Friday, March 16, 2012

Baking Bits: Ham Tettrizini

It’s a nice fall Saturday afternoon. Football season is in full swing. My fiancé and I sneak into his dorm parent’s apartment (whom our kids affectionately call Oma and Opa) to watch the OU football game. They are huge fans as are we, so we get front row seats on the cushy couch and FREE food to boot!

WOW was that was a looong time ago! Ahemmoving on. Oma made this recipe quite often for us and it quickly became one of our favorites! We still visit Oma and Opa often, usually every 6-8 weeks or so, and she still makes this when we visit. Our kids have grown to love it just as much as we have, so a couple years ago my husband finally wrote down the recipe and how she made it. This is my oldest child’s most requested meal. He absolutely loves this stuff!!

Ham Tettrizini w/ Angel Hair pasta

You’ll need (not all pictured) :
Ham cubed
Cornstarch or Flour
Milk (preferably whole)
Cheddar cheese
Angel Hair pasta (or whatever kind you like)
Seasonings of your choice (we prefer a little garlic powder & onion powder) 

We dice a turkey-ham ourselves
Now this recipe is easily halved, doubled or even tripled to feed any size family or gathering! So here are the ratios you will need to follow:
Flour 1:1 Butter
Cornstarch 1:2 Butter
Milk 1c per 2 TBSP Butter mixture
½ cup cheese:1 cup Milk

1. First, measure out all your ingredients and have them ready. Otherwise, you’ll burn the sauce.
2. Begin heating the water to cook your pasta.

3. Basically you’re going to make a Rue. So, first melt butter over low heat.

4. Add flour/cornstarch and stir constantly until it makes a paste. Flour will make a much thicker paste than cornstarch. (I prefer the cornstarch because I can taste the flour.)

5. Add the milk. We prefer whole milk, but you can use whatever you like. But, I don’t recommend anything less than 2% because it might not thicken as well.

6. Reduce heat to medium, med-high. Stir constantly with a whisk until it thickens and expands. Okay, so I don’t know how exactly to explain it, but it will almost double in height in your saucepan.

**NOTE: It helps if you have a super cute Sous Chef to help you out!

7. When it’s almost to a boil (you know those few bubbles start popping up), add the cheese. Reduce heat to med-low and stir until cheese is all melted and it’s creamy.

Now at this point you can stop here and take it several different directions. Or do like I did and make the sauce ahead of time and "allow" your 3yr old to use the camera to take self-portraits. Aren't they GREAT?!

If you don't have a 3yr are some options you can do:
a)      Split up the sauce into several equal portions and store them for future meals.
b)      You can pour it over steamed broccoli.
c)      You can pour it over elbow noodles for some nice and creamy Mac & Cheese.
d)      Add browned hamburger/turkey meat with taco seasoning and some yummy Cheeseburger Macaroni.
e)      Get creative and make an entirely new dish!!!

But, let’s pretend I have perfectly lovely 3yr old and he didn't take the camera and continue on with our meal.

8. At this point you need make sure your pasta is cooking if you haven’t already dropped it in your boiling water.

9. Before you add the meat, make sure to add any additional seasonings you might want. We like a little Italian flair, so we add a dash of garlic powder and onion powder. Make sure they are stirred in completely before you add the meat. (I added mine after the meat, because I forgot. But normally we add it before.)

Don't forget to change from the whisk to a spoon. Otherwise, you'll get the little ham pieces stuck in it like this and it's simply annoying! For one, because it's stuck in there and for another because I now have to get my hands dirty to really separate the whisk to get them out. And, it really just drives me nuts when I have to stop cooking to wash my hands for things that could have been avoided. Whew...glad that's out! Okay...moving on...

10. Add the diced ham (We buy a turkey-ham and dice it ourselves.) and stir to incorporate it completely. You will want to continue stirring until the meat is warmed up. (Approx. 5 min or less) Sometimes we even turn the heat off all together because the sauce is hot enough to warm the meat. There’s no real measurement on the ham, so use what you want. We use a little more than a pound because we like some in each bite!

Don’t you wish you had a cutie like this one to help you in the kitchen?

 **WARNING: Consuming large quantities of this will get you messy!!**

Happy Cooking!!


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Naomi said...

This looks delicious! Definitely saved it so we can try it. Thanks for sharing it and for linking up at What Joy Is Mine.

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

I hope you like it! I just saw a Chicken Tettrizini recipe this week too! I might have to play around with ours and tweak it to include both Chicken and Tuna. Well, separate of course! haha

Let me know how you like it!