Friday, January 30, 2015

broccoli shells n’ cheese


Ingredients
  • 8 oz. pasta
  • 1 lg. crown broccoli
  • ½ med onion
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 cups milk
  • 8 oz. (2 cups) sharp cheddar, shredded
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
  • to taste salt and pepper
Instructions
  • Get a large pot of salted water on to boil. Rinse the broccoli well and cut it into small florets.
  • The pasta and broccoli will be cooked in the same pot to save on dishes and time. When the water comes to a full boil, add the pasta. Set a timer for 8 minutes then add the broccoli. Cook the pasta and broccoli for two minutes more and then pour everything into a colander to drain. Set them aside until ready to add to the cheese sauce.
  • While the pasta and broccoli are doing their thing, you can begin the cheese sauce. Finely dice the onion and cook with butter over medium heat until softened (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Add the flour to the butter and onion. The flour and butter will form a paste like mixture (roux). Using a whisk, stir and cook the roux for 1-2 minutes more taking care not to let it scorch. This slightly cooks the flour preventing the cheese sauce from having an overly flour or paste like flavor.
  • Add the milk and whisk well to dissolve all of the flour clumps. Add freshly cracked black pepper at this point. Bring the mixture up to a simmer (you may need to raise the heat just slightly). When the sauce reaches a simmer, it will begin to thicken. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it’s time to add the cheese.
  • Turn the burner off and whisk in the shredded cheese (and parmesan if using) until it is fully melted in. Give the cheese sauce a taste and add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
  • Once you have the cheese sauce seasoned to your liking, stir in the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli.

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