It’s something simple and easy. These days if you have kids (which I don’t) but I know that the second they see that blue kraft box they know exactly what it is. Well this is something that you can make just as easily not from a box.
What you need:
- 1 8oz package of sharp white cheddar (2 cups)
- 1 8oz package of shredded parmesan cheese (2cups)
- 1 package (16oz) of your choice of elbow noodles
- 1/2 cup of butter cubbed
- 1/2 cup of your choice of flour if you need gluten free you can use that
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (remember paremsan is salty
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 4 cups of milk (You may end up adding more i’ll explain later)
- 1 frozen package of broccoli florets
First things first you want to start out by making your noodles. So pull out that good ole 6 quart pot and fill it with about 4 quarts of water. Bring the water to a boil, add a dash of salt if you must for flavoring. Once it’s boiling then add in your noodles. For a nice al dente noodle give it a good 7-8 minutes. Do not go past 11 minutes with the noodles in there cooking or they will turn mushy…no one likes a mushy pasta noodle. Once they’re done simply drain them and set them aside. They’ll be added into warm sauce later so they can set there for a little bit.
The next thing you want to do is make your Bechamel base for your white sauce. Take equal parts of butter and flour and melt the butter whisking the flour as well. Then slowly add the milk into it. DO NOT add all the milk in at once. You have to whisk everything together to keep the sauce from being too chunky. It should look something like the picture below once it’s ready for you to add the cheese. This is prior to me adding in the salt and pepper.
If you have a helper it would be beneficial to use them for shredding the block of cheddar. It’s always better to freshly grate your cheese than buy the ones in a package already grated. I’ll be honest though for this one I cheated with the Parmesan and bought already grated cheese in the store. The freshly grated melts better in the sauce than the packaged grated cheese will. Once it’s grated than it’s time to add it into the sauce. Again, as with adding the milk you want to go slow with adding in the cheese. Give it some time to melt before adding more into there.
While you are making the sauce you can place the broccoli in the microwave. If you buy the kind that you steam it in the bags it usually takes 4 minutes and 30 seconds for the broccoli to be ready.
Once the sauce is mixed together and the cheese is melted into it than it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients. Pour in your noodles and broccoli and then mix it all together in the pan with the cheese sauce. That’s it. Simple, easy and delicious mac and cheese with broccoli.
If you want to be extra adventurous you could always add some bacon or chicken into this dish for some added flavor overload. I didn’t this time but maybe next time I will.