I bought a 20lb ham last week for a terrific price so I've been trying to find recipes to use it up on. The other night I made this baked Mac & cheese and added cooked ham and cooked carrots to make it a meal. Topped with more cheese and homemade french fried onions! Yum! I doubled the recipe for my family of 7.
I LOVED this meal! The only thing I would do differently is add more ham than I did. The ham added such smokey depth of flavor. My oldest did not like the cottage cheese in it. She's a visual eater. So she nuked it until all the curds were melted, lol. My husband is not a cottage cheese fan either but he had no problem gobbling this up. This is my first time cooking with cottage cheese, and I was hoping it would melt along with the other cheeses but it didn't. So keep that in mind if you have picky eaters like mine. Apparently the cottage cheese is used as a binder, so I will substitute with an egg or two next time...and there will be a next time...but with more ham, lol.
FYI, To make homemade french fried onions I very thinly sliced up a red onion, separated the rings and soaked in milk for 5 minutes (I used the milk that I soaked these in to the cheese sauce). Mixed up some flour with season salt, a little regular salt, and a dash of pepper. Then coated the onion rings and fried them up in oil until light brown. Salty crispy goodness!
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I bought a 20lb ham last week for a terrific price so I've been trying to find recipes to use...