Full-Meal Macaroni and Cheese
I love macaroni and cheese. I would eat the normal Kraft macaroni and cheese as a meal regularly, but I feel that’s frowned upon. So with that, I bring you my mom’s full-meal macaroni and cheese.
With this dish comes the concept of making a roux. It sounds fancy because it’s French, but don’t worry; it’s not that hard. A roux is a French term for thickening a sauce by cooking flour and fat together. This is how restaurant sauces are always so shiny and thick. And now, you can do it at home!
This dish is a gorgeous, creamy confection of cheese and noodles, with rich ham chunks and pops of freshness from the peas sprinkled throughout. It’s by no means a health food, but it’s so rich that you can’t eat that much of it anyway. (All things in moderation, right?) I think this full-meal macaroni and cheese is what all mac and cheese should be. Enjoy!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 16 ounces macaroni, cooked and drained
- 1 1/2 cups cubed fully-cooked ham
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
Make a roux by melting butter in a large sauce pan, stirring in the flour, and cooking until the mixture bubbles. Stir in the milk and cook, stirring until thickened.
Add the Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, paprika, and pepper. Stir in the macaroni, ham, and peas and cook until heated through. (Add more milk or cheese to alter the sauce’s consistency, as desired.) Serve hot.