Green & White Mac ‘n Cheese
It’s basically mac n’ cheese but with broccoli thrown in. The story behind this dish is that Suzanne and I have posed a challenge to one another to see how many different ways you can prepare elbow macaroni. Why you may ask? Well without going into too many details we’ve found ourselves with over 10lbs of macaroni recently. We’re not planning to go on a pasta binge or anything but at least once a week we’re gonna try to see what else we can make with elbow macaroni. Depending on how successful the dishes are we may post a few more of them.
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp butter or margarine
9 oz elbow macaroni
1/4 cup green onions (or scallions), sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded & divided
2 cups whole milk or half & half
3 tbsp panko bread crumbs
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Steam or microwave the brocoli florets until semi-tender. Don not overcook. Set aside.
3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a pinch of salt then add the pasta. Cook till al’ dente (or approximately 8 minutes) – You don’t want the pasta too well done because it still has to cook in the oven for a bit near the end. if you overcook it the pasta will be mushy in the end.
4. Drain pasta and set aside. – Do not wash or run water over the pasta. You’ll need the starch left on them to bind everything together.
5. In a small pot on medium heat melt the butter or margarine. Add the flour and mix till combined. Add milk or half & half and mix well with a wire whisk. Cook for approximately 8 – 10 minutes or until it starts to bubble stirring constantly throughout the cooking process. Remove from heat. – It’s important to keep stirring otherwise your milk or half & half might scorch on the bottom.
6. Add 1 cup of cheese and stir until smooth.
7. Combine the broccoli florets, pasta, and sauce in a large pot. Stir until everything is coated. Pour into a glass ungreased casserole dish.
8. In a small dish combine the remaining cheese, bread crumbs, onion powder, and oregano. Top the pasta with the cheese mixture and sprinkle the green onions on top.
9. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until topping gets golden brown.
Alternate: Try different cheeses or combinations for different results. Mozzarella has a very light and subtle flavor so if you’re looking for a bit more bite add Monterey Jack or even Asiago. Cheddar is a great substitute for a more traditional tasting mac n’ cheese flavor.