Monday, February 22, 2010

Broccoli and Havarti - a Match Made in Heaven

Most cheese sauces served with broccoli are cheddar-based. I've gotten a little tired of the same-old, same-old, so I went looking for something new. I wanted a creamy cheese that had a strong flavor without being cloying. My eye fell on some Havarti in the cheese case and I realized I had my cheese sauce.

Broccoli in Havarti Cheese Sauce

1 or 2 crowns broccoli, cut into spears
8 oz Havarti cheese (I selected a creamy Havarti, but this will
work as well with regular)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vodka
1 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon butter (reduce if the milk is whole, increase if the milk is skim)

Slice cheese into small pieces and mix with cornstarch. Havarti does not grate well.

Heat milk and butter until butter is melted. Add vodka and cheese mixture. Heat in a double boiler over medium heat until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally.

Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.

Meanwhile, steam broccoli for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on how done you like your broccoli.

Spoon sauce over broccoli.

Oh my, did this work. The cheese sauce was wonderfully rich and creamy, but not overwhelming. The cabbage notes in the broccoli cut through the cheese sauce, but only supported the green notes of the chlorophyll (if the broccoli is overcooked, the sense of the chlorophyll will disappear).

This sauce will also work well for cauliflower. Unfortunately, this was a lot of cheese sauce for two people, but the sauce reheats well with the addition of a little more milk and brief bursts in the microwave.


Geoffrey said...

Looks delicious! This seems sort of like a bechamel sauce/rue that could be used in a gratin with other veggies as well. It'd be delicious with spinach too I bet! Yum!

Susan Wensel said...

Actually, I based the cheese sauce on the way fondue sauces are put together. I have used it over cauliflower/broccoli too. You're right, it would be great with spinach.