Whew!!That title was a mouthful...do I have your mouth watering already? If not trust me it will be by the end of this post. I have not had a time when I made this that was met without rave reviews, people wildly scarfing til bowls are empty and licking them for good measure kind of action.
I am sure that we have all tried the Kraft Dinner Mac N Cheese and although I do love that at times sometimes it is nice to have the grown up version with a little bit of healthy thrown in. Ready to make some of your own Rave Review Oven Baked Mac N Cheese?
454g Twisty Noodles (I used Fusilli this time around but have used Cavatappi on more than one occasion) Grated Cheddar Cheese (Lots and LOTS of cheese...MUAhhahahaahaha!) 4 Tablespoons Butter 1 Tablespoon Flour 2 Cups Milk 2 Cups Cooked Ham; Chopped 1 Medium Onion; Chopped Bread Crumbs
We start off this adventure by cooking up our entire box of noodles til al dente...
Al dente refers to the texture of the cooked pasta. It means "to the tooth" and the pasta should have a slight resistance in the center when the pasta is chewed.
While your pasta is cooking (I usually just take 2 minutes off the stated box time) you can chop your Ham and onion. Toss them each in to their own pan with some butter for the onion and nothing but its own juices for the ham and brown.
At this point you should be ready to drain your noodles of the hot water...and then run them under the colder water to stop them on the spot from cooking any further. I find that mixing them with my hands while the cold water runs over them works best to get them all cooled evenly.
Now is a good time to turn your oven on to a toasty warm 400º.
While that is heating you can continue to brown your ham and onion. In the same pot you cooked your noodles in we will also make the sauce.
To start this off you will need to melt 4 Tablespoons of butter and to that whisk in your 1 Tablespoon of flour. Once that is fully mixed together it is time to slowly whisk in, while over medium heat your milk. Simmer that while stirring constantly until it starts to foam. At this point you will toss in your grated cheese...
I have no measurement for this part as in our home we always eyeball cheese...we LOVE cheese. In the end you just want a nice orange looking gravy type mixture. Once your cheese sauce has thickened to your liking you can toss in your noodles, ham and onion for their cheese bath. Stir until everything is combined well and pour it into your 9x13 oven proof baking dish.
Top with grated cheese and bread crumbs...place in the oven for 20 minutes then...
Now Go Be Brave...and delve in to the world of Cheesy Flavor Filled Goodness.