Weather: a wonderful string of clear, sunny days with highs in the upper 30′s What I’m listening to: Yukon Men on Discovery Channel
I felt like I was cheating on my One Pot Macaroni and Cheese recipe when I made this baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese. I still love you, One Pot Mac, I promise. But, being as macaroni and cheese is such a beloved American comfort food staple, and is ever-popular with the kids, I just had to make room for more variations in my recipe collection.
A couple of things about this recipe appealed to me and lured me in. The first being that I have always, always loved broccoli with cheese. I mean, is there anyone out there who doesn’t love broccoli with cheese? Match made in heaven. Second, with baked macaroni and cheese options, I’m always looking to make sure that they don’t dry out as they so often can, but rather stay nice and creamy after their trip to the oven. This one does that beautifully.
16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked al dente according to package instructions
2 medium heads fresh broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1 (15oz) can chicken broth
2c cheddar cheese (medium or sharp recommended), shredded
1c parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
1/2c cheddar cheese, grated
1/4c bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni noodles to just al dente (they will cook more in the oven). 4-5 minutes before draining the noodles, toss in the fresh broccoli to cook with the noodles. Strain.
Meanwhile, to another large pot over medium heat, add the butter and melt. Stir in the flour and the salt until it forms a paste (called a roux). Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and the chicken broth. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring often. When it boils, the mixture will begin to thicken. At this point, stir in the cheeses until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the macaroni and broccoli to the cheese sauce mixture, stir until combined, and pour into a 2-1/2 quart oblong casserole baking dish. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni with bread crumbs and remaining cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes or until macaroni is bubbling and topping is melted and golden.