When I was little…

My brother and I wouldn’t eat Kraft Mac and Cheese, but we did love noodles and cheesy sauce…  My mom would make it from scratch.   I also didn’t like most fast food.  But that has nothing to do with mac and cheese.

So, I made some.  Just cuz it’s tasty.

Cheesy goodness, with salty ham bits.

 

Mac and Cheese

2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
3-4 cups milk
8 oz Cheddar
½ cup Colby Jack
1/2 cup Parmesan
1 lb mini shell pasta – any small shape will do, I just like shells
½ lb cubed ham
Salt and Pepper

Before I start the directions for this, I just want to point out that my hot foods are very “meh, this seems right”, and I don’t pay that close attention to how much stuff gets thrown in.  I also don’t use measuring cups for hot foods, I just estimate it.  Measuring cups are for baking.  This is a very loose and vague recipe; it’s more of a starting point than anything else.

Start a roux.  Not the sexy Johnny Depp character, silly!  Melt about 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat, stir in about 3-4 tbsp flour, until it comes together to make a paste.  Slowly add milk, about a ¼ cup at the beginning.  Stir the sauce until the flour absorbs the liquid and thickens it.  Keep adding milk until there is about 3-4 cups of sauce (I’m really guessing at this point.  I filled up my small sauce pan about 2/3 full).

Add the cheeses to the sauce, the Parmesan was to give the sauce a little tang, and I decided I needed more than 8 oz of Cheddar, so I used some Colby Jack I had in my fridge.  Sharp cheddar might be better?  Play around with it!  Once all the cheese melts add salt and pepper to taste.  Oh right, and hold out about ½ – 3/4 cup of mixed cheddar and Colby back.

While working on the sauce, cook and drain the pasta, keep it a little under al dente (this will be finished in the over later) Make sure your ham is all cubed and ready to go!  All this stuff ready? Good.  It’s time to put it all together!

Pour the pasta into a casserole dish, mix in the sauce and ham.  Sprinkle the extra cheese on top.  Bake in a 350* oven for about 15-20 minute until the cheese is melty or golden brown (depends on how you like it.)

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