Thankfully, we've raised our son to eat broccoli without cheese—to just enjoy it in its raw or steamed form. But let’s not kid ourselves; he'll down a ton of broccoli with cheese, compared to broccoli without cheese.
The cheese sauce is a basic cheese sauce, but I kicked it up a bit with some smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. You can omit both these things, but if you’re going to leave just one in, let it be the smoked paprika. You’ll fall in love with the smoky flavor and zip that this spice brings to this meal.
- 4-5 medium red potatoes
- 12 ounce bag frozen broccoli cuts or florets, defrosted
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons powdered mustard
- 2 cups milk (I use 1%, but any kind will do)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, adjust to taste)
- 10 ounces medium cheddar cheese, shredded ( I use 2% reduced fat cheese)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- fresh black pepper
DirectionsPreheat oven to 350° F.
Use a fork to poke holes in the potatoes for ventilation. Cook them in a microwave oven for 6-7 minutes. They’re almost done when a fork will go in with slight resistance. You don’t want to cook them completely; they’ll finish in the oven. When they’ve cooled slightly, cut them into bite sized chunks.
While the potatoes are cooking, put the oil in a medium saucepan, then whisk in the flour and dry mustard. Keep it moving for about four minutes while it heats up. Break up any lumps. Slowly stir in the milk, then add the cayenne pepper and paprika.
Simmer for ten minutes until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper. Now fold in the cheese. Turn off the heat and keep stirring until all the cheese is melted.
Put the cut potatoes and broccoli into a lightly greased baking dish. Toss the vegetables to make sure they’re mixed. Pour the cheese sauce over the vegetables. Stir to coat all the vegetables with the cheesy goodness.
Final notesThis goes well with chicken, turkey meat loaf, or ham.
If you want a great one-pot comfort food feast, just add diced ham before putting it into the oven, or top it with crumbled bacon when you remove it from the oven.