Baked Ham Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. (8 oz.) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 c. shredded Vermont white sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 1/2  to 2 c. chopped ham
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

Directions

  1. PREPARE MACARONI & CHEESE LAYERS:  Cook macaroni in salted water; drain.
  2. Combine shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.  In a 1 & 1/2-quart baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray, layer macaroni, ham, and cheese in this order: 1. 1/2 of the macaroni, 2. 1/2 of the ham, 3. one cup cheese, 4. remaining macaroni, 5. remaining ham, and 6. one cup cheese. Set aside.
  3. PREPARE WHITE SAUCE: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in flour. Return to heat and gradually whisk in milk. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring; boil gently for about one minute until sauce is thickened.
  4. Pour white sauce evenly over the top of the macaroni. Top with remaining one cup cheese.
  5. For creamy macaroni and cheese, bake immediately.  For "firmer" macaroni and cheese, cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4-6 hours before baking.
  6. BAKE:  Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes until cheese is melted and top is lightly browned.

Note:  For a 9x13-inch pan, I make 1 & 1/2 times the recipe.


Enjoy!


Source:  The Kitchen is My Playground
www.thekitchenismyplayground.com