- 4 pounds whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 1 cup margarine (OR butter)
- 4 cups onions (minced)
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3 quarts milk
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 cup chili powder
- 6 pounds lean ham (cubed)
- 3 pounds low-fat cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 25 ounces green chile (chopped, canned, undrained)
- diced tomatoes (for topping, optional)
- Prepare macaroni according to package instructions.
- Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse with cold water.
- Drain well.
- In a separate large kettle melt butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the flour and continue cooking, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
- Slowly whisk the milk into the flour mixture, stirring constantly.
- Add the spices and continue stirring until the sauce thickens.
- Remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl combine milk mixture with the ham, cheese and chiles.
- Fold in the cooked pasta.
- Spoon into a steam table pan that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cover tightly with foil.
- Bake in a convection oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake approximately 35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and hold at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to serve.
- Place mixture in 2 inch shallow pans. Cover and place on rack in the cooler. Do not stack pans. Allow for air to circulate around the pans. Cool to 40 degrees Fahrenheit within 4 hours.
- Reheat product to 170 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for at least 1 minute. Stir gently to distribute heat evenly. Hold at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to serve.