My husband and I like broccoli with cheese sauce, but the only kind we have ever eaten has always been out of the freezer department so when I saw a recipe in Cooks Country magazine in the Feb/March 2011 issue perfected by Kelly Price with promises of a nutty flavored broccoli and a creamy cheese sauce I just had to try it.
Roasted Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
recipe adapted from Cooks Country by Kelly Price
Serves 4 to 6
2 pounds broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stems peeled and cut into 1/2 inches pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees farenheit. Yes, place the dry baking pan into the oven while it is preheating.
2. After 15 minutes of preheating the dry pan, toss broccoli, oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in large bowl. Arrange broccoli in single layer on the hot baking sheet. Please be careful and don’t do like I did and grab hold of the hot pan with your bare hand, yes, I did have an oven mitt on one hand, just the wrong one! Seems I have to get burned at least a couple time a week, the perils of cooking! Bake until spotty brown, about 15 to 18 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour,mustard, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the half-and-half and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Take the pan off the heat, whisk in the Monterey Jack cheese and the cheddar cheese until smooth. For a silky smooth sauce wait until the Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses are thoroughly integrated before you add the Parmesan cheese. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until smooth. Season cheese sauce with salt and pepper. Serve sauce over the roasted broccoli. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot water.
Verdict: The broccoli was very fresh tasting and not soggy, I thought the “brown” areas on the roasted broccoli would taste burned but it didn’t. The cheese sauce did not get as thick as I like. I think next time I will throw in more cheddar cheese for my love of cheddar. The roasting method for the broccoli made for great tasing broccoli. You need to serve and eat immediately as the broccoli will get cold pretty quick.