Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3: Mac-n-Cheddar with Broccoli

   Coarse salt
1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi (corkscrew-shaped pasta)
2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cups whole milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
3 cups grated sharp yellow cheddar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
   freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Add salt to season the cooking water, then add the pasta. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes more or until the pasta is cooked al dente and the florets are just tender.
Drain well and return to the pot.

While the pasta cooks, heat a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add the EVOO and heat with the butter until it melts. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes to sweat them out and turn the juices sweet.
Raise the heat a bit, then whisk in the flour, cayenne, and paprika. Whisk together until the roux bubbles up, then cook for 1 minute more.

Whisk in the milk and stock and raise the heat a bit higher to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once it bubbles, drop the heat back to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the cheese to the thickened sauce and stir to melt it, a minute or so. Stir in the mustard and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour over the broccoli and cooked pasta and toss to combine.

Adjust the seasonings, transfer to a large platter, and serve (or serve it straight from the pot).
You may have noticed that I skipped a recipe in the cookbook. Rachael Ray does variations on many of her recipes, but I find it a little monotonous to have the (almost) same meal 2, 3, 4 days in a row. So, I decided to separate them out, just a little. Tomorrow we'll be coming back to the variation of the Shepherd's Pie, so that we can split up the Mac-n-Cheese quartet.

About this recipe: I love it. I ate so much of it I'm just going to burst! I did not change it except to lengthen the time for the sauce to simmer, but if you have children, you might want to cut back on the cayenne pepper. Because of the broccoli and the fact that there's no meat, I didn't feel the need to add any salad or veggies to this one. The one thing I did change was the suggested number of servings. In my house, this could easily feed 8, but you may have larger appetites than we do. So I changed her 4 servings to 6.

No comments:

Post a Comment