Our ham and broccoli macaroni and cheese is one of our favorite meals to make. It’s the side and main dish (the ham) brought together!
Cade is a hamburger man, and I’m beginning to like them, but it’s taken me almost 32 years to start enjoying them. I love a good hot dog though. I know, I know you’re disgusted by me. How could I choose a hot dog over a hamburger? Well, I love them! I love that juicy snap when you bite into a grilled hot dog and I love to find new brands to try and see who makes it best. Falls and Hebrew are really good IMHO.
When I was a little girl the rage was dinners that were quick and easy and many of the kids at school were eating hot dog mixed into their macaroni and cheese for dinner. Mom would occasionally make us macaroni and cheese or even chicken nuggets (coolest mom ever!!) for dinner, but I don’t remember hot dogs in the mix. I do remember one friend and her mom mixing in mustard though…
Anyway, my point is that a lot of families were enjoying macaroni and cheese and in a little hot dogs versus hamburgers discussion with Cade the other day we started chatting about macaroni and cheese and I pretty much felt it was my duty to combine all of the childhood variations into one dish.
There’s a hint of mustard for my friend Jennifer, “hot dogs” for those stinky 4th grade boys, and broccoli for every mom out there that is just trying to get their kids to try one vegetable! Been there. Done that.
Now, we make our macaroni and cheese with ham a little different. I like it extra smooth since we are adding extras and I don’t want it to get clumpy so we toss our cheese with corn starch and then cook everything together. It keeps the cheese extra silky. We also like to sauté the ham first as it really brings out the flavor but you can skip it if you feel lazy.
Ham and Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
- 2 Cups Ham, chopped
- 2½-3 Cup Broccoli Florets, steamed
- 3 Cups Pasta Shells
- 3 Cups Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (better quality makes a smoother sauce)
- 1 Cup Finely Shredded Medium or Mild Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon plus 2 Teaspoons Corn Starch
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 3 Dashes Hot Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- ¼ Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Cup Half and Half (may use milk)
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- In a deep skillet, over medium heat add the ham and saute until golden, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove to a plate.
- In a large bowl, toss the cheese and cornstarch.
- Start the pasta in boiling water and cook per package instructions.
- Heat the skillet back to medium heat and add the cheese, salt, hot sauce, mustard, worcestershire, pepper, half and half and cream. Heat through while whisking until smooth and silky. Add the ham and broccoli and using a slotted spoon add the pasta. Stir to combine, season to taste. Serve with extra pepper.