2 tablespoons butter, plus 1/4 cup (1/2 stick), divided
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
4 ounces aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups sweet corn niblets
2 jalapeños, 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
1/2 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. 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.
3. 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, jalapeños and parsley, then remove from heat.
4. Stir in the cooked macaroni, then the cubed sharp cheddar and colby cheeses. Spoon the macaroni and cheese into a buttered 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
5. Melt the remaining one-quarter cup of butter in a small sauce pan. In a medium bowl, combine the cracker, panko and unseasoned breadcrumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the macaroni and cheese.
6. Bake the mac 'n' cheese until bubbly and browned on top, about 40 minutes.