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Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

Dead-End Hash Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbspsbutter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (optional)
  • 1-2 cups deli-meat ends (smoked turkey or ham works best), finely chopped or hashed in food processor
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 2 cups roughly crumbled cheese (American & Swiss works best)

Optional

  • Shredded Mexican Cheese blend (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Italian bread crumbs

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F.  Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain. Put pasta back in the pot.

In a 3-quart saucepan, use 1 tbsp of the butter and saute onion until translucent. Melt the remaining butter until sizzling and whisk in flour to make a roux. Add salt and pepper if you wish. (I don’t since the deli meat will have enough salt/sodium as is.) Over medium heat, gradually add the milk, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens (roughly 7 – 10 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the cheese until melted (about 5 minutes). Stir in the deli meat-hash. Pour mixture over the macaroni and mix well. Spoon into ungreased 3-quart casserole.

Optional: for added texture, sprinkle the Mexican cheese and top with the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

Notes

Cheap hash food is the name of the game. The trick here is to go to the deli counter at your local supermarket near the end of the day and specifically ask for “deli-ends,” both meat and cheese. These ends are deemed too small to slice on the machine, leftovers from an unhappy customer, or in the case of cheese, too crumbly (usually American cheese). There is no guarantee that you will get what you want or that they will put them in separate bags. Deli meats and cheese range from $2.99 – $9.99 per pound. At my supermarket all meat/cheese ends go at a flat rate of $1.99 per pound. If you want to go cheaper, you can try dumpster diving, but there is considerable bacterial risk … and I won’t condone it (note from Flying Booger: Really?  Not even for the hash?).

I cook with smoked turkey hash, which fools many into thinking I made the pasta with smoked gouda.

- Prodigy, Hackensack H3, Summit H3

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