Ingredients

  • 4 pounds whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • water
  • 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 cheddar cheese low-fat (shredded)
  • 25 ounces green chiles (chopped, canned, undrained)
  • diced tomatoes (for topping, optional)

Directions

  1. Prepare macaroni according to package instructions.
  2. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse with cold water.
  3. Drain well.
  4. In a separate large kettle melt butter over medium heat.
  5. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the flour and continue cooking, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
  7. Slowly whisk the milk into the flour mixture, stirring constantly.
  8. Add the spices and continue stirring until the sauce thickens.
  9. Remove from the heat.
  10. In a large bowl combine milk mixture with the ham, cheese and chiles.
  11. Fold in the cooked pasta.
  12. Spoon into a steam table pan that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray.
  13. Cover tightly with foil.
  14. Bake in a convection oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  15. Bake approximately 35 minutes.
  16. Remove from the oven and hold at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to serve.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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