This week at Cook's Warehouse in Atlanta, we were privileged to meet Ms. Virginia Willis, one of the most popular and respected voices on Southern cooking, for the launch of her new book. She is the author of Bon Appétit, Y'all; Basic to Brilliant, Y'all; Okra; and Grits. Her latest work, Lighten Up, Y'all, celebrates the healthy and wholesome side of Southern fare (read more in her bio here.)
After savoring several pages of her brilliant and beautiful recipes for inspiration, we are most excited to try the recipe below for Makeover Broccoli Mac and Cheese!
1 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
¾ cup shredded 75 percent reduced-fat extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
2 tablespoons panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
½ teaspoon paprika
1¾ cups 2 percent milk
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
½ teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces (2 cups) whole wheat elbow macaroni
12 ounces (4 cups) broccoli florets and stems
Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Coat an 8-inch-square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Combine the two cheeses. Mix ¼ cup of the cheese mixture, the bread crumbs, and paprika in a small bowl. Set aside.
To make the cheese sauce, heat 1½ cups of the milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering. Whisk remaining ¼ cup milk and the flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1½ cups of the cheese mixture and the cottage cheese until melted. Stir in the dry mustard, and nutmeg, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli florets. Drain well and add to the cheese sauce; mix well. Spread the pasta-broccoli mixture in the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.
Calories 182 Fat 4 g Protein 14 g Carbs 24 g Fiber 3 g.