Finally, as they got older, I was able to start baking this wonderful comfort food again, only my cheese preference has changed with age. You know that old saying, "I'm not older, just better!" Well, this mac and cheese is better too! Now, Son Number 2, who is 25, and my daughter have proclaimed this recipe, The BOMB! Can't get much better than that! They do eventually grow up. So, here's my version of the old classic; mac and cheese will never go out of style!
2 cups of dry elbo macaroni, cooked and drained
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 cups milk (I use 2%)
1/2- 3/4 cup of half and half
4 ounces of Colby cheese, freshly shredded
4 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, freshly shredded
1/2- 1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
3/4 cup coarse bread crumbs, or Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 T. melted butter
Mix topping ingredients together.
In a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and stir, making a roux, and let it cook minute or so. Don't burn! Whisk in the dry mustard and then the milk. Whisk until smooth and cook on low heat until thickened, a couple of minutes. Stir in the cheeses and the half and half. Remove pan from the heat. Do not let the cheese come to a boil, as it tends to ruin the texture. Continue stirring until cheese is melted. Add the cooked, drained macaroni and salt and pepper to the sauce. Stir well and taste to adjust the seasonings. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish, ( a 8x8 works well). Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until bubbly and topping is golden. Enjoy! Best served while hot.
Whole milk works great for this recipe, but as we have used 2% for years now, I rarely buy whole. The half and half adds creaminess to this dish. Also, I think freshly shredded cheese melts better than the preshredded. Of course, you can substitute your favorite cheeses in place of mine. What's your favorite cheese to use in Macaroni and Cheese?