Broccoli Ham Mac & Cheese Casserole

Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 069I was planning my meals and had some Rye bread, Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese and mustard for a sandwich. With that, I had the makings of either Mac & Cheese or Broccoli with cheese for the side dish.

But my cat said otherwise. I forgot that I left the Rye bread on the counter. The cat tore into it and so I had to throw it away.

So now what could I do? Why not combine the remaining ingredients into a casserole?

This is even better. Now I have an All-in-One bowl that includes everything but the bread.Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 065

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Broccoli Florets, frozen and steamable, recommended: Great Value, two 12 oz. bags
  2. Black Forest Ham slices, recommended: Great Value, 8 oz.
  3. Cubed Ham, recommended: Farmland, 16 oz.
  4. Elbow Macaroni, large, recommended: American Beauty, 16 oz.
  5. Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, block, recommended: Great Value, 32 oz.Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 007
  6. Baby Swiss Cheese, recommended: Sargento, 9 slices
  7. Seasoning Blend with celery, yellow onion, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, parsley flakes: recommended: Great Value, 10 oz.
  8. Buttermilk, recommended: Hiland, ¾ quart
  9. Eggs, jumbo, 2
  10. Butter, 3 tablespoons, divided
  11. Panko Bread Crumbs, recommended: Great Value, ½ cup
  12. Black Truffle Oil, recommended: Roland ¼ teaspoon
  13. Truffle Zest, recommended: Sabatino, ¼ teaspoon
  14. Porcini Mushroom Rub, recommended: Manitou, ¾ teaspoons, dividedBroccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 024
  15. Ground Mustard, recommended: Tones, ¼ teaspoon
  16. Ham flavored concentrate, recommended: Goya, 1 packet
  17. Cream of Mushroom Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10 ½ oz.
  18. Broccoli Cheese Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10 ½ oz.
  19. Dijon Mustard, recommended: Grey Poupon, 2 teaspoons
  20. Parmesan Cheese blend, recommended: Kraft, 2 tablespoons
  21. Granulated Garlic, recommended: HyVee, 1 tablespoon
  22. Parsley Flakes, recommended: Spice World, 1 tablespoonBroccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 041
  23. Cornstarch, 1 teaspoon
  24. Oven Bag, recommended: Reynolds Kitchen, 1 Turkey size
  25. Aluminum Foil Sheets, recommended: Reynolds Wrap, 1 to 2

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the Cheese block into 8 pieces and freeze 30 minutes before shredding with a food processor (or use pre-shredded cheese). Put the cheese chunks into a gallon bag with the cornstarch (or flour) to keepBroccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 046 it from sticking. Also freeze the Black Forest Ham package.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of Butter with the Truffle Oil. To that add the Truffle Zest, Porcini Mushroom Rub ¼ teaspoon and Ground Mustard for 1-2 minutes in a large stock pot.
  3. Add water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the Macaroni and Ham concentrate packet and boil for 8 minutes. Add the Seasoning Blend and boil an additional 3 to 4 minutes and then drain.
  5. Whisk the Eggs in a large bowl. Add the Buttermilk, Cream of Mushroom Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup and Dijon Mustard.
  6. Brown the Ham Cubes in a skillet and set aside.Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 006
  7. Zap the Steamable frozen Broccoli in the microwave for a few minutes, according to the package. Also, microwave the Black Forest Ham for a few minutes, since it was frozen.
  8. Combine the Macaroni, Broccoli, Ham Cubes and Shredded Cheese into the large bowl with the Egg mixture.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Cut the oven bag, so that it fits into a casserole baking pan.
  11. The first layer is 1 bag of steamed Broccoli. Top with ¼ of the Porcini Mushroom Rub.
  12. The next layer is 1/3 of cheese.
  13. The next layer is the Macaroni mixture.Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 014
  14. Layer half of the Macaroni mixture.
  15. Top with half of the Ham slices (cut into bite-size pieces) and top with 4 Swiss Cheese slices.
  16. Repeat the layers, ending with the 5 Swiss Cheese slices.
  17. Cover with foil sheets and bake for 30 minutes.
  18. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of Butter and combine with the Panko bread crumbs, Parmesan Cheese Blend, Parsley Flakes and Granulated Garlic for the final topping.
  19. Bake an additional 10 to 12 minutes.
  20. Remove and rest for 10 minutes, then enjoy your “makeshift” Ham and Cheese sandwich!

