I ate the most incredible macaroni and cheese with ham that my wife brought home from some fancy restaurant in town known for their Mac n Cheese. (It was packaged in aluminum foil which was formed to look like a swan - I don't even WANT to know how much she paid for this dish!) ANYway - Since Kraft doesn't make this in a box, I thought I'd try out my hand (and whisk) at making it from scratch. Below is the result of many trials (and a few errors...) on my journey to Mac 'n Cheese perfection. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family. There are some recommendations at the bottom regarding different substitutions... I'd appreciate any feedback!
- Begin the cooking process of the macaroni- according to package directions; Add cubed ham (to warm) during the final minute or so of cooking the macaroni; Drain and set aside.
- While water is heating and macaroni is cooking, make your White Sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; add Flour and Salt, and cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
- Stir the Milk into the mixture and bring to a boil.
- Stirring constantly, boil mixture for 1 minute.
- Lower heat and cook until thickened, stirring regularly about 4-6 minutes.
- (Don't forget to add the ham to the macaroni as it is cooking!).
- Remove White Sauce from heat; Add cheese; stir until melted; Pepper to taste.
- Combine cheese sauce with the macaroni and ham in a bowl (or the macaroni pot); stir well.
- Serve with a yummy green vegetable on the side like green beans or asparagus.
- CHEF'S NOTES: You may use Medium/Mild Cheddar or maybe even PepperJack with this recipe as well; I would add a little"kick" with the milder cheeses by adding a clove of minced garlic, or by using salami pieces instead of ham- Yum!
The sharp white cheddar seems too sharp for my tastes. I will not be eating this batch, which sucks because 8 oz of sharp white cheddar was $7. Maybe next time I will use 4 oz. regular (not sharp) white cheddar plus 4 oz. white American cheese...or maybe Velveeta Queso Blanco?. I was expecting this to turn out like Panera Bread's white mac and cheese but the cheese sauce was way too strong!
This recipe is awesome! I tripled the recipe to feed my army and then baked it with bread crumbs on top. I will use this recipe all the time. Thanks for sharing!!
WOW! I am a mac and cheese junkie, so I am always looking for new recipes. We were having friends over and one thing we share in common, is our love for cheese:) This recipe certainly didn't disappoint! Very clear instructions and I had to physically remove myself from the kitchen so as to not eat it all before our guests arrived! I made it ahead of time, put it in a casserole dish and warmed it up right before dinner. The only thing I changed was to add a bit of mustard powder to the cheese mixture. Divine! Thanks Mr. Mom!