Smoked ham and cheese toasties

Based on e-mails and comments, my baked macaroni appears to be one of the most popular (and most often cooked) recipes in my food blog. Most everyone agrees that it’s all about the creamy cheesy topping.

Okay. Now, imagine that the creamy cheesy topping were a little thicker — not of pouring consistency but of spreading consistency. Imagine that there were bits of smoked ham in it. Imagine split hamburger buns topped with this ham and cheese spread. Then, imagine these split buns going into a very hot oven until the topping bubbles and browns lightly. Finally, imagine taking the hot bread from the oven and biting into it just as soon as it is cool enough to handle. Can you imagine it? Can you? Well, you can go beyond imagining. And I tell you — the real thing is a hundred times better. :)

grill in the oven over very high heat until the tops are bubbly and lightly browned

I never really thought of using the pasta topping on bread until I saw Nigella Lawson make something similar in her cooking show, Nigella Feasts. It was from her that I got the idea of adding mustard to the mixture. The bits of ham came to me in a moment of inspiration. The moment I tasted the finished product, I just knew that it would be one of those things that kids will love. Mine did. I was thinking that it would be a good alternative to mini pizza for a children’s party.

Ready for the recipe? Just one more thing. When I decided to do this little experiment, I conducted a second experiment along with it — was it possible to take step-by-step photos without anyone’s help? The kids were in school and my husband was at work… I set up the camera on the tripod, focused the lens on the cooking pan, set the timer and pressed the button each time I wanted a photo. The result? »