This is the first of two St Patrick’s Day recipes I thought I would share for the upcoming holiday. I will confess now that besides being green, they both involve cheese.
I clipped this recipe for St. Norbert College’s Cheese Broccoli from the Chicago Tribune back when I lived in Chicago- which apparently, printed this in an issue in 2006. Wow. I guess I’ve had this on my to do recipe binder for a while!
It was a reader submitted recipe which she received herself from the chef at cafeteria of her college, St Norbert College. I love the fact that she remembered and loved this dish from her college cafeteria enough to pursue the chef for the recipe and make it part of her family tradition.
I can’t say I recall anything specifically in my memories of my school cafeteria days, at least food wise, except for the fact I thought the mac and cheese looked disgusting, and so I never had it until I was in college! Think about all the times I passed on mac and cheese in my entire childhood!
When I made this dish, the story of this recipe continued to charm me as I dug into this very simple, homey vegetarian side dish. The better your blue cheese, the better your dish will taste, and the 1 1/2 ounces is a very small amount just to add a little bit of tang, so don’t be scared of it. If you love blue cheese, you can obviously also up the amount of cheese.
It’s easy to put together as a side dish while making the main, and yields a huge 10 servings but can easily just be servings for four. The fact this is called cheese broccoli versus broccoli with cheese is sort of telling.
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 5 ounces cream cheese (or neufchatel, or tofu of course), softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 ounces blue cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 packages (16 ounces each) chopped frozen broccoli (or chop fresh one to get this amount)
- Crumbs from 25 buttery-style crackers, such as Ritz
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the butter is melted, you are going to make your roux; stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly; cook until thickened.
- Add cream cheese, blue cheese and salt. Stir until cheeses are melted. Remove from heat.
- Stir the broccoli into the cheese mixture; place into greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Bake until browned and bubbly, 30 minutes.
Can you ever go wrong by adding cheese to a vegetable? I think not, what about you?
The next St Patrick’s Day dish has multiple green in it, and IS mac and cheese! Check it out on Wednesday!