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:

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

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

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Happy Vance Day! Tuna & Catfish Delights.

Tuna5My big brother’s birthday is on December 21st.

Sunrise: December 21st! Gone, but not forgotten and still very much loved!

The last meal he cooked for us was Catfish Nuggets and Macaroni & Cheese. He liked to use a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup on the Mac & Cheese, so I will honor his flavor.

I hope to cook my Catfish Nuggets with Mac & Cheese this weekend, either Friday or Saturday. In the meanwhile, I have Tuna to eat for my main meal this week. Not Starkist Tunajust any tuna sandwich, but an “Epic” tuna sandwich, dedicated to Tito Jackson. I was watching one of the Jackson 5’s TV specials and Tito mentioned a Tuna & Tomato sandwich. I am finally getting around to making one.

Epic Tuna & Tomato Grilled Swiss Cheese on Rye Bread!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Tuna, Yellowfin Solid Wild-Caught, with Lemon Dill and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, recommended: Starkist Selects, two 4.5 oz. cans
  2. Tuna, Solid White Albacore, Gourmet Prime Filet Wild-Caught, recommended: Bumblebee, 5 oz.
  3. Tartar Sauce, recommended: Kraft, 3 to 4 teaspoons
  4. Tuna4Relish, Sweet Pickle, recommended: Vlasic, 2 to 3 teaspoons
  5. Cream Cheese, Garden Vegetable, recommended: Philadelphia, 2 to 3 teaspoons
  6. Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon, recommended: Philadelphia, 1 to 2 teaspoons
  7. Tasty Zesty Basil, Thyme & Lemon Zest Seasoning, recommended: McCormick, 1 teaspoon
  8. Celery Seed, recommended: Tone’s, 1/8 teaspoon
  9. Rye Bread, New York Style, recommended: Great Value, 2 slices per sandwich
  10. McCormick Lemon SeasoningSwiss Cheese, Aged, recommended: Sargento, 2 slices per sandwich
  11. Eggs, Boiled, 2
  12. Tomato, Beefsteak, 1 large
  13. Mirepoix (Yellow Onion, Celery, Carrot), 2 tablespoons
  14. Butter, 1-2 pat, per sandwich

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil Eggs, 30 minutes before, or the day of cook
  2. Combine Tuna with Cream Cheese, Tartar Sauce and Relish, to your desired consistency
  3. Add chopped Eggs, Tasty Seasoning, Mirepoix and Celery Seed
  4. Tuna1Add butter to skillet then toast the Rye Bread, and add Swiss cheese slices on top
  5. Remove and add Tuna to both sides with a Tomato Slice in the middle of the sandwich

Easy Catfish Nuggets

Ingredients:

  1. Catfish Nuggets, 1 lb.
  2. Fish Fry, Seasoned, recommended: Louisiana, 5-10 oz.
  3. Smoked SalmonTasty Zesty Basil, Thyme & Lemon Zest Seasoning, recommended: McCormick, 2 teaspoons
  4. Cooking Oil, enough to cover the fish

Instructions:

  1. Marinate the Catfish with the Tasty Seasoning 30 minutes before or the day of cook. Then dredge in the Fish Fry 20 minutes before cook time.
  2. Heat the cooking oil for about 9 to 14 minutes, testing with toothpick to see if bubble when ready.
  3. Fry the fish, until brown and I usually move to a 300 degree oven, while I am using the same oil for fries.

Mac & Cheese for VanceTuna2

Ingredients:

  1. Elbow Macaroni, Large, 16 oz.
  2. Buttermilk, ½ pint
  3. Cheddar Cheese, Sharp, 2 lb.
  4. Panko Bread Crumbs,
  5. Swiss Cheese Shredded, 8 oz.
  6. Chicken Bouillon Cubes, 2
  7. Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10.5 oz.
  8. Butter, ½ stickGarden Vegetable

Instructions:

  1. Boil Chicken Bouillon cubes in water.
  2. Add Macaroni to boiling water and cook until below tender
  3. Shred Cheese in Food Processor (or use Velveeta cheese, 16 oz.), I have a block of cheese I need to get rid of
  4. Drain Macaroni and add Cream of Mushroom Soup, ¼ stick of melted butter, Buttermilk and ¾ of the Sharp Cheddar Cheese into the baking pan
  5. Melt butter and combine Panko Crumbs with ¼ of the Sharp Cheddar Cheese to the top of the Macaroni and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, covered with foil. Add Swiss cheese and bake an additional 11 minutes, uncovered.

Tuna3

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

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

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

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

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