Gretchen's table: Easter ham mac and cheese

Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Entertaining

We all like familiar foods on holidays. Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a roasted turkey, Christmas means cut-out cookies and July 4 always finds hot dogs and grilled hamburgers on the menu.

And Easter? In my house at least, tradition calls for a smoky, savory ham with a brown sugar-maple glaze. I'm pretty sure it's graced my Easter brunch table every year since I was a kid — sometimes bone-in but more often than not spiral-sliced to make it easier to make sandwiches.

And that's the thing: There's always leftovers when you have ham for dinner.

There are any number of ways use up ham the next day or beyond, but my favorite is to stir bite-sized chunks into a gooey, decadent dish of mac and cheese. Then, I top the casserole with crushed cornflakes tossed in a little butter for a crunchy finish. It's awesome.

If you're looking to save a few calories or lower the fat intake, substitute fat-free milk and evaporated milk. Also, you can always add a few green veggies to the mix — say, leftover broccoli or peas from Easter dinner.

For mac and cheese


1 pound uncooked rotelli, fusilli or cavatappi pasta

2 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole milk


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