Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Leftover Mac & Cheese

For Christmas Eve dinner, we always eat a light meal of cheese, homemade rolls, dried fruits, and black and green olives and some kind of juice.  Most times, we get a cool assortment of cheeses to try, trying to get some from  a few different countries.  This year, I didn't have time to go the Portuguese grocery store before Christmas Eve, so we had the following cheeses for our meal: Sharp White Vermont Cheddar, Harvarti with Jalepenos, Colby, Colby-Jack (lol- the kids love both of those!) and Muenster. 

Every year we have a lot of cheese leftover.  And then on Christmas Day, for the last few years, we've had a spiral-cut ham for dinner.  A spiral-cut ham has a ton of meat on it.  We'll eat off it for 2 days, and then I'll usually make either soup or mac and cheese with it, and chop up the rest for the freezer to use in another meal down the road.  I decided to name my concoction Christmas leftover Mac and Cheese this year- maybe it will be an after-Christmas tradition for us! 
Christmas Leftover Mac & Cheese
by What a Dish!

10.5 ounces favorite small pasta shape (I LOVE radiatori for mac & cheese-my fave)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
fresh black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
12 ounces (about) of your favorite cheese, shredded, or a mix.  (I used sharp white cheddar, Muenster, Jalepeno Havarti, and Colby)
2 cups chopped, cooked ham

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease a medium casserole dish- about 2-3 qt. size.  In a large soup pot, boil the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside. 

2.  Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour, and keep whisking for a little bit- about a minute.  Whisk in the milk, and cook and stir until thickened.  Add the black pepper and Dijon mustard.  Turn the heat to low.  Add the cheese in little handfuls, a little at a time.  Make sure each handful melts before adding the next.  When all the cheese is melted, remove from the heat.  Stir in the chopped ham.

3.  Pour the pasta into your prepared casserole dish, and pour the cheese/ham sauce over the pasta.  Toss to combine and place in the oven.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce bubbles and the top of the casserole is lightly browned. 
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyway you can make these recipes printer friendly so I don't have to print out all the stuff I do not want to waste ink and paper on?

Thanks

What A Dish! said...

Anon, sadly there does not seem to be an easy way for me to do that. What I suggest (and what I do myself with other blogs) is copy & paste just the recipe into a program like Word or Notepad, and print from there.