I'm not a big fan of macaroni and cheese. I'm also not a big fan of hotdogs. However, most of the time when I cook, it's not for me but for my adorable almost-2yr old daughter, Kayla who happens to love macaroni and cheese. And hotdogs. So I figured combining both of them is a no-brainer. What I didn't want is to have her eat the fake macaroni and cheese (read: the instant stuff) and since hotdogs aren't the best in terms of nutritional value, I decided to make it instead. We'll see how it turns out later on today.
After scouring the internet for recipes, I discovered that making macaroni and cheese isn't the easiest thing - you would think it would be boiling macaroni, cooking the hotdogs, tossing them together with cheese and baking it in the oven would be the jist of it, right? Nope it's a bit more complicated than that. Here's a good recipe I found from the food network from Rachel Ray.
**update** You done good, Ms. Ray. You turned a non-mac and cheese lover to a mac and cheese liker. Of course, Kayla gobbled it up and kept on picking out the hotdogs to 'savour'. I omitted the beer (also from this post since this ia parenting site!) and substituted with chicken broth instead as well as spicy mustard for regular mustard. The ketchup I was a litte weary about but added a subtle tang to the flavour. I ate two bowls of this and Kayla almost finished hers.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 package beef or pork hotdogs, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons all- purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups milk
- 1 rounded tablespoon spicy mustard
- 2 rounded tablespoons ketchup
- 3 cups yellow sharp Cheddar, shredded, divided (Buy preshredded cheese. You will need 1 1/2 sacks of 10-ounce packages.)
Boil a large pot of water for macaroni. Salt water and under cook macaroni, cook about 7 minutes until just under al dente in doneness.
Preheat broiler and set rack 12 inches from heat.
While pasta works, heat a large deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, then add hot dogs and brown on both sides, 4 minutes total
Remove the dogs with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate
Add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, and the butter. When butter melts, cook onions 4 to 5 minutes, then add flour and cook another minute
Add chicken broth
Whisk in milk and bring to a bubble, then season the sauce with salt and pepper and stir in the mustard and ketchup. Lower heat and add 2 cups of the cheese. Stir to melt, 1 minute
Adjust mustard, ketchup, and salt and pepper, to your taste.
Drain pasta well. Combine pasta and hot dogs with sauce and coat evenly then pour into large casserole and top with remaining cheese. Melt and brown cheese under broiler, 2 minutes.