CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Ham and Cheese Casserole

Ham and cheese is one of those classic food combos that never gets old. Just like bacon and eggs, hamburgers and fries, peanut butter and jelly and pretzels and beer, this dynamic duo is an American favorite. Always has been, always will be.

Perhaps the simplest and most common of way is to combine the pair for the sandwich ― grilled or not ― that bears its name. But almost as good in my book is this newly found casserole ― the recipe of which follows ― that also features pasta, peas and cream of chicken soup.

With almost everyone who has a pile of leftover ham ― the star of many an Easter dinner ― looking for a home, this novel pairing may be just what the cook ordered.

Ham and Cheese Casserole
8 ounces egg noodles
1½ cups chopped cooked ham
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup frozen peas
1 10½-ounce can cream of chicken soup
½ cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon butter
Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain. Place half of noodles in buttered 2 quart casserole dish. Combine ham, cheese and peas; sprinkle half of ham mixture over noodles. In small bowl, combine soup and milk. Spoon half of soup mixture over ham layer. Then again: noodles, ham/cheese, soup. Dot with butter. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
Yield: Serves 4.

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