For me there is no better comfort food on a cold fall night then homemade macaroni and cheese. I’ve used several recipes over the years and while they have all tasted good, I generally end up with some hunks of cheese in the macaroni because I use cheeses that don’t melt well.
I looked online to find a recipe that I could live with, and then added in some cheeses that melt well. I’ve also learned that while adding ham to the macaroni and cheese gives it an excellent flavor, big hunks of ham are not very good in it. I also like to have a sort of crumbly on top that brown in the oven.
I had a few mishaps when preparing the macaroni and cheese this time. I dumped about half a cup of steaming hot noodles on my hand which then went all over the floor. I also spilled a few of the cheese cubes and then ended up stepping on them in my socks.
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with Ham (loosely adapted from Las Vegas Food Adventures )
1 pound package of elbow macaroni
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 c. low fat milk
½ t. salt
½ t. black pepper
1 ½ c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 oz. Velveeta , chopped into small cubes
4 oz. fontina cheese, chopped into small cubes
8 oz. ham, chopped into small pieces
1 t. paprika
1 t. garlic salt
½ c. panko breadcrumbs
½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 T. butter
1. Cook the macaroni noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray.
3. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook about 2 minutes, continuing to whisk.
4. Slowly add in the milk, whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Stir in the salt and pepper.
6. Place the macaroni noodles into the prepared baking dish. Mix in the chopped ham. Pour the sauce over top of the noodles and ham and mix well. Sprinkle the top with the paprika and garlic sauce. Bake for 10 minutes.
8. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.