First off, I would like to address a question asked by Ms. Lisa on my last post. She asked what we do when we make something and hate it. The answer varies. Sometimes we throw it out and then go to Coldstone to get ice cream and make ourselves feel better. Sometimes we suck it up and eat it anyway. Very rarely we order pizza. Or, in the case of last night, we throw it out and then whine for the rest of the night. Unfortunately, I made dinner later in the evening so we didn't have time to go out and get ice cream or Taco Bell, so I snacked on peanuts and he had some cheese. It was kind of pathetic.
So! It's much better when we have something like tonight's dinner, which is so fantastic that we eat all of it and are not hungry afterwards. It's not a traditional macaroni and cheese, since it has a white sauce rather than orange, but it was so delicious. It is a definite make-again. Don't skip the steps related to the bread crumbs - it really makes the dish!!
Small changes: I used Trader Joe's Fontiago cheese instead of Fontina and Asiago (since it is, after all, a combination of the two); upped the amount of cayenne pepper to just enough to taste; used honey flax wheat bread instead of white; and we halved the recipe.
Broccoli Mac & Cheese Gratin
Cooking Light, July 2007
4 cups uncooked medium seashell pasta (about 12 ounces)
6 cups broccoli florets (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
2 (1-ounce) slices white bread
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cook pasta in boiling water 8 minutes; add broccoli. Cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done. Drain.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 45 seconds. Transfer garlic mixture to a small bowl; set aside.
Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; stir in onion. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 3 cups milk. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to onion mixture. Return pan to medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; stir in the cheeses, salt, black pepper, red pepper, and nutmeg. Add pasta mixture to milk mixture, tossing gently to coat. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Combine garlic mixture and bread in a food processor; pulse 15 times or until fine crumbs measure 1 cup. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta mixture. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until the top is brown.
Yield: 8 servings