Broccoli with Cheetos

ImageSo this isn't just broccoli with Cheetos crushed over the top, that would be silly. This is broccoli with a garnish of Cheetos served on top of a rich, garlic-shallot infused sauce made from Gouda and Parmesan cheeses. Perfection.

Now, when I placed this on the dinner table, my kids looked at me like I was half-cracked or had lost my mind. But at the same time they were cheering because Cheetos were going to be a part of dinner. Score.

Apparently this dish is all the rage at Park Avenue Winter, a New York City restaurant that serves this dish up as a side dish on their regular menu. The Cheetos-loving chef, Craig Koketsu, claims this dish sells better than the French fries on the menu. I believe him.

The sauce has depth and complexity and the Cheetos change up the texture in a nice way. It just rocks.

Everyone ate their broccoli last night. First time ever.


Broccoli with Cheetos
From Saveur via Park Avenue Winter

2 cups heavy cream
3 Tablespoons minced garlic, divided
2 Tablespoons minced shallots
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 cups grated aged Gouda
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt to taste
1-1/4 pounds broccoli, cut into small florets
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
2 cups original Cheetos, crushed by hand

Combine heavy cream, 2 Tablespoons garlic, shallots, peppercorns and bay leaf in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring often, until reduced by half, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove pan from heat, stir in cheeses until melted and season to taste with salt.  Set a fine strainer over a small saucepan and strain sauce, discarding solids.  Set aside and keep warm.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add broccoli and cook, stirring until crisp but somewhat tender, 3 minutes.  Drain broccoli, transfer to a bowl of ice water and let chill.  Drain and transfer to paper towels to dry; set aside. 

Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat.  Add remaining garlic and chili flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add broccoli and cook, stirring often, until barely browned, about 4 minutes.

To serve, spoon cheese sauce evenly among 6 warm serving bowls or small plates.  Top sauce with broccoli and Cheetos.  Serve immediately and without guilt.


Cathy is currently in the development stages of her vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She lives with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at