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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

old school mac-n-cheese

old school mac-n-cheese

My mom used to make macaroni and cheese with hot dogs when we were kids, so it's a true comfort food for me. the hot dogs are definitely optional, but if i want a grown-up mac-n-cheese dish i usually take an entirely different approach. Grocery list: hot dogs, pasta (elbow or penne), milk, cheddar cheese, butter.

Start by boiling the noodles (2 cups elbow noodles, more if you're using a bigger pasta like penne or ditali). Slice 4 hot dogs and spread in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pyrex dish. I just discovered this brand called Maverick Ranch, and their hot dogs are all beef, no hormones or antibiotics or preservatives -- and they taste SO much better than the cheaper kinds. Cook the noodles till they are al dente, or even 1 minute shorter than al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Grate about 4 cups of cheddar cheese. Reserve a handful or 2 for sprinkling on top, and the rest will go into the cheese sauce. To make the sauce, melt 4 T butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stir in 4 T flour, and a dash of ground white pepper and ground mustard. Stir as a paste for about a minute, then slowly start adding milk a little at a time, continuing to stir. You'll eventually add 2-3 cups milk. Bring the white sauce almost to a boil, then add in the cheddar, and season with salt and pepper. When the cheese is melted, remove from the heat.


Layer the noodles over the hot dogs, then pour the sauce over. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees, until bubbly and the cheese starts to brown on top.

1 comment:

Morgan said...

mmmmmmmm. drool. i am making this this weekend. this reminds me of the pig pockets at blackhorn, do you remember those? i made them a couple of weeks after we'd eaten them, they were super easy and sooo good. i am going to try to find the brand of hot dogs you mentioned, i like that they are healthier. another tag you could use on this one would be comfort food... it's a classic!