Mac and cheese on steroids

Unadulterated mac and cheese in the blue box is okay for kids, but serious munchers are looking for big flavor and crunch. Chunks of salsa, as mild or hot as you like, mingle with the cheesy-coated macaroni, and all is covered with crushed Triscuits and more cheese. Zap this under the broiler for a heaping bowl of bubbly, crisp-crunchy delight.


Makes 1 humongo, 2 big, or 4 regular servings


1 box (7.25 ounces) macaroni and cheese
1/2 cup salsa (see Munchie Tip)
About 40 Triscuits
1 cup (4 ounces) sharp Cheddar cheese shredded


Prepare the macaroni and cheese according to package directions. Stir in the salsa. Spoon into a flameproof 1 1/2-quart baking dish.

Preheat the broiler. While the broiler is preheating, place the crackers in a lock-top plastic bag, squeeze out all the air, and seal the bag. Use a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pot to thwack and pound the crackers until finely crushed. You should have about 1 heaping cup. Place the crushed crackers in a bowl and mix in the cheese. Scatter this mixture evenly over the macaroni.

Place under the broiler and broil until bubbly and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve immediately.



Any kind of salsa will work: tomato, roasted tomato, pico de gallo, tomatillo. Use your favorite.