Last week, daughter asked for Macaroni and Cheese. Why did she think of that? She had read from the Baby Blues cartoon strip that Wanda (the mother of the babies in the strip) makes Macaroni and Cheese three times a week. Accordingly, the children and parents in the strip have lesser food fights if the children are served Macaroni and Cheese because they - the children are too picky with their food. Daughter thought that Macaroni and Cheese must then be good if the babies prefer Macaroni and Cheese over anything else. (Even if the source of this opinion is only a cartoon strip. What if Wanda turns out to be not a good cook?) Well, anyway, we have not done Macaroni and Cheese yet. We have done all kinds of pasta, the regular Putanesca Spaghetti, Pesto Linguini, Baked Macaroni (red sauce) and Baked Lasagna (which was inspired by Garfield, but it will get its turn) but we have not done the regular American staple.
I was thinking how bland it would be if I just used cheese and cream sauce. So, I tried using Cream of Mushroom Soup to make the cream base more flavorful. Then I added chopped ham (we still have some Christmas ham left!) and sauted it with garlic and onions. The result is something like Baked Carbonara but very cheesy. The kids loved it of course. But hubby said it does not look healthy. Do you agree?
Here's my version of Macaroni and Cheese. Enjoy!
1 (500gm) pack macaroni elbows, cooked according to package directions
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 onion, chopped
3 slices Christmas ham, chopped
3 T butter
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup (I used Campbell brand)
2 C milk
2 C cheddar cheese, grated
1. Melt butter in a pan. Saute the garlic and onions for a while. Add the chopped ham.
2. When ham is cooked, add the Cream of Mushroom Soup and milk. Stir the mixture until all the soup is dispersed in the liquid. Turn off heat after the sauce boils and the consistency is smooth.
3. Put in 1 cup of the grated cheddar cheese into the mixture. Mix everything. Toss in the cooked macaroni pasta. Gently stir to coat all the macaroni.
4. Pour into a baking dish ( I used 13 x 9). Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the macaroni.
5. Bake at 350 F until cheese melts or turns golden.