Monday, July 07, 2008

When Life Gives You Broccoli

...realize that broccoli casserole is too heavy to eat in the summer. Then contemplate how it is virtually the same recipe as your mother's macaroni and cheese. Decide mac and cheese can be eaten any time of year. Contemplate the CSA broccoli in the vegetable bin and, eureka, combine the two recipes!

3/4 pound of elbow macaroni
a head of broccoli
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
2 c warm milk
1 lb white cheddar, diced (orange cheddar is unnatural, don't use it.)
two slices of bread

Set the oven to 375. Boil the macaroni to just shy of cooked. It will soften when you bake it. Then boil or steam the broccoli. Using a blender, pulverize the broccoli. Some chunks of stem will remain, but you mostly want broccoli mush because you really don't like eating flowers, do you?

Melt the butter. Brown the flour in the butter, stirring frequently. Slowly whisk in the warm milk. When the sauce begins to thicken, stir in a handful of cheese at a time. Once all the cheese is melted, remove the sauce from the heat.

Butter a casserole dish. Add the broccoli and macaroni. Stir to combine. Slowly add the cheese sauce. You won't need it all. You want the mixture pretty wet, but not soaking. Save the extra cheese for baked potatoes. Mmmmm. Butter the bread. Cut into 1" sqares. Sprinkle over the mac and cheese. You really want to do this because the bread will soak up oil from the cheese and it will be very very yummy. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
Photo courtesy of Wikicommons.

I am trotting out some of the recipes we've been using with the CSA vegetables for two reasons. The first reason is, for some of these veg, we're having to do full scale research to figure out how to prepare them. It's like I'm getting my PhD in vegetables. We are eating some crazy ass veggies. Like pod radishes. Did you even know about pod radishes? I sure as hell didn't. We had Hawaiian lettuce, anuenue, last night. Which I highly recommend to people who like iceberg's crunch but not its lack of flavor. The second reason is that I have thrown out my rotation in favor of secret traveling projects by day. I haven't been stitching by night. Lately, I've become obsessed with these stupid Jane Austen mysteries. It's embarrassing. But not so embarrassing that I'm not reading them in public... Oh, and there's this whole food theme for the nablopomo this month.

Anyway, enjoy the veg. I'll get back to stitching Edgar's RR and showing snaps of my work soon.


xsquared said...

That sounds so good. Damn. Why must my oven heat up my whole house?

Code Purl said...

Sounds yummy but I don't think I could get JF to eat the cheddar!
We're getting CSA boxes too. We'll take veggies out and be like what the h*ll is this? But it is interesting to learn and try new things.

riona said...

Don't feel badly about the Jane Austen mysteries ... we all have guilty pleasures ... while I put down the first Jane Austen mystery I saw almost five muinutes after I picked it up [not the Lizzy and Darcy I know and love], I have a conmplete collection of Monica Ferris stitching mysteries and Laur Child tea shop mysteries.

And what, pray tell, are CSA vegetables ... all I am coming up with is Confederate States of America ... my husband is an amateur historian and re-enactor.

Anna van Schurman said...

CSA= Community Supported Agriculture. You pay up front for to help fund the farm and then every week, you get what is seasonally ripe. It's fun because you never know what's going to show up! And sometimes, it's not even anything you've heard of before! I'd heard of kohlrabi, but who would buy that freakish looking thing? But it's good.

Kate said...

How can Jane Austen solve a mystery in Queen Victoria's court when she died twenty years before Victoria's reign began? BTW, I read *Heart and Bones* on your recommendation and enjoyed it. It was quite refreshing to read about winter in Maine while "enjoying" summer in California.

Jenna said...

Jane Austen mysteries, eh? I might have to pick one of them up sometime.