Famous Dave’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese

There’s something about mac ‘n’ cheese that kids just love. I don’t know what it is, but ever since he was a toddler, my grandson has loved the dish that’s been a comfort food of mine for a very long time.

And it’s not just kids who love mac ‘n’ cheese. I remember a good friend and old roommate of mine who used to go through boxes of the Kraft version on a weekly basis. He was so hooked on mac ‘n’ cheese that after he was married, his wife jokingly banned it from the house.

I’ve never been that nuts about mac ‘n’ cheese, but it’s still a favorite of mine.

Here’s a recipe for mac ‘n’ cheese that I came across recently in the Los Angeles Times. It’s Famous Dave’s creative and creamy version of this classic comfort food.

Famous Dave’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese
2 tablespoons butter, plus ¼ cup (½ stick), divided
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
¾ cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
4 ounces aged white Cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1½ cups sweet corn niblets
2 jalapenos, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 pound jumbo elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, cubed
8 ounces Colby cheese, cubed
½ cup cracker crumbs
½ cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs
¼ cup unseasoned bread crumbs
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the butter until thoroughly combined to form a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk, then the half-and-half. Whisk in the mustard, barbecue sauce, salt and pepper.
Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes to develop the flavors. Whisk in the white Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Stir in the corn, jalapenos and parsley, then remove from heat.
Stir in the macaroni, then the cubed sharp Cheddar and Colby cheeses. Spoon the macaroni and cheese into a buttered 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
Melt the remaining ¼ cup of butter in a small sauce pan. In a medium bowl, combine the cracker, panko and unseasoned bread crumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the macaroni and cheese.
Bake the mac ‘n’ cheese until bubbly and browned on top, about 40 minutes.
Yield: Serves 12.
Approximate nutritional analysis per servings: 530 calories, 21 grams protein, 43 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 30 grams fatn (18 grams saturated), 86 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams sugar, 691 milligrams sodium.