Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ham and Cheese Macaroni

I've got to admit...macaroni and cheese is NOT my favorite. At least the kind you get out of the Kraft box isn't.  This is a homemade version that I love though.  I like it so much that I'm drooling a bit writing this.  I've got to warn you, this is not something for those health nuts out there.  It's good old fashioned comfort food.  

I have modified this recipe just a little bit from one of Emeril Lagasse's.  This is one of the few recipes he makes that is simple and easy to throw together.  Nothin' fancy here.

Start off with a bit of butter.  Throw in some flour to make up a roux.  See, faaancy.


 Pour in some milk and stir it around until it thickens up.


 Add a bit too much cheese.:)


Get some pasta...I used ditalini and elbow pasta because it is what I had on hand.  I think penne might work really well too.  It was right about here that I threw in some ham chunks just to add more bulk, it really needs it doncha think?  Hey if your being bad, be reeeeally bad.
Sprinkle with some Italian bread crumbs, cheese, and Emeril's Original Essence seasoning.  I buy the stuff premade in the spice section of the grocery store.
Bake for a bit and voila...yum.

For those of you who might want a real recipe rather than the ramblings above, here ya go. 

- 6 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 lb. pasta
- 5 Tbsp. flour
- 3 c. whole milk (I use 1% with good results)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- A pinch of cayenne or red pepper.
- A pinch of red pepper flakes (If you like a kick.)
- 2 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese (The sharp variety is my fave, and I confess that I probably use a lot    more than 2 1/2 c.)
- Cubed ham to taste.  This is optional.
- 1/2 c. Italian bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. Emeril's Original Essence seasoning

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Throw on a large pot of boiling water (salt it a bit if you like).  Add your pasta of choice and boil until al dente.  Drain when done.

Place 5 Tbsp. of butter in a big saucepan.  Melt it over medium heat...throw your flour in and stir constantly being sure that it doesn't burn...not that I would know anything about that.  After about 3 minutes...pour in your milk and stir constantly until it thickens.  This takes about 5 minutes.  Throw in your salt, black pepper, cayenne, red pepper flakes, cheese, and ham.  Stir it all together until the cheese is melted.  Combine the cheese sauce with your pasta.  Pour into a large casserole dish sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray.  

Next mix together 1/2 c. of the cheddar cheese, Italian bread crumbs, and Emeril's Original Essence seasoning.  Sprinkle over the top of your mac and cheese.  Bake for about 25 minutes.

Can I just share that recipes like these really don't help with my whole "lose the baby fat" plan.  No fair!

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Linking to:

A Bowl Full of Lemons 
I'm Topsy Turvy 
Home Stories A2Z 
Not Just A Housewife 
Blessed With Grace 
Savvy Southern Style 
The Shabby Creek Cottage 
Delightful Order 
Raising Oranges 
Addicted 2 Decorating 
Positively Splendid 
Be Different, Act Normal 
Simply Klassic Home 
Sisters of the Wild West 
I Heart Nap Time 
Addicted to Recipes


  1. mmm... I don't even like mac-&-cheese and this looks so yummy! I'll have to try it! Thanks for sharing.

    1. I was in the same boat...but this converted me over.

  2. Thanks for sharing! My son loves the boxed version and I would love to get him away from it. Would love you to link up:
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Thanks for linking up to the Scrumptious Sunday link party! I will be choosing three recipes this weekend and will be featuring them on my blog and Facebook page:

    Will see you again soon! Thank you again!


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