Monday, February 18, 2008

A Default Dinner

I could have sworn that I've posted this recipe before. Yet when I look through my blogs, I don't see it anywhere, except in mention. That's a shame, because this truly is what my friend over at Talk Of Tomatoes calls a Default Dinner. This is one of those recipes that I make without thinking about it anymore, and it's a staple in our home. What I love best about it is that it's a great way to use leftover ham, and I'm always looking for new ways to use bits of ham. Ham is one of those ultimate budget stretchers because you get so much out of it! It also freezes great so you can cook up a ham, eat some, and then freeze it in portions to use at a later time.

Rotini and Cheese with Broccoli and Ham is really a basic adaptation of macaroni and cheese. It came from Cooking Light magazine several years ago, and it's been a hit since we've first tried it. It comes together quickly and serves up maximum flavor with little effort. It's also basically a complete meal in a bowl. We rounded off the meal with a salad, but it really does stand on its own nicely. It's a hit all around the table, but it's especially noteworthy because Zander gobbles it up and then asks for more. He never does that. We had this for dinner on Saturday, and Sunday night he was busy telling me that we should have "those noodles" again soon. The only problem we had with it was that I used rainbow rotini, and my silly son just could not bring himself to even taste the green noodles. Silly boy.

Before I post the recipe though, I just have to squeeze this little tidbit in here. You'll see me mention it all week this week, because it's really, really exciting. But to find out exactly what is so exciting here at Tummy Treasure, you have to come back on Thursday to find out all about it.

Rotini and Cheese with Broccoli and Ham

Serving Size : 6

4 quarts water
2 cups rotini -- about 8 ozs. pasta
1 package frozen chopped broccoli -- (10-ounce)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
1 1/2 cups 2% Milk Velveeta -- (6 ounces) cubed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup ham -- reduced fat, chopped

Bring water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add pasta; cook 5 minutes. Add broccoli; cook an additional 5 minutes or until pasta is done; drain.

While pasta cooks, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a medium saucepan; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat 8 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat; stir in cheese and next 4 ingredients (cheese through pepper). Combine pasta mixture, cheese sauce, and ham.


Melissa said...

Thanks for posting. I want to try this this week.

JEP said... default dinners are usually cereal or a bowl of popcorn:)

janelle said...

LOVE default dinners! This sounds like a winner; and I am especially loving the inclusion of dijon; I bet it is delicious!