Ham and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

from ButterYum
makes one 9x13 casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped (cooked in salted water until tender)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni (cooked in salted water until al dente)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk, plus 1/2 cup more  for pureeing cauliflower
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (7 ounces)
  • 12 ounces cooked diced ham
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder (or 1 teaspoon prepared mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  
  2. Butter a 9x13 casserole pan; set aside.  
  3. Puree cooked cauliflower and 1/2 cup milk in a food processor until smooth; set aside.
  4. In a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over med-hi heat.  
  5. Add flour and whisk to combine; continue cooking while stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. 
  6. Add 4 cups milk, mustard, salt and pepper; boil for 2 full minutes or until thick; whisking constantly.
  7. Turn off heat and whisk in cauliflower puree and cheddar cheese until smooth.  
  8. Fold in cooked pasta and diced ham; pour into prepared casserole dish.  
  9. Sprinkle top evenly with bread crumbs and dot with 2 tablespoons cubed butter.  
  10. Bake uncovered for 1 hour until hot and bubbly.  
  11. If needed, place under broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown.  
  12. Rest for 10 minutes before serving (will be soft).

Note: to cut square servings as shown, allow to cool for at least an hour.

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