2.27.2015

Baked Potatoes with Broccoli Cheese Sauce


Happy Friday, everyone! I know I've recently tried to have a dessert recipe ready to go for you fine people on Fridays, but to be honest, I've had a couple recipe kind of bomb, and decided a bag of chocolate mini eggs was the best way to get through this week instead of stressing about it. Sometimes recipes take time, and I think the two I'm working on still need a little bit of work. Until then, grab yourself a bag of mini eggs this weekend, and thank me later. 

I still, however, didn't want to leave you heading into the weekend without a little something to make your Sunday dinner easy and extra tasty! These baked potatoes smothered in a heavenly cheese sauce with broccoli is the stuff a simple Sunday savory dinner is made of, and thankfully, the prep/cook time is pretty simple. Plus, more broccoli. I told you I was on a broccoli kick lately. 


This could be even easier if you already have a couple leftover baked potatoes on hand. If not, I mean, it's not like it's too tricky to throw a few of these babies in the oven for an hour and call it good! We've also baked our potatoes in the crock pot, too, and they came out perfectly (just prick them with forks, wrap them in foil, and cook on low for 3 hours and you're all set). 


So yes, there is a lot of cheese sauce involved here. But if you're going to have broccoli 3 times in the past week, one of the times needs the cheese to be melted and gooey all over the place. I just LOVE it. The baked potato was a perfect vessel for this bed of heavenly goodness. 

The sauce is so easy! It's just like a regular roux, with a bunch of seasonings and a bit (okay a lot) of cheese melted at the end. You most likely already have all these ingredients in your pantry/fridge already. Using sharp cheddar is a must. It carries the sauce to all new heights in bite and flavor, and really enhances the broccoli flavor. Speaking of broccoli, slightly under-cooking the it when steaming helps a lot here, too. There's nothing that drives me more crazy than over-cooked broccoli, and letting it continue to steam after under-steaming will guarantee the broccoli to not get that nasty stinky smell/flavor that I think turns a lot of people away from the veggie altogether. So under-cook it a little bit, place it in a bowl, cover it with a lid when you're finishing up your sauce, and bam: amazing broccoli to smother your potato with along with that heavenly soft cheese sauce. 

Enjoy your weekend, my dear friends! Hope you all stay warm, and get to relax from the week's constant trip to crazy town. xoxo


Baked Potatoes with Broccoli Cheese Sauce
makes 3 servings

ingredients:
3 medium Russet potatoes, scrubbed, and pricked with a fork several times
2 T butter, diced 
2 T flour
1/4 t onion powder
1/8 t garlic powder
1 C milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 C (4oz) sharp cheddar cheese
1 C chopped & steamed broccoli florets

method:
1. Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil, place them in the oven. Turn oven to 400 degrees and let potatoes bake until very tender, about an hour. 
2. To make broccoli cheese sauce: in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat until all the soft lumps are gone. Add onion and garlic powders, and whisk in flour. Whisking constantly, make sure all the components are uniform, keeping the heat at medium. Gradually whisk in milk, then season with salt and pepper. Mixture will boil and bubble until thickened. Add a little bit more milk if needed. 
3. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheddar cheese and half the steamed broccoli pieces. Remove potatoes from the oven, and pour cheese sauce over sliced up potato. Top with the other half of the broccoli florets and extra cheese. 

Recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy 

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