Sunday, June 7, 2009

Family Recipe

I am not sure where this recipe came from, but I always associate it with my mom. I remember her making this when I was growing up. Some of you may turn your noses at the fact that this macaroni and cheese is made with hot dogs, but that's okay. More for me to eat. If you absolutely have to make this without the hot dogs, that's your choice. Keep in mind though that they cook ON TOP, not MIXED IN to the dish. Why did I just capitalize that? Huh.

It is possible to make this dish lighter, which I actually did. Instead of using beef hot dogs, you can use turkey. Instead of whole milk, use 1% or fat-free. Instead of full fat cheese, use 2%. You can also cut back on the butter for the roux, although I wouldn't go much lower than a tablespoon instead of the two the recipe calls for.

This is not a macaroni and cheese that tastes like the boxed kind. Now while I think the nuclear orange cheese powder from the box has its place, this homemade stuff is much, much better. It doesn't take long at all to make. I am all for convenience and ease of preparation. It doesn't take terribly long to grate cheese or measure out milk now does it? If you really are lazy (which I normally am, no judging from me!) you can always use the preshredded cheese.

This might not be the most well-balanced meal on the face of the planet, but who cares? Once in a while you just need to make food that tastes good and makes you feel good. Everything in moderation. Just don't eat the whole pan. Although if you did, that would be pretty impressive.

Hot Dog & Macaroni Casserole
from: Pachey's Mom

1.25 cups elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 2/3 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used sharp)
1/4 pound cheese, cut in pieces
hot dogs

* Cook macaroni and drain.

* Make sauce: Melt butter in medium pan. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Gradually stir in milk over medium heat. Add cheese pieces. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute. Add salt and pepper.

* In a one-quart casserole dish, layer in order, half macaroni, half sauce, half grated cheese. Repeat.

* Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

* Arrange hot dogs on top, bake 15 minutes longer.

Macaroni and Cheese before hot dogs.

After hot dogs. Not for the faint of heart!