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Monday, March 12, 2012
Omg - Guilty pleasure alert! I am a HUGE fan of Mac & Cheese. I mean, absolutely huge fan. As a kid, you know, we ate only Polish foods at home so whenever we had the chance to eat macaroni and cheese (from the box!) I was extremely excited about it. So, I didn't grow up on the homemade stuff but of course now in Croatia you can't get boxed mac and cheese so I decided to make this broccoli and cauliflower macaroni and cheese. It is so delicious, even the leftovers are amazing. I will be making this one again and again! Comfort food at it's absolute finest!
Here's what I used:
500g Whole Wheat (Integralne in Croatian) Macaroni
500g of Mixed Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets
100g Grated Cheese
4 Tbs cracker crumbs
4 Tbs grated cheese, your choice (Parmesan, Cheddar, etc.)
First, preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water for 8 minutes until just tender. I tossed in the cauliflower and broccoli in with the pasta for the last 5 minutes until almost tender. Drain the pasta and place in a lightly buttered 1.75 litre ovenproof baking dish with the vegetables, mixing them together.
Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. I added the nutmeg to the milk at this point. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Keep whisking (even if your arm hurts!). It should look like wet sand. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. (Seriously, do this slowly because it is HOT! And you do not want a burnt sauce, yuck.) Stir constantly until the sauce is thickened, a good 8-10 minutes. (It's worth it to take your time!) Then simmer for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.
Stir in the cheese, any seasonings you like, and pour over the pasta and vegetables. I used gouda (because that's one of the only options here. Gouda is the answer to everything! I miss cheddar but it was still really amazing)
Crush crackers into crumbs and sprinkle the extra grated cheese and crushed crackers evenly over top of the macaroni mixture. Bake in the heated oven for 20–25 minutes until the top is crisp and golden.