Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Homemade macaroni & cheese with ham

Watch out Kraft Mac & Cheese, 
this is my kids' all-time favorite dish and it can be whipped up in no time at all!
1. When I make pasta I usually make twice as much as we need so the next day I can make their "pâtes gratinées" as my kids call it.
2. I make a Béchamel sauce. I start with a roux (melted butter and flour) and then I continually whisk as I add in milk and as the mixture heats to boiling. Here's a classic and simple recipe. For my mac & cheese, I season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and I throw in a couple handfuls of grated cheese after the Béchamel has reached its boiling/thickening point.
3. If I've got some leftover ham, I cube a few slices and mix into my pre-cooked pasta, then I put it all into a baking dish. It tastes good without ham and you can also try frozen peas or other veggies if you want to make it healthier!
4. Once the Béchamel sauce has thickened, I pour it over the pasta and ham and stir to coat evenly.
Now, here's the most important part for my children.... (scroll down)

5. I cover the top with generous handfuls of grated cheese and pop the whole dish into a hot oven until the cheese has melted and is golden and crunchy: gratinée!

Have a great Wednesday!


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