I 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?
- Broccoli Florets, frozen and steamable, recommended: Great Value, two 12 oz. bags
- Black Forest Ham slices, recommended: Great Value, 8 oz.
- Cubed Ham, recommended: Farmland, 16 oz.
- Elbow Macaroni, large, recommended: American Beauty, 16 oz.
- Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, block, recommended: Great Value, 32 oz.
- Baby Swiss Cheese, recommended: Sargento, 9 slices
- Seasoning Blend with celery, yellow onion, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, parsley flakes: recommended: Great Value, 10 oz.
- Buttermilk, recommended: Hiland, ¾ quart
- Eggs, jumbo, 2
- Butter, 3 tablespoons, divided
- Panko Bread Crumbs, recommended: Great Value, ½ cup
- Black Truffle Oil, recommended: Roland ¼ teaspoon
- Truffle Zest, recommended: Sabatino, ¼ teaspoon
- Porcini Mushroom Rub, recommended: Manitou, ¾ teaspoons, divided
- Ground Mustard, recommended: Tones, ¼ teaspoon
- Ham flavored concentrate, recommended: Goya, 1 packet
- Cream of Mushroom Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10 ½ oz.
- Broccoli Cheese Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10 ½ oz.
- Dijon Mustard, recommended: Grey Poupon, 2 teaspoons
- Parmesan Cheese blend, recommended: Kraft, 2 tablespoons
- Granulated Garlic, recommended: HyVee, 1 tablespoon
- Parsley Flakes, recommended: Spice World, 1 tablespoon
- Cornstarch, 1 teaspoon
- Oven Bag, recommended: Reynolds Kitchen, 1 Turkey size
- Aluminum Foil Sheets, recommended: Reynolds Wrap, 1 to 2
- 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 keep it from sticking. Also freeze the Black Forest Ham package.
- 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.
- Add water and bring to a boil.
- 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.
- Whisk the Eggs in a large bowl. Add the Buttermilk, Cream of Mushroom Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup and Dijon Mustard.
- Brown the Ham Cubes in a skillet and set aside.
- 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.
- Combine the Macaroni, Broccoli, Ham Cubes and Shredded Cheese into the large bowl with the Egg mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the oven bag, so that it fits into a casserole baking pan.
- The first layer is 1 bag of steamed Broccoli. Top with ¼ of the Porcini Mushroom Rub.
- The next layer is 1/3 of cheese.
- The next layer is the Macaroni mixture.
- Layer half of the Macaroni mixture.
- Top with half of the Ham slices (cut into bite-size pieces) and top with 4 Swiss Cheese slices.
- Repeat the layers, ending with the 5 Swiss Cheese slices.
- Cover with foil sheets and bake for 30 minutes.
- 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.
- Bake an additional 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove and rest for 10 minutes, then enjoy your “makeshift” Ham and Cheese sandwich!
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.
Check out the sample and get your copy here: Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook
PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:
The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)
The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)
The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)