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Mac & Cheese with Ham & Spinach & Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs / Leftover Ham Series

Here's another experiment with ham. Even though I'm suing leftover ham, you don't have to use leftover ham -- you can use deli ham, turkey or leave it out completely. They are just different recipe ideas/meal ideas that I came up with inspired by ham.

Also, in case you were worried, some of the spiral ham was frozen and then defrosted. It hasn't been sitting in the fridge 3 weeks or something.

Mac & Cheese is something I like to make when I have a few different open cheeses in the fridge. It's a clean the fridge dish for CHEESE! The only thing is that it's best if within your mix, you have a "melt-y" cheese like cheddar (used here) or mozzarella or gruyere -- cheeses that melt.

What I used:

- 1/4 cup of sour cream (instead of milk to thin it out; I didn't have milk)

- Cheddar

- Goat Cheese (1 oz. in small chunks)

- Blue cheese crumbles

- Barilla Fusilli (60-second)

- Ham cut into small pieces

-Left over sauteed spinach

Panko breadcrumb crust

- Panko breadcrumbs

- Butter

- Garlic Powder (optional) or salt & pepper to taste

In one pot, I put the sour cream and cheese in it and I stirred it around. Once things were nice and melt-y, I microwaved the 60-second pasta and mixed it in.

Panko bread crumb topping

This panko bread crumb topping is something you can add to mac & cheese, other pasta dishes or anything. I even put it on top of Leeks in a dish inspired by ancient Mesopotamia (link). On a second burner in a small nonstick pan, I put ~1 tablespoon of butter and let it melt/get brown. Then I poured in some Panko breadcrumbs. I let the Panko breadcrumbs get golden brown. I added it on top for some textural component to the mac & cheese.


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