Saturday, April 10, 2010

Recipe: Homemade Macaroni & Cheese

Years ago, when I was still living at home with my parents, my mom showed me a cookbook she had received fro some relatives. It contained Mormon pioneer recipes (my maternal grandfather's side of the family is Mormon). She asked me to make the macaroni & cheese recipe it contained. I never did write down the recipe but I have made this dish many, many times since then.

This weekend I saw I had some Boar's Head honey maple ham from the deli sliced the prior week, lots of Dubliner cheese purchased in book blocks from the chi-chi cheese case at Costco, half a box of whole wheat bow tie pasta, and lots of sweet onions. How to finish off these items, and not waste food by throwing anything away? Why, macaroni & cheese, of course!

Here it is; I assure you it is far more tasty than it may look:



And here is the recipe; you need to read my notes below to get the full effect and see how much this can vary:

8 to 12 oz of your favorite noodle shape, boiled to 3/4 or so doneness

While the above is boiling preheat the over to 400.

Beat 2 eggs and 1 C milk
Dice up 1/4 to 1/2 lb ham
Grate 6 oz of the cheese of your choice
Cube 6 to 8 oz cheese of your choice
Dice up 1 small sweet onion

When noodles are 3/4 cooked rinse in cold water. Place in a deep, round casserole dish. Pour the egg and milk mixture over and mix with a fork, ensuring noodles are coated. Add ham and onions and stir to mix with the fork. Level out the surface of the items in the dish. Add the cubes of cheese throughout the noodles, just shoving it in. Put half the grated cheese on top.

Bake until slightly golden brown, about 30 minutes or so. Pull out, mix everything with a fork or big spoon, put the rest of the grated cheese on top, and place back in oven, Continue to bake until your desired state of golden brown is reached.

Eat, then go to the gym because you have just ingested a lot of cheese and need to find a way to keep your arteries clear and healthy.

Notes:
  1. All measurements are approximate. I'm to the point now where I just toss stuff into the dish and call it a day. The texture and taste of the dish may change each time.
  2. The above is especially true depending on which cheese you use---and the cheese's meltability. I've used colby, colby/jack, gouda, extra sharp cheddar, Dubliner (like a swiss/cheddar), and swiss, to name a few.
  3. The amount of cheese I use varies depending on how cheesy I want the dish to be.
  4. The ham also varies. I use Boar's Head honey maple that is deli sliced for sandwiches. I've also planned out a meal of mac & cheese and ha dthe deli slice it into a 1/2" wedge that I chop up. And of course, let over ham from a holiday celebration works great, too.
  5. As for the onions, I like sweet onions but I've also tossed in green onions if I have some lying around. It's all about being creative!
  6. This is not a creamy mac & cheese. Rather, it is more dense in nature.

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