With all the anticipation, the first #MacAndCheese day is over. Congratulations to my friend and head of the Firefighter's Mutual Benevolent Association Eddie Donnelly for taking home the prize! Crawfish Macaroni and Cheese. Wow. It was outstanding. The prize? A $0.79 box of elbow macaroni obvi.

All the contestants performed well, presenting their dishes, taking cooking video and serving up a delicious morning feast. Thanks to everyone who participated: Elura Nanos, Patrick Lavery, Bob Williams, Jen Ursillo and runner up Eric Scott who made a recipe submitted by one of our listeners.

And of course our judges, Jay Black, Jessica Nutt, Vinnie Brand and Adam Geller, who was kind enough to bring a nice pairing of beer and wine for the Mac and Cheese feast. Till next year...

Photo: Bill Spadea

 

Ed and Steve have provided us all with the step-by-step guide on how to create the winning Mac and Cheese dish in our own homes:

CRAWFISH MAC & CHEESE

CREATED AND PREPARED BY NJ FMBA EMS CHAIRMAN/BURN CENTER LIASON STEVE SPURR

1 lb small pasta shells                                                     6 Tbs. butter

2 cp Crawfish tails                                                           1 Tbs. olive oil

3-4 green onion, sliced                                                    2 Tbs. flour

¼ cp red bell pepper, diced                                             2 tsp Cajun spice  (secret)

1 ½ cp half & half                                                            ½ cp. Ritz Crackers

2 cp sharp cheddar cheese, shredded                            Salt & pepper to taste

1 ½ cp Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook pasta in salted water. Drain and set aside.  Melt 2 Tbs of butter and the olive oil in a pan.   Add onion and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Add crawfish and sauté another 2- minutes. Mix in Cajun spice.  Sprinkle in flour and mix well.  Lightly whisk in half & half and heat.  Do not let boil. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Mix in cheese and melt.  Once melted, fold in pasta.  Transfer mixture to a baking dish.  Crush Ritz crackers in a bowl. In a pan, melt remaining butter and season with a little pinch of the Cajun spice. Mix in Ritz crackers.  Sprinkle on top of the baking dish. Bake covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea.

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