Cloudy with a chance of cheese sauce

*This post is brought to you by a featured writer.

This might surprise you, but I never tasted broccoli as a child.  I did not know how lucky I was at the time, as I suppose other kid were being forced broccoli down their throats against their will.  We had lettuce and cabbage, celery and carrots, peas and beans, corn and mushrooms (which I did not like), but no broccoli in the house.

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When I first tasted broccoli as an adult, I did not like it one bit.  It was not as bad as Brussels sprouts (with apologies to Brussels sprouts fans reading this, of course).  Ooh, how I resisted spitting that out all over my plate! I had no interest in tasting broccoli ever again.  Yes, I actually had something in common with a President.  Remember when George Bush shared his learned opinions on broccoli with the world?

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

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Fast forward a few years and take a trip to Planet Cheese; things start to look a little different.  Or, at least, taste a little different.  You see, somebody persuaded me to try broccoli with cheese melted all over it.  The cheese in question was a processed form of cheddar, which I had never been too fond of, so the prognosis for this taste test did not look particularly promising.  What a surprise it was when I liked this combination of one thing I didn’t like smothered in another thing I didn’t like.

In the months that followed, I learned to like broccoli with other cheeses melted on top, too.  In the years that followed, I learned to enjoy broccoli without cheese, and I even sometimes add shredded broccoli (brocoslaw) to my salads. And, although I certainly don’t like Brussels sprouts now, I do occasionally eat them – even without cheese sauce!

Today, I want to share with you a cheese sauce for broccoli that I recently found, played with a bit and very much enjoyed each time.  It’s called “Best Ever Broccoli & Cheese Sauce” from Sargento Cheese.  It’s pretty simple to make, with just five ingredients (including the broccoli):

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) Sargento® Chef Blends™ Shredded Nacho & Taco Cheese
  • 8 cups (24 oz.) fresh broccoli florets

What makes this such a tasty treat is the flavoring in the cheese.  Here is how Sargento describes it:

” A hint of natural lime – a popular accent in authentic Mexican and Southwestern cuisine – is a flavorful accent to our Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheeses, and south-of-the-border seasonings. It will add a new twist to your favorite Mexican dishes.”

This recipe goes very will with anything you place on the barbecue, such as steak or grilled chicken.  Mashed potatoes round off a perfect meal (perhaps save a little cheese sauce for the potatoes).  If you eat this with barbecue, I have found that beer is very often ideal to go with it, although guests of ours

have preferred both wine and soda at times.  Water is OK, but don’t try drinking milk or anything too sweet with it; the combination just doesn’t work very well.

The world might have been a different place if George Bush had sampled the “Best Ever Broccoli & Cheese Sauce”.

I have a confession to make.  I have tried this sauce on other vegetables, too.  Yes, you guessed it.  I have tried it on Brussels sprouts, and it definitely improves them.

I have also tried the cheese sauce on a mixture of lightly cooked cauliflower clusters and thick slices of also lightly cooked carrots.  It tastes just as good.

If you are not up for barbecuing, or even for a full meal, you can make a delicious and healthy snack out of this recipe.  Just line the bowl with nacho chips, and pour on extra cheese sauce.   If you want all the taste, but don’t want to risk eating something as healthy as broccoli, try making just the sauce and dipping the chips.

Sargento covered the costs of the ingredients used in this recipe, but the opinions are my own.

Our guest reviewer is Wilma Smith.  When she was young, she recalls her mother repeatedly telling her not to play with her food.  Now, as an Internet food critic, she plays with her food for a living. “I have the best job in the world!” she recently declared with a mouth full of éclairs.