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).

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Funkytown Limburger Burger

Limburger Burger 055I LOVE Disco music! It seemed like “funky” was popular back in the 70s and 80s. For example, songs like:

Play that Funky Music by Wild Cherry or Funkytown by Lipps, Inc.

Then came along “Once More With Feeling” the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical, Season 6, Episode 7 in Nov. 2001.

I must admit that I love all of the songs, but my favorite is when Limburger CheeseXander and Anya sing “I’ll Never Tell,” “She eats these Skeezy cheeses, that I can’t describe.”

I guess that Limburger can be considered skeezy, stanky and only for the brave. I have an “iron gut” so I think I will survive this. If not, someone call 9-1-1!

I remember watching the 3 Stooges a long time ago, in an episode with Limburger cheese. They cracked me up. So in the name of science, I will try it. Maybe it won’t be so bad. After all, I like Feta cheese, Chitterlings and Kimchee.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Prime Rib Beef Steak Patties, 4Burger Prep4
  2. Limburger Cheese, recommended: Champion, 1 oz per patty
  3. Soft Pretzel Buns, recommended: Pretzilla, 4
  4. Liquid Smoke, recommended: Wright’s, 1 cap or less
  5. Soy Sauce, 1 teaspoon
  6. Worcestershire Sauce, 1 teaspoon
  7. Granulated Garlic, recommended: Hy-Vee, ¼ teaspoon
  8. Chicago Steak seasoning, recommended: Weber, ¼ teaspoon
  9. Granulated Beef Flavor Bouillon, recommended: Knorr, ¼ teaspoonLimburger Burger 018
  10. Mushroom Rub Porcini, recommended: Manitou, ¼ teaspoon
  11. Truffle Zest, recommended: Sabatino, ¼ teaspoon
  12. Butter, Unsalted, ½ teaspoon, divided
  13. Balsamic Vinegar, 1 teaspoon
  14. Red onion, sliced
  15. Beefsteak Tomato, sliced
  16. Bacon, 1 slice per burger
  17. Sliced Dill Pickles, about 1 to 2 per patty
  18. Mustard, German/Organic, recommended: 365 Everyday Value, as neededBurger Wet Rub3

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. I had to prep the burgers in advance and then freeze them. Make a well (indent) into each burger. Divide the Butter into 4 pieces, and place in the well on each burger.
  2. Mix the Liquid Smoke, Soy Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce, then apply evenly on burgers.
  3. Mix the Granulated Garlic, Chicago Steak seasoning, Granulated Beef Bouillon, Porcini Mushroom Rub and Truffle Zest. Apply evenly on top of wet rub.Burger Dry Rub2
  4. Bring patties to room temperature.
  5. Preheat a skillet and fry the bacon.
  6. Remove the bacon and fry the patties, 5 minutes, with butter-side down first, then 3 minutes on other side.
  7. Deglaze with Balsamic Vinegar.
  8. Add Limburger cheese to the 2nd side for 2 minutes and top with bacon.
  9. Remove patties and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  10. Toast the Pretzel buns in the same skillet
  11. Slice the Tomato and Red onion.
  12. Add Mustard, Pickles, Tomato slice, Onion slice and Bacon on the bun. Top with the Burger and enjoy the funk!Patties4

On the “Funk-O-Meter” from 1 to 10, with Chitterlings being the funkiest # 10, I would rate Feta Cheese an 8 and Limburger Cheese a 4. It adds just extra “Umami” bomb of flavor. Sort of like an aged Swiss Cheese. Give it a try. You might like it.

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

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

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

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

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