Illustrations by John BurgoynePhoto: Kang Kim

Despite its Superfood status, broccoli—at your local Greenmarket now— is not an easy sell. Craig Koketsu of the hyperseasonal Park Avenue Autumn has a solution: crushing and then sprinkling Cheetos over the healthful veggie. Now, as far as we know, Cheetos—whether they be of the crunchy or puffy variety—are not a seasonal food, if food is the right word to describe them. But let’s not quibble. “It’s our most popular side dish,” says Koketsu. “It outsells French fries.”

Craig Koketsu’s Broccoli & Cheetos

3 large heads of broccoli, stems peeled and cut into 1/4-inch discs; florets cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
3 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste

1 quart heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cups aged Gouda, grated
1 cup Parmesan, grated
Salt to taste
1/2 9-ounce bag of Crunchy Cheetos

FOR THE BROCCOLI: Blanch florets and stems in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Remove and shock in ice water. Cool and drain. Place large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and chile flakes and sweat, being careful not to brown garlic. Add butter and melt fully into oil. (1) When the butter and oil begin to bubble, add broccoli and sauté until heated through. Adjust seasoning with salt and reserve broccoli on a paper-towel-lined plate. FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, reduce cream with shallots, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaf until it thickly coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and whisk in cheeses until fully melted. Adjust seasoning with salt. (2) Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer and keep warm in a bain-marie. Crush the Cheetos in the bag into pebble-size bits with a rolling pin. to serve: Pour warm sauce into a large serving dish. Arrange broccoli on top of sauce. (3) Top with crushed Cheetos. Serves 6 to 8.

Craig Koketsu Prepares Broccoli With Cheetos

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