Tonight I have to feed a large crowd for my youngest daughter’s birthday dinner. Luckily, she picked macaroni and cheese, which I can make in large amounts in my slow cooker. I like to add diced ham and peas to it as well, to make it a real entree. This easily serves a dozen people. You can halve the recipe for a normal amount of food! Here’s what you’ll need:

You will need a total of 3 cans of evaporated milk and 12 ounces of shredded cheddar jack cheese. 

To begin, melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a saucepan with 3 tablespoons flour, whisking constantly.

Add 1 can of evaporated milk, whisking constantly. Whisk until it’s fully thickened and bubbling.

Now turn the heat off and whisk in 4 ounces (1 cup) of the shredded cheddar jack cheese.

Whisk until completely melted and smooth. Then add 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Set that aside. Next, spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and place a 4 layer thick folded piece of tin foil across the back. Spray the foil. Most slow cookers have a hot spot right at the back. When cooking deliciate things, like pasta, the foil helps prevent scorching.

Place 1 pound of pasta and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a bowl. Toss to coat.

Microwave the pasta on 50% power for 3 minutes. This toasts the pasta a little bit, and helps keep it from getting mushy during the long cooking time.

Pour the hot noodles into the slow cooker. Add 3 cups boiling water. The pasta will sizzle.

Now stir in the cheese sauce, the other 2 cans of evaporated milk, and the remaining 8 ounces of shredded cheddar jack cheese.

Cover, and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours. Meanwhile, cut the ham steak into a dice. You should have 1 pound.

10 minutes before serving, stir in the ham and a cup of frozen peas. Cover, and let it heat through for 10 minutes. Taste, and add salt and pepper as desired.

Remove the foil and serve!

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