Ham Cups with Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & cheese is a staple.. but how many have you tried pairing it with crisp, warm ham?? I'm telling you, this combination is FANTASTIC and you won't want to eat your macaroni and cheese any other way - I guarantee it! Ingredients: - 8 oz macaroni or other small pasta - 1 cup frozen peas - 3 cups aged-cheddar cheese - 1 ½ cups milk - 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour - 1 tsp Dijon mustard - 1 tsp kosher salt - ½ tsp fresh ground pepper - 12 regular slices deli ham (or 6 large) - ¼ cup panko or traditional breadcrumbs - 2 Tbsp butter Directions: 1) In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. One minute before the pasta is done, add the peas. Drain well and return to the pot. 2) Meanwhile, shred the cheese using a grater. While the pasta cooks, combine the cheese, milk, flour, mustard, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. 3) Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and mix it in, cooking the pasta over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is creamy, smooth and thick. 4) Lightly grease a muffin tin and press the ham slices into the muffin cups. Fill each with a few spoonfuls of the mac and cheese. Divide the panko evenly between the ‘muffins’ and top with a dot of butter. 5) Bake for 15–20 minutes or until the panko is golden brown and the edges of the ham cup are crisp. 6) Enjoy!

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