Monday, January 19, 2015

Jalapeno Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese

For the past 3 days I have been obsessing over this mac and cheese. And I don't take my mac and cheese obsessions lightly. I Am a Food Blog has perfected the non-traditional version of the traditional mac and cheese recipe. The broccoli negates all of the cheesy goodness, right? Oh, and the jalapeno. You might as well just send me to a feeding trough with all of the mac and cheese and leave me there in peace. What really makes homemade mac and cheese so perfect to me is hand shredded cheese. Don't buy the pre-shredded bags that you find in the grocery store. Take the extra 2 minutes to buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself at home. The cheese just melts so perfectly, and it's the freshest thing you can get from making your own cheese before shredding it to melty bliss. 

Jalapeno Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese
Serves 4

  • 2 cups pasta noodles of your choice
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles to al dente, about 9 minutes. Add in the broccoli florets and cook for another minute or two, until the broccoli is bright green. Drain into a colander in the sink and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles from cooking themselves into mushy oblivion.

In the same large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes. In a steady stream, pour in the milk 1/2 cup at a time, still whisking constantly, allowing the mixture thicken before each milk addition.

Once all of the milk had been poured in, continue to whisk occasionally while the mixture thickens a bit more. Remove from the heat and add in the jalapeno, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir, allowing the cheese to melt into the sauce. Once fully incorporated, add back in the pasta and broccoli, stirring until the noodles and broccoli are covered in the cheese sauce. Season with a bit more black pepper if you prefer and serve hot.

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