Old habits die hard. Specifically the habit of making mac and cheese from a box. I did a little experimenting with an old-fashioned macaroni and cheese recipe I have and the result was a super-rich, restaurant quality dish! I was going to top it with breadcrumbs, but tonight my husband requested using French Fried Onions instead. It gave it a little bit of tang.
14 ounces macaroni
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (whole milk for extra-creamy texture, if desired)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup dry bread crumbs OR 1 (2.8 ounce) can of French Fried Onions
2 tablespoons butter
1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, if desired
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
While noodles are cooking:
In a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour. Cook for about 1 minute, until smooth and bubbly; stirring occasionally. Mix in milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard. Continue cooking until sauce is thickened and smooth. Add cooked macaroni and mozzarella and cheddar cheese and stir to coat.
Pour into 2 quart casserole dish. In small bowl mix together bread crumbs (or French Fried Onions), and butter; spread over macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.