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.
The next St Patrick’s Day dish has multiple green in it, and IS mac and cheese! Check it out on Wednesday!