Take that kitty cat!Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 064

Cooking shows always recommend shredding cheese from a block. And doing that made a big difference in the taste. I love me some “block” cheese. It did have a “sharper” cheddar flavor, compared to using pre-shredded cheese or Velveeta.

But it was way more work, than opening a package of pre-shredded cheese. I had cheese everywhere on my counter, LOL.

But eating the leftover cheese bites, was quite the treat.

Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 070The end result was so yummy! This “de-constructed” Macaroni & Cheese was packed with Ham and Cheese flavors.

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

The Vampire Dancer Saga Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all Audiobooks now available at  Audible.com and iTunes (click the word Audible or iTunes to open link to store).

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

SHALIMAR ALI BOOKS AT AMAZON

clip_image001

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)

clip_image002

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

clip_image003

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

clip_image004

The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

clip_image005

Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)

SOCIAL MEDIA

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/Shalimaral

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/shalimar.ali.9

YOUTUBE:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Shalimarali

BLOG:
https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/

LINKEDIN:
www.linkedin.com/pub/shalimar-ali/3a/5a9/8a4/

INSTAGRAM
https://www.instagram.com/shalimarali5/

Cajun Turkey Wings and Chicken Thighs

Turkey Wings 056About 10 years ago I got serious about baking the perfect Turkey. It took years of practice, because my mom usually cooked the Turkey for Thanksgiving. I purchased a large roasting pan and turkey kit with twine, injection needle, thermometer, etc.

Before I moved out on my own, I did not know how to bake a turkey. Turkey is an expensive meat, and I was too cheap to mess it up.

I had to start from the cooking basics. First learning how to fry and bake a cut up chicken. Then moving up to baking a whole chicken, a whole hen and finally, a whole duck.Turkey Wings 059

People loved my duck on Thanksgiving. So it was time to move up to baking a whole turkey.

But I had some secret weapons:

  • Bacon,
  • Butter,
  • Bag.
  • Smear the butter under the skin, and then stuff it with flavors like garlic, lemon and sage.
  • Bacon-wrap the turkey.Cookbook Recipes January 2020 022
  • Bag it in the Reynolds Turkey-size baking bag.

That Turkey was the bomb! It was tender, falling off the bone and finger-licking good.

But that meal only happened once a year for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Poultry for the rest of the year was baked or fried chicken wings or thighs.

One of my grocery stores had the turkey wings on sale for $1.34 a pound, while the chicken wings were $3.99 a pound. That was a no-brainer. Be cheap and buy the turkey wings! I also bought some chicken thighs, since they were on sale for $.65 a pound.Turkey Wings 007

Then I remembered my turkey kit from 10 years ago. I never used the injection needle, because I hate to get shots.

But then my grocery store had the pre-filled injection needle with butter marinade on sale.

That poor turkey has to get a shot from some who is nervous about getting shots.

I might have to have a beer first, to calm my nerves.

