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Hi I am Betty, welcome to Betty’s Kitchen. Tonight we are going to be making a casserole and it is going to be a Cheddar Ham Casserole. I knew that a lot of you would have ham for Easter and have some ham leftover and wonder what you could do with it so I decided to make up a recipe for you and this is a casserole dish that will use up some of your leftover ham. What we are going to do is use a half pot of water that is rapidly boiling on the back of the stove and cook some pasta and these are Seashells, I think it is interesting to have some kind of shape in a casserole dish. Because it is up to you if you would like to use what we used in our tuna casserole, we used Bowtie Pasta, that will fine or any of those shapes or it could be just Apple Macaroni if you want. This happens to be 8 I mean excuse me 16 ounces and what I need is just about six ounces so I need a little more than a third of it. So I am going to pour what I think is approximately a third in here, it does not have to be an exact measurement anyway and then just a little more from that. And that will have to come back up to a boil and I do salt my pasta while I am cooking it; I have one tablespoon of salt but then it seems like a lot but it takes a lot of salting to get that going. Let us see if I can get another utensil out, something that is good for pasta.
And it is bubbling up so I will just let that cook and it probably takes six to eight minutes. We want it to be cooked to the point where it is still chewy a little bit because it is going to be baked to the oven and that will get it completely gone. And now in the meantime I am going to work on a sauce here, well I do not want it in to turn it on yet I have already melted two tablespoons of margarine. So I am going to move back to earn workspace and bring this pot over and that this is just the representation of the two tablespoons of margarine to that I am going to add one quarter cup of flour. So this is the flour that is being added and just got to stir this around and we are going to add one and one half cups of milk and I have chosen skimmed milk and I will stir that around a little bit. I also want to add some cheese and what I have chosen here is a shredded cheddar cheese, I do not have my bag to show you but it is one and one half cups of shredded cheddar so that goes in and all this together combines to make a nice cheese sauce.
I am going to see if this is cooked up. Okay we are all set it is going to take me a minute or two to get this cooked so let me come back to you and I will have both of these done and they will go from there. The cheese sauce and the pasta are done and one thing I will add to the cheese sauce before I take it off the heat is salt. Remember we did salt the pasta before it was being cooked, but also this sauce needs more flavoring so we just put a dash of salt in there, I do not really measure it—it might be a quarter of a teaspoon but this is nice and smooth and remember those lumps at the beginning, they are all cooked out and even if there were lumps and this is going in casserole it does not have to be a perfect creamy velvety cheese sauce but it looks very nice. So we turn that off and then back here we have our pasta and it has this nice golden look about it, it is a little bit yellow still that means that it is al dente, it is not mushy it is a little tough and chewy but we want to take it out before it gets to the mushy point because it will be baked in the oven in our casserole and that will get it—done.
So what I want to do is just strain it to the sink and I have a colander here, get rid of that extra water, shake it around a little bit so you do not have any water that you bring back to your casserole with the pasta and then turn it back in to the dish that we just cooked in you may need that colander. Coming back here I want to bring my cheese sauce with me and put that in with the pasta. Well that is the base of our casserole and now since this is a ham casserole, I do not have black ham baked for Easter yet and I thought I want to give you a very convenient way to do it anytime, whether you had baked ham leftover or not so I am going to need two cans of Tender Chunk ham, this happens to be Hormel, this five ounce for a can and I have got to hit it with a fork and fluffed it a bit before adding it in. And I still could chunk that some more but I think you will leave them out, and the juice in there goes in with it. So those two cans are going in here and we have one final ingredient and that is one half cup of chopped greed pepper. It is not super finely chopped but somewhat finely chopped so I put that in.
—Something like that and then it is ready to cooks we are going to get a casserole dish that is big enough to hold it because it does not have to be any particular size or shape. I have got a round one here, I am going to spread it with cooking oil and this is just Canola oil, just get the bottom insides a little bit there and then pour your casserole in to that plating dish. Do you see that nice lovely ham? And all of that good cheese sauce is going to be a very tasty and we have that green pepper which gives it a little bit of flavor and it is a really pretty look and I want you to see it when it is done so what I am going to do right now is put this into an oven which is pre-heated to 350 degrees and this will be baking approximately 30 minutes, probably will be browned off before then so I am going to keep track of time and you know what? I think this is a little big and I had some milk setting out here and I thought that I will put it in if it is needed. I think I am going to at this point even add at least a half cup, I had one cup and that is a half cup and I want this to be really good and juicy and nice and bubbly. So—when I brought up this recipe I am going to ask you to make it just like I did with the one and one half cups milk in the cheese sauce—and that will allow you to have a nice cheese sauce but after you have done that and really before you transfer it to the bowl I would add some extra milk and it seems we need about one half cup.
And here we go to the oven and we will just put it in this pre-heated 350 degree oven, turn to the center and scoot it back until it is about at the center of the shelf and then I will check the time and I should see you back within a half hour. So your ham casserole is done, I have been checking on it and you can see what it looks like, it is bubbling away in here and what I did was to cook it 30 minutes at 350 degrees and then I turned it to broil for an additional five minutes to get the top nice and brown. I want to show you the texture on a minute,—we close this up and turn it off. And let us spin into it, and I will just show you that it is nice and juicy. And when it cools down a little bit that will kind of blend together all more and would be a little more solid than this but it has got great flavor, it has got wonderful ingredients, it is a good idea for you to use for your leftover ham, and as soon as for me to try but I think you are going to like this one.