Today is National Mac and Cheese Day. This is definitely something I will celebrate at some point today, as I’ve tried making it an annual tradition among my own family and friends. You can’t go wrong with the traditional combination of noodles, cream, milk, and cheese. This can be that main course, or as an epic side at your next family cookout. However, some true masterpieces have derived from creative minds when you add things like buffalo chicken, lobster, or even pulled pork to this beloved comfort food. It is so versatile, and that’s what makes it special.

Whether you feel like whipping up a homemade dish or just grabbing a box of Kraft Original, make sure you celebrate this cheesy holiday. In case you are interested in trying a new recipe, this is the one my mother got from a friend and it is a crowd-pleaser at every event. I have a large family, so I affectionately dubbed this the “Silvia-Sized Homemade Macaroni & Cheese."

Cheese Sauce Ingredients:
6 tsp of butter
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
4 cups of milk
2 cups of heavy cream
4 cups of shredded white cheddar
2 cups of chopped American cheese
4 ounces of cream cheese
2 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of kosher salt (Renata does not measure salt)
1/2 tsp of white pepper
2 tsp of dry mustard
2 pinch of nutmeg
*2 lbs of elbow macaroni, cooked and chilled (sometimes we use medium shells)

Topping Ingredients:
4 cups of crushed Ritz crackers (4 sleeves)
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of butter, melted

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside in
fridge until ready to use.
2. In a large pot on medium heat, add butter until melted. Whisk in the
flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Reduce heat to low, add 2 cups of water, then slowly whisk in heavy cream, salt, dry mustard, nutmeg, and pepper. Continue whisking until it begins to bubble.
4. Add cheese GRADUALLY, mixing well. Stir until completely melted.
Slowly incorporate the milk and adjust seasonings to taste if needed.
Remove from heat.
5. ***Make sure BOTH pasta and cheese sauce are cold before combining.
6. Add cooked pasta to cheese sauce in the pot, stirring until combined. Pour into a lightly greased half hotel pan.
7. In a medium bowl, mix the crushed crackers, parmesan cheese, and melted butter together and spread evenly over the macaroni and cheese.
8. Bake at 350° for approximately 30 minutes or until bubbly and toasted

Your Complete Guide to Outdoor Dining on the SouthCoast in 2020

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