Salt and pepper. Peanut butter and jelly. Sunshine and barbeques. Some things just go well together, like these recipes for Ham Mac and Cheese and Snipes Mountain-Man Burgers from Darigold’s Test Kitchen. Bring these to your next summer gathering and this classic combo is sure to inspire another natural pair; cheese and smiles.
Macaroni and Cheese with Ham
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 3 ½ tablespoons Darigold butter, divided
- 2 ½ tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups Darigold milk
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Darigold sharp white cheddar cheese
- 6 oz. small elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained according to package directions
- 1 ½ cups diced cooked ham
- ¼ cup panko style (Japanese) breadcrumbs, or other unseasoned breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup (1 oz.) freshly grated parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Grease an 8x8x2-inch ovenproof baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.
- Melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is lightly browned (1-2 minutes).
- Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk in the mustard, salt and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently until the sauce coats a metal spoon (about 5 minutes).
- Add the cheddar cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Mix the macaroni with the ham and spread the mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce evenly over the top.
- In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the macaroni.
- Bake at 350°F until bubbly and crispy brown at the edges (about 30 minutes). If the breadcrumbs are not golden, place under the broiler for a few seconds before serving.
Snipes Mountain-Man Burger
Makes 4 burgers
- 8 strips of bacon
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 4 certified Angus beef ground chuck patties, 8 oz. each
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices Darigold medium white cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons Darigold butter
- 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 onion rolls
- 8 teaspoons balsamic aioli mayonnaise (recipe follows)
- 4 tomato slices
- 1 cup arugula
- Cook bacon at 350°F for 15 minutes; brush with maple syrup and continue cooking until crispy (about 5 minutes). Drain on paper towel and set aside.
- Brush beef patties lightly with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill 7 to 9 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness is achieved.
- Add cheddar cheese during final 2 minutes of cooking.
- Meanwhile, brown butter in small skillet. Add mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes; set aside.
- Toast rolls on grill and spread both halves with balsamic aioli mayonnaise.
- Place patties on bottom halves of buns; layer with bacon, mushrooms, tomato and arugula. Top with remaining halves of rolls.
Balsamic Aioli Mayonnaise
Makes about 1 ¼ cups
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
- Place garlic and sea salt in a blender, or in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse for two seconds.
- Add egg yolk, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar; pulse on and off until blended.
- Turn on blender at low speed and begin adding olive oil in a thin stream. If the mixture becomes too thick, thin with a small amount of room temperature water and continue adding oil until fully incorporated. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.