Mac and Cheese with Ham and Jalapenos

Ah what to do with the left over ham wen there’s not a lot of ham left over. Everyone has that problem every so often. There’s this left overs that aren’t really enough for a meal in themselves, but there they sit and wait… and wait.. and wait.. and, oh no they’ve turned green! What to do before the ‘turns green’ stage. Well, here’s a quick and easy way to get rid of a little bit of ham, say a half a cup or so…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups or so of leftover macaroni, elbows preferred
  • 1 cup of grated American or Velveeta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of milk, leftover milk is ok
  • 2 table spoons butter
  • 1/2 cup of diced leftover ham
  • 4 medium jalapenos diced

over low heat, melt the butter, blend in the milk, then gradually add the grates cheese whisking to keep everything in motion. This makes your basic, ya very basic cheese sauce. Then, add in the cooked macaroni coating the pasta well. Then stir in the ham and diced jalapenos. Mix this well and pour it into a. oven safe baking dish.

Bake this in the oven at 300 degrees for about twenty minutes.

Remove from the oven, let it cool just a bit. Them spoon it out and enjoy that left over ham with the jalapenos… even if those jalapenos aren’t ‘on a stick’.

jalapeno ona stick

 

Pick a Peck of Pickled Peppers

Pick a peck of pickled peppers, and here’s how to pickle a hot one.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 10 large jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic

Slice the jalapenos into uniform sized rings, and toss them into a strainer. Run these under cold water to remove some of the excess seeds (this can reduce the capsaicin content which reduces the heat on the pepper). Set these aside.

Combine sugar, vinegar, water, salt, peppercorns, and garlic in a sauce pan. Bring this to a boil. Once boiling, add the pepper rings turn off the heat. Let these sit about ten minutes then transfer the pepper rings to jars. Top with the brine and refrigerate.

This is not a ‘long term’ pickling. There is no boiling of jars and sterilizing, so use these within a week or two. They are great on nachos with cheese sauce, tossed into salads, slopped on sandwiches, or an enhancement to eggs.