It’s National Cheese Day, and though there are many roles cheese plays in our lives, we are settling on macaroni and cheese as being the MAC daddy (pardon the pun).
Of course, we wrestled with our love for pizza, grilled cheese and charcuterie boards, but we decided to post a recipe that could be prepared any day of the year.
Creamy Four Cheese Brie and Buttery Ritz Cracker Mac and Cheese
Recipe adapted from www.halfbakedharvest.com
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 clove garlic minced or grated
- 1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers about 1 sleeve
- 1 pound elbow pasta
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups warm whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups sharp white cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 ¼ cup fontina cheese shredded
- 1 1/4 cups havarti cheese shredded
- 4-6 ounces Brie rind removed and chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until al-dente. You want it to have a bit of bite. It will finish cooking in the oven. Drain well.
- While the pasta boils add 3 tablespoons butter to a medium skillet and melt. Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds then throw in the crushed Ritz crackers and toss to coat.
- Toast the crumbs for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Once the crumbs are lightly toasted, remove from the heat and set aside.
- In the same pot you boiled the pasta, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook/bubble for 1 minute, stirring once or twice to avoid burning. Gradually whisk in the milk and raise the heat up to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in all of the cheese, mustard powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese is fully melted. Stir in the pasta and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Evenly sprinkle on the toasted cracker crumbs and place the baking dish on a baking
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and let sit five minutes (yeah, right). Dig in!