Macaroni and Cheese with Ham
- 3½ tablespoons Darigold butter, divided
- 2½ tablespoons flour
- 1½ cups Darigold milk
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon hot-pepper sauce
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Darigold sharp white cheddar cheese
- 6 oz. small elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained according to package directions
- 1½ cups diced cooked ham
- ¼ cup panko-style (Japanese) breadcrumbs, or other unseasoned breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup (1 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
Grease an 8x8x2-inch ovenproof baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.
Melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is lightly browned (1-2 minutes). Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk in the mustard, salt and hot-pepper sauce. Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently until the sauce coats a metal spoon (about 5 minutes). Add the cheddar cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Mix the macaroni with the ham and spread the mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce evenly over the top. In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the macaroni.
Bake in 350°F oven until bubbly and crispy brown at the edges (about 30 minutes). If the breadcrumbs are not golden, place under the broiler for a few seconds before serving.
RECIPE YIELD/SERVING SIZE
Makes 4 to 6 servings.