Macaroni and cheese has become one of my favorite things to cook and something that I can count on Ben being happy about having for dinner almost 100% of the time. I love that there are endless options when it comes to this dish. You can go plain and simple with traditional elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese. You can mix things up and add chicken or ham for a meaty version. This one with chicken was great. Vegetables are another great addition. This green chile mac and cheese was incredible. I would like to try a mac and cheese with cauliflower or broccoli sometime.
This recipe pays tribute to the amazing French ham and cheese sandwich of the same name. I’ve made croque monsieurs and madames and they are both delicious sandwiches, so there was no possible way that this could be anything less than incredible! It was more than incredible. It was life altering and something I will definitely make again, but not regularly since gruyere cheese is not exactly cheap. I think it was something like $13.99 per pound at my grocery store, but can apparently set you back even more if you order it from this artisanal cheese site. Yikes. You could use Swiss cheese and it would be just as good.
This macaroni and cheese contains all the required ingredients to earn the name croque monsieur; ham, gruyere cheese and crusty bread. Thank you Food Network Magazine for this incredibly yummy dish. The flavors are great and the topping of big bread crumbs is perfection. I used a ham steak with good results. The slices of ham along with the gooey cheese and tender ziti in this mac and cheese made for a great dinner along with a nice green salad.
Croque Monsieur Mac & Cheese
- ½ pound ziti
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese(about 6 ounces)
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 slices white sandwich bread, roughly diced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces thinly sliced deli-boiled ham
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; toss with 1/4 cup milk.
- Meanwhile, combine both cheeses in a bowl. Beat 1/4 cup milk and the eggs in another bowl; fold in the bread and add half of the cheese.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until just brown, 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, cayenne, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Slowly add 3/4 cup water and the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk; bring to a boil, stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk to cool slightly. Whisk in the remaining cheese, then add the pasta and toss.
- Butter a shallow casserole dish. Add half of the pasta, top with some of the ham and cover with the remaining pasta. Top with the remaining ham, then cover with the bread mixture. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before serving.