Dave Mechlowicz - Goldfish-Crusted Mac and Cheese
Recipe courtesy of Dave Mechlowicz for Food Network Kitchen

Goldfish-Crusted Mac and Cheese Medals

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 16 servings
The Olympics are a family favorite, and so is mac and cheese. These Goldfish-crusted medallions of Cheddar macaroni are bound to be a crowd-pleaser. Make a batch and you may be nominated for a gold medal yourself. A quick ranch dipping sauce with a touch of sriracha makes them irresistible. Scraps of mac and cheese leftover after cutting out your medals can be saved and formed into mac and cheese bites that you can fry and freeze for later.



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in 1/2 cup flour and cook until tan in color, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, whisking every couple of minutes, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the Cheddar, melting cheese and Parmesan in batches, whisking after each addition. Whisk until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. 
  3. Meanwhile, add the macaroni to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the cheese sauce. Pour onto a wax paper-lined rimmed baking sheet, spread it to the edges and refrigerate for 1 hour. 
  4. Remove the macaroni from the fridge. Place wax paper on another baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray. Cut out gold medals with a 2- to 2 1/2-inch round cutter or the top of a glass. You should have 16 medals. Spray another sheet of wax paper with cooking spray and place the sheet sprayed-side down over the medals. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight. 
  5. Stir the ranch dressing and siracha together in a small bowl. Place the fish-shaped snack crackers in a food processer and pulse until you have fine crumbs. 
  6. Pour about 2 inches of oil into a large pot and place over medium-high heat. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to the side of the pot and heat to 350 degrees F. Place a wire rack over a sheet pan. 
  7. Set up a breading station with the remaining 1 cup flour in one shallow bowl, the eggs in a second shallow bowl and the Cheddar cracker crumbs in a third shallow bowl. Remove the medals from the freezer, coat them in flour, dip in the egg wash and coat in the cracker crumbs. Fry about 3 at a time in the oil until crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider and drain on the rack. Sprinkle with salt. 
  8. Serve the gold medals with the ranch sauce. If you like, you can place the medallions on plates and squeeze or pipe sriracha medal ribbons, and/or pipe numbers (1, 2 or 3) onto the medallions.