, if you normally have boxed macaroni or use a certain well known easy melting processed cheese because you're too nervous to make your own cheese sauce - don't let yourself be intimidated by fancy French cooking techniques and give it a go.
(Notice my partners meaty addition of pancetta cubes frying in the background!)

Somewhat surprisingly, the addition of broccoli was my partners idea.  It used to be his favorite vegetable (back in the day when he barely ate vegetables) and I think he feels nutritiously virtuous when eating it.  It actually doesn't add loads of flavor, but it is a great way of getting a serving of vegetables in an otherwise unhealthy extremely cheesy meal!

Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli
serves 4

500 g/ 1 lb macaroni
2 tbsp butter
2 to 3 tbsp flour
2 to 3 cups milk
1 tsp cayenne
1 cup broccoli - chopped (I microwaved frozen, but you could steam up some fresh)
3 cups mature cheddar cheese - grated
salt & pepper

Cook macaroni and broccoli accordingly.  When the pasta is about 5 minutes from being done, melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add a couple tablespoons of flour and whisk together.  The butter and flour should come together in a dough like consistency, if it is still too moist add more flour.  Keep whisking this around the pan for about a minute to cook out the raw flour.  Add a couple splashes of milk and whisk in - the mixture will incorporate the milk and become slightly moister than it was.  At this point add in 2 cups of milk and cayenne and whisk together.  Let the sauce warm up (not simmer) and thicken slightly.  If it is too thick at this point - add more milk, not thin enough - heat longer. Finally add in 2 cups of cheese and season to taste, then mix gently until its melted through (because cheese is generally pretty salty I always wait til its mixed into the sauce until adding any seasoning).  Mix in the drained macaroni and chopped broccoli, top with remaining cheese and put under a grill until browned.

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious. I just found your blog and think I will be using it quite a bit. Thanks!