Sunday, August 15, 2010

Smoked Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli


I used to hate mac and cheese. You know, the stuff that comes in a box, the one that so many of my friends lived on in college. I thought the box would taste better.

Just as in college,I was a minority in our household, Quinn and Nancy love mac and cheese. So, when we decided to live a healthier lifestyle, I took it as a real challenge to make one that was not only healthier, but one that I would actually like. This version pis up to both challenges.

I used a whole wheat penne, fresh broccoli, some grilled chicken breast. But what really made it stand out was the wonderful smoky flavor of a combination of chipotle pepper sauce and smoked Gruyère cheese. Gruyère is by no means a low-fat cheese, but if you don't use too much, you get a fantastic creaminess and a smoky flavor that melds perfectly with the chicken and broccoli. And, you get it for only 382 calories with 9 grams of fat and 6 of fiber.

You can leave the chicken out and have a great side dish or great vegetarian meal.

Let's eat!

Smoked Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli
Makes 6 servings
Ingredients:
8 ounces (dry) whole wheat penne
2-3 broccoli crowns chopped
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups skim milk
3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper sauce (you can substitute liquid smoke if you don't want a little spice)
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 cup shredded smoked Gruyere
12 ounces grilled chicken, cubed
Chopped scallion for garnish

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta for 6 minutes. Add broccoli and cook and additional 3 minutes. Drain and return the pasta and broccoli to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by no more than half, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a bowl, mix flour, milk, salt, pepper, mustard and chipotle sauce and add to the pot with the onion mixture. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thickened to desired consistency.  Reduce heat to low and add cheese and chicken and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and the chicken is heated through.

Pour cheese mixture over pasta and broccoli and combine. Serve topped with chopped scallions.

Deal of the Day: Things like this International Viva L Pasta 5-Piece Pasta Sets aren't needs, but are so much fun to have!

18 comments:

megan said...

Great one Scott! I can see this on the menu.

bunkycooks said...

That looks delicious! The smoky cheese really adds lots of flavor.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

This sounds amazing. Yum.

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

This looks so yummy! I love the addition of the chipotle - great flavor. Mac and cheese is my favorite dish ever and I love how you made it a compelte and healthy meal.

Heather I. said...

I used to hate mac & cheese as well, until I tried a homemade version! This looks and sounds great, I like your addition of chicken to add some extra lean protein :)

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely picture

The Cilantropist said...

This sounds delicious, I bet I would love it! I am not a big broccoli fan, but I think I would add cauliflower instead. :)

CC Recipe said...

Well I absolutely love mac and cheese and all different kinds and flavors, I love the smoky flavor added here, this sounds so good and has me craving creamy mac & cheese!

♥peachkins♥ said...

I love this recipe and I love your site!!!!

The Peach Kitchen
peach and things
blowing peachkisses

The Mom Chef said...

I would love this recipe, but if I tried it all I'd hear about is how it's not "her favorite," which is what comes out of the blue box. ::sigh:: thanks for trying though. :)

baking.serendipity said...

Mac and cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods in my book. I love the healthy version you've created here! Fancy mac and cheese is impressive and comforting!

Angie's Recipes said...

I enjoy the mac&cheese from time to time. I guess I would have disliked it if it had become a daily meal. Love your lighter and healthier version.
Angie

Squeaky Gourmet said...

Smoked cheese FTW!

Marisa said...

Great recipe. It is so good when you can indulge in something as good as mac and cheese without having to feel guilty!

Cook with Madin said...

This looks wonderful. My husband loves mac&cheese, I'm sure he will love this healthier version. Funny, I just bought some whole wheat penne yesterday, great timing about your post.

Carolyn said...

That sounds fantastic, I will have to give it a try! I also liked your idea for a breakfast wrap...I always forget that option!

Sara said...

Fresh ingredients and veggies make mac n' cheese grown up and great tasting! I actually think we should come up with a new, clever name for the dish. Maybe the "Fight the Fat Gruyere Gourmet Noodle Dish" or something with fewer words : )

Mgoh said...

I always love mac and cheese, who doesn't anyway! such a comfort to me!

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