Interim’s Mac and Cheese with Tripp Country Ham & Herb-Parmesan Crust

While I initially thought Todd and Barrett’s enormous crush on Interim was a bit ridiculous, I’ve come to learn it’s totally appropriate. Their mac and cheese – along with pretty much everything else on the menu – is phenomenal. Thanks to The Commercial Appeal’s Jennifer Biggs for getting them to share the recipe here. If I made anything that tasted this good I would probably keep it a secret, but luckily Chef Jackson Kramer’s not a stingy hatemonger like I am, so yea for us!

1 lb. macaroni pasta
2 cups Béchamel*
3 cups cheese blend**
4 oz. country ham
1 tbsp. fresh thyme

*Béchamel:
2 oz. butter
2 oz. flour
1/2 gallon milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Topping:
4 oz. butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs
3 oz. grated Parmesan
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp. Italian parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of salt. Add the pasta and cook until fully done. Do not worry about cooking it al dente. Cool under cold water and set aside.
  3. Béchamel: Make a roux by adding 2 oz. butter and 2 oz. flour to a pan and cook until thoroughly combined and light brown. Stir in half-gallon of milk and let simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Dice the country ham and sauté in a pan for 1 minute.
  5. For the topping, melt the butter and add it to the panko bread crumbs with the Parmesan and herbs.
  6. To finish, combine the pasta, Béchamel, and cheese blend in a large pot. Warm over medium heat until the cheese has totally melted. (if too thick, add a touch of water). Add the thyme and country ham. Season with salt and pepper. Add it to a small casserole dish and sprinkle the bread crumb topping on top. Place in the oven and bake until top is golden brown.

** The cheese blend consists of 1 part Parmesan, 2 parts white cheddar and 2 parts fontina. Makes about 6 casserole servings.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Comfort food, Italian food, Pasta, Restaurant Recipes, Side dishes, Southern food, Special Occasion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s