Recipe by MITCH LYNCH for HOMEPLATE HOMESTYLE
1 16 ounce box of elbow macaroni 2 eggs 1 can of evaporated milk 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded Hot pepper sauce 1 16 ounce bag of frozen peas 1 1/2″ slice of baked ham Fresh ground nutmeg 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard or 2 teaspoons of powdered mustard Salt and black pepper Bread crumbs 4 tablespoons butter 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped
In plenty of salted, boiling water, prepare the elbow macaroni to al dente. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk, mustard, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, pinch (or 2 grinds of fresh) nutmeg and 3 dashes of hot pepper sauce. Whisk until combined, set aside. Dice the ham into pea-sized pieces. Once cooked to al dente, drain pasta completely. Do not rinse. Immediately transfer drained pasta to a large bowl, and add 3 tablespoons butter. The heat from the pasta will melt the butter, mix until combined. Add 2 1/2 cups of cheese, the egg mixture, the ham, basil and the peas to the pasta and mix to combine. Melt remaining butter and mix with 1 cup bread crumbs and the remaining cheese. Transfer pasta mixture to portion sized oven safe baking dishes, top with some of the bread crumb mixture, and bake under the broiler until golden brown. (Another option is to tranfser the entire mixture into a large casserole dish, top with the bread crumb mixture and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.) Serve, refrigerate any leftovers promptly. Makes approximately 6-8 servings. ABOUT MITCH LYNCH – New Jersey native Mitch Lynch comes to the “Homeplate” with impressive kitchen credentials. While earning a chef’s apprenticeship at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., Mitch studied under classically trained European chefs. During this American Culinary Federation apprenticeship, he learned the cooking styles of many different countries. Mitch and his wife, Patricia Tinkler, own Friends Roastery in downtown Salem, where he is chief baker and coffee roaster. He is also a certified fitness and diet coach. © 2012 Metro Monthly, Add Moxie and Homeplate Media, LLC. All rights reserved.