On Sunday, my sister invited me over for a "Mac and Cheese-Off." For this event, there were only four of us to eat the three dishes of mac and cheese that we had prepared. Needless to say, there were leftovers.
The winner: my broccoli cheddar mac and cheese. You gotta get your veggies where you can... (recipe below)
The runners-up: Lisa's mac and cheese with chevre, butternut squash, and caramelized onions; John's mac and cheese with crushed walnuts, gorgonzola, and Swiss MSG sauce (don't ask cuz no I didn't understand what it was either)
Afterward we walked off the cheese with a sunset stroll through Riverside Park.
Broccoli Cheddar Mac 'n Cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 small or 1 large head of broccoli
1/2 lb curly pasta
3/4 lb cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375.
Grease a casserole dish with butter.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
Separate broccoli stems from florets. Dice stems and then dice florets, keeping them separate.
Heat butter in saucepan until melted. Slowly whisk in flour, then milk, then spices. Let simmer until milk mixture is hot. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup grated cheese, creating a melted cheese sauce.
Once water is boiling, add the pasta and broccoli stems. Bring to a boil again and cook ten minutes or so until pasta and stems are both al dente. Then strain thoroughly in a colander.
Combine pasta, stems, florets, and cheese sauce in casserole dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup grated cheese.
Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes until edges are golden brown.
Makes 4-6 servings.