It may be nearing spring, but with this Florida cold front upon us, I am craving some serious comfort food, how about you?! Tonight I’m throwing together a family favorite – baked mac and cheese, or as my kiddos call it ‘Ronies’. (My mother in law named it mac and cheese with crunchies – don’t you just love family traditions?!) Whatever you like to call it, this is a dish that will not disappoint!
What’s your favorite meal on chilly days like today?
2 1/2 cups elbow or shell macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk
1 pound shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Several slices of muenster cheese – to be placed on top just before adding crunchies
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 sleeve buttery round crackers, crushed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the macaroni, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Turn off heat and stir in Cheddar cheese until the cheese is melted. Add the macaroni and stir to coat. Pour the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Layer slices of muenster cheese to cover entire top surface. Mix the 1/4 remaining cup melted butter and crushed crackers together in a bowl; scatter the cracker mixture evenly over the macaroni mixture.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on top, about 45 minutes. Be sure to cover with tin foil!
Recipe adapted from allrecipes (and the kitchens of Jennifer and Barbara Desrosiers, respectively)