Thursdays Are For Cooking

| October 10, 2019 | 16 Comments

The October Full Moon is the Hunter’s Moon, hitting us on October 13 for a 3-day period. That is the seasonal signal to bring home the venison or bacon or ham – whatever you have.

Mac and cheese is comfort food, and in the chilly days ahead, that’s what we want. So here you go, classic mac & cheese with some add-ons to make it even better.  It is, and always has been, an easy recipe that can be embellished or changed to suit your needs and wants.

Once it’s in the oven, you can yell ‘SUPPER!!!” out the back door and people should come running. They’ll have a half hour to get cleaned up and look civilized.

Make sure that your side dishes compliment the meal and that dessert leaves everyone satisfied.

Bacon, Ham and Mac & Cheese

2 cups of uncooked short pasta – penne is good for this

1 minced garlic clove OR 1 tablespoon of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of flour

¼ teaspoon of pepper

2 cups 2% milk

3 cups of shredded cheese – cheddar is good for this. Divide into portions of 2 cups and 1 cup; the 2 cups of cheese go into the sauces and the remaining 1 cup goes on top

½ cup of crumbled cooked bacon

½ cup of minced ham (buzz that up in your food processor from the ham in your fridge)

Preparation:

Cook the pasta according to package directions

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the garlic in it until softened (about 1 minute). If you don’t want garlic, leave it out.

Stir in the flour and pepper to make the roux, then gradually add the milk – KEEP STIRRING TO KEEP THE SAUCE SMOOTH!!!!!

Add the minced ham to the sauce and keep stirring

Drain the pasta. Add 1/3 cup of bacon and all the minced ham to the pasta, and mix that into the cheese sauce. Load the pasta/ham/bacon mixture into your greased baking dish (2 qt size). Cover the dish and bake it in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes.

Uncover the mac and cheese and add the remaining crumbled bacon. Bake it 5 to 10 more minutes until the cheese is melted.

This will serve 4 to 6 people. Expand it according to the number of people you will be serving.

Category: Economy

Comments (16)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. RGR 4-78 says:

    Ex, when do you add the 1st cheese?
    When do you add the 2nd cheese?
    Am I supposed to have the ham in 2 parts?

    This sounds like it will be really good.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Sorry, I thought that was clear.

      3 cups of shredded cheese total

      Divide into portions of 2 cups and 1 cup.

      The 2 cups of cheese and the minced ham go into the sauce with the milk.

      Keep stirring it to keep it smooth. Mix it with the cooked pasta. Bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes, covered with foil, at 350F.

      The remaining 1 cup of cheese is sprinkled on top of the casserole along with the remaining crumbled bacon after you take it out of the oven to finish it. After sprinkling the remaining cheese and bacon on top, put the casserole back into the oven (same temp) for 5 to 10 minutes.

      Keep an eye on it, because it is easy to overcook the cheese topping.
      .

  2. Using Penne makes Cents. Maybe I’ll give it a shot er I mean a try since the Doc just put me on a cholestirol tablet.

  3. Ex; I just printed your recipe and I’ll wait until you answer RGR-78’s question on the 1st & 2nd cheese additions. I will have to empty my oven since I am now using it as a closet storing cook and baking stuff. Gave away 2 pizza stones and 3 pizza peals.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      She had me at “Bacon.” Further hooked at “Ham.” Ima gonna go out on a limb here fellas and point out the pro tip that Ex just figured every one knew. The FIRST 2 cups of cheese, as she stated, are for the sauce. Roux is another term for sauce. Use that 2 cups in that step. (flour pepper {CHEESE} with the butter & garlic mix). The SECOND (do I hear an AYE) CHEESE and the remaining bacon go on at the same time in that last baking/melting step.

      Down heah, mac & cheese is considered to be not only a vegetable, but also part of the major food groups.

      Good post Mi’Lady. Mama made this same basic recipe using what ever scraps of meat she may of had, beef, pork, or chicken.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Sorry, I thought that was clear.

      3 cups of shredded cheese total

      Divide into portions of 2 cups and 1 cup.

      The 2 cups of cheese and the minced ham go into the sauce with the milk.

      Keep stirring it to keep it smooth. Mix it with the cooked pasta. Bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes, covered with foil, at 350F.

      The remaining 1 cup of cheese is sprinkled on top of the casserole along with the remaining crumbled bacon after you take it out of the oven to finish it. After sprinkling the remaining cheese and bacon on top, put the casserole back into the oven (same temp) for 5 to 10 minutes.

      Keep an eye on it, because it is easy to overcook the cheese topping. You want it gooey, not hard.

      Apologies for confusing anyone.

  4. Toxic Deplorable Racist B Woodman says:

    My wife likes to put in medium chopped sauteed onion into the mac&cheese. Ummmmmm…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *