Fire In Their Bellies Mac-&-Cheez
1 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups of either half-and-half, whole milk, or some combination thereof
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, half grated, half cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ounces Colby cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
A few dashes of Tabasco sauce to taste
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the half-and-half/whole milk and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until thickened, or about 3 minutes. Add the 1/2-inch pieces of cheddar and Colby cheeses and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Stir in the Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until just done, or about 8 minutes. Drain and return to the hot pot. Sprinkle the grated cheddar on top, then add the cheese sauce and stir until combined.