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Hearty Ham Mac and Cheese Recipe

Kids—and adults—can't seem to get enough of macaroni and cheese. In fact, I created this recipe for a friend and her family when she was ill. The addition of ham makes it a hearty, one-dish meal. —Jennifer Nystrom, Morrow, Ohio
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. YIELD:10 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 slices white bread
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Colby cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 3 cups cubed fully cooked ham (1/2-in. cubes)

Directions

  • 1. Grease a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish: set aside.
  • 2. For bread crumbs, pulse bread and cold butter in a food processor until crumbs are fine, about 20-25 pulses; set aside.
  • 3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the garlic, water, mustard and cayenne for 30 seconds. Stir in flour until blended; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Gradually whisk in broth and milks. Cook and stir 4-5 minutes longer or until mixture begins to thicken.
  • 4. Remove from the heat; stir in the cheeses, salt and pepper. Drain pasta; add to cheese mixture. Fold in ham. Pour into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  • 5. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 10 servings.

Wine Pairings

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.