Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese

Shavuot this year is only about 2 1/2 weeks away.   According to the great sage wikipedia, Shavuot commemorates the giving of the torah (which includes the 10 commandments) to the Israelites at Mount Sinai.

One way to celebrate Shavuot is to serve dairy meals.  One of the meals I will be serving will be that very American good old mac 'n cheese. 

Not that neon orange out-of-box experience most kids eat.   My grown-up version uses three different cheeses:  cheddar (no surprise there), Gruyere (Swiss with attitude), and blue, which adds a tangy kick to your taste buds.

The Dijon mustard is my surprise ingredient. Do not substitute with any other kind of prepared mustard or you really will be surprised ... and not in a good way.  If you don't have a jar lying around, sub with a 1/2 teaspoon of dry powdered mustard instead.

I also add sherry ... only one-quarter cup.  Just enough to add mucho flavor, but not enough to warrant a designated driver.   However, if the idea of even 4 tablespoons of alcohol bothers you, simply leave it out.

Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese
Yield: 4-5 servings

cooking spray
1 (12 oz.) box elbow macaroni (approx. 2 cups)
6 Tbl. butter, divided
 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 Tbl. dijon mustard
1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
4 ozs. cheddar cheese, grated
4 ozs. Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated
4 ozs. blue cheese, crumbled
3 cups milk (low-fat ok)
1/2 cup freshly grated bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease bottom and sides of a small (1-1/2quart) casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain well.

While macaroni is cooking, over medium heat melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in 2 quart saucepan. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Whisk constantly for 1 minute to cook out the flour-y taste.

Slowly stir in milk. Stir often until mixture starts to thicken and barely comes to a simmer, then stir constantly until mixture boils.

Reduce heat to low. Stir in dijon mustard, all the cheeses a small handful at a time, stirring constantly between each handful until cheese has completely melted.  Stir in sherry.

Add drained macaroni to prepared casserole dish. Top with cheese sauce and gently mix.

In a small bowl, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in microwave. Mix butter with bread crumbs, then top macaroni with the buttered crumbs.

Bake, uncovered, in oven for 30 minutes, or until cheese bubbles and crumbs are golden brown.


Shaindy said…
wow, that looks dangerously good!
RonnieVFein said…
My husband would love the addition of sherry. Nice idea.
Leah Hadad said…
Looks like the kids would love it, too!

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