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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mac N Cheese

Who doesn't love macaroni & cheese? The stuff from the blue box passed when we were kids but, as adults, we expect more from our food.  Beyond cheesy and creamy, this dish offers a tasty inclusion of broccoli and ham.  Feel free to substitute or add cauliflower to the broccoli.

1/2 pkg. pasta, preferably organic whole wheat
1 small bunch broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
2 T butter
2T flour
12 oz. milk or half & half
dash nutmeg
dash cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c.gruyere cheese, shredded
6 oz. cubed ham or 3 oz. lunchmeat ham, sliced into strips

1.  Cook pasta as directed. Add broccoli & cook 3 minutes more. Drain and set aside.

2.  Melt butter & add flour. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes before adding milk (half & half) slowly while whisking. Continue to cook until sauce begins to thicken.

3.  Add cheese & seasonings and stir until melted.

4.  Add pasta, broccoli, and ham. Stir to combine.

5.  If you like a crunchy topping, combine 1/4 bread crumbs, 1 T olive oil, and 1 t parsley in a small bowl. Pour mac & cheese into an oven proof casserole, top with bread crumbs and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

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