It looks like we are in for a cold, wintry weekend -- just the kind of weather to make me think a good comfort food is needed. And what better comfort food than macaroni and cheese! I have added one of my favorite vegetables to up the nutritional value -- this allowed me to decrease the amount of pasta by half, and the sprouts are barely noticeable to those who don't care for them. Buttermilk adds some tang and reduces the fat, while ham adds a bit of flavor enhancement, but leave the ham out if you want. Armed with this dish, I say bring on the winter cold!
Macaroni & Cheese with Brussels Sprouts & Ham
1/4 C. butter
3 T. flour
1 C. each milk and buttermilk, at room temperature
1 C. each shredded Cheddar and mozzarella cheeses
1/4 C. grated Parmesan
8 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
4 oz. diced ham
8 oz. Brussels sprouts (fresh or frozen), cooked and quartered
1 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat, stir in flour, and cook about one minute. Gradually add milks, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Reduce heat and simmer one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses over very low heat until melted and smooth. Add pasta, ham, and Brussels sprouts. Pour into two-quart casserole dish. Combine melted butter and panko. Sprinkle over top. Bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes. Serves 5.