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