Paging Dr. Turkey Briner: It’s time to giveTurkey Wings 019 those birds a shot with a needle. Stat!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Turkey Wings, 2
  2. Chicken Thighs 6
  3. Honey, recommended: Sam’s Choice, 2 teaspoons
  4. Lemon (cut into 4 wedges), 1
  5. Chicken Bouillon Cubes, recommended: Knorr, 4 teaspoons, divided
  6. Herbs of Provence, recommended: Delish, 1 teaspoon
  7. Smoked Paprika, recommended: McCormick Gourmet, ½ teaspoon
  8. Apple Cider Vinegar, recommended: Heinz, ¼ cupTurkey Wings 040
  9. Creole Style Butter Marinade, recommended: Tony Chachere’s Injectables,
  10. Creole Seasoning, New Orleans Style, recommended: Zatarains, 3 tablespoons for the poultry ( ¼ tablespoons for the fries)
  11. Chicken Fry Seasoned, recommended: Louisiana, 1 ½ bags (about 15 oz.)
  12. Panko Bread Crumbs, Italian Style, recommended: Great Value, ½ cup
  13. Cooking Vegetable Oil, recommended: Great Value, 1 ½ bottles (about 72 oz.
  14. Shortening Sticks, Butter Flavor, recommended: Crisco, 1 containerTurkey Wings 017
  15. Buttermilk Dry, Cultured, recommended: Saco, 2 teaspoons
  16. Cornstarch, 2 teaspoons
  17. Eggs, Jumbo, 2
  18. Buttermilk, recommended: Hiland, ½ cups, divided
  19. Potato Wedges, Deli style, seasoned, recommended: Great Value, 16 to 32 oz.
  20. Grated Parmesan Three Cheese Blend, recommended: Kraft, 2 teaspoons
  21. Water and teapot
  22. Paper bag, large
  23. Disposal gloves (I used at least 8)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the Lemon-Honey Brine. Boil water in the teapot. In a large bowl add honey, lemon, bouillonCookbook Recipes January 2020 029 cubes, Herbs of Provence, smoked paprika, vinegar and boiled water. Stir and let cool. After it is cool, you can add the turkey wings & chicken thighs. I added 5 medium-size ice cubes to cool it down, before adding the meat. This can sit in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  2. The day before cooking, add the poultry to a large gallon bag and massage it with the buttermilk.
  3. Then season with the Creole Seasoning and inject the poultry with the Creole butter marinade.
  4. The day of cooking, beat one egg and add to the chicken bag. Beat the other egg and add to the turkey wing bag. Massage the beaten eggs with the poultry.
  5. Mix the cornstarch with the chicken fry, dry buttermilk blend and granulated chicken bouillon in a Cookbook Recipes January 2020 024large paper bag. This is a good time to get the plastic gloves.
  6. Dip the poultry in the chicken fry mixture and repeat, back to the egg bag, adding additional buttermilk as needed. And finally, one last dredge in the chicken fry mixture. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes in the chicken fry mixture (refrigerated).
  7. Heat the shortening stick and cooking oil in a large cast iron pot until 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  8. Preheat the oven to 350.
  9. Fry the turkey wings first about 10 to 15 minutes per side, until the meat is no longer pink at the bone. I used a cookie sheet with wire rack to drain the oil. Put in oven while frying the thighs and fries.Turkey Wings 024
  10. Next fry the chicken thighs, for 11 to 13 minutes per side to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Then rest in oven with the wings. Reduce oven to 180 to keep the meat warm
  11. Next fry the potato wedges about 5 to 7 minutes per side. I drain them in a colander and sprinkle with the Creole seasoning and parmesan cheese.

I love to make it “Buffalo” style with Louisiana Hot Sauce and Blue Cheese Dressing by Litehouse!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

The Vampire Dancer Saga Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all Audiobooks now available at  Audible.com and iTunes (click the word Audible or iTunes to open link to store).

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

SHALIMAR ALI BOOKS AT AMAZON

clip_image001

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)

clip_image002

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

clip_image003

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

clip_image004

The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

clip_image005

Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)Turkey Wings 037

SOCIAL MEDIA

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/Shalimaral

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/shalimar.ali.9

YOUTUBE:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Shalimarali

BLOG:Turkey Wings 058
https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/

LINKEDIN:
www.linkedin.com/pub/shalimar-ali/3a/5a9/8a4/

INSTAGRAM
https://www.instagram.com/shalimarali5/