The original version of this recipe came from "The Northern Exposure Cookbook" by Ellis Weiner. This is a real family-style kid-pleasing recipes that I often bring to potlucks and family gatherings. It is like a pot of macaroni & cheese but with the added surpise of the hotdog slices. It is easy prepare, is inexpensive, and doubles nicely. I have even prepared the ingredients the night before and baked it the next day with success (just allow the ingredients to come to room temperature before baking or add a little extra cooking time). You may use reduced fat ingredients if you have health concerns, but it will not be quite as rich. That being said, I do just about always use "light" hotdogs with no real sacrifice to taste. Prep time includes cooking the pasta.
- 1 (8 ounce) box elbow macaroni, freshly cooked,drained
- 1⁄2 lb hot dog, sliced into rounds
- 2 1⁄4 cups American cheese or 2 1⁄4 cups Velveeta cheese, shredded
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, very finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
- Grease a 2-quart casserole.
- Add the freshly cooked and drained macaroni into the casserole along with the sliced hot dogs and just 2 cups of the cheese; mix well.
- Combine butter and onion in a medium saucepan and saute over medium heat until the onion is wilted (about 5 minutes).
- Whisk flour into the butter mixture quickly until flour is absorbed, then remove from heat.
- Add milk slowly, whisking to combine well- make sure you whisk very quickly and thoroughly or you will have doughy clumps.
- Return to heat, whisk in the salt and pepper, and bring to a boil (still whisking)- just be careful not to let it burn.
- As soon as it starts to hit the boiling point, remove from heat and pour evenly over the macaroni mixture.
- Stir to gently to combine.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bake, uncovered, for 18-20 minutes or until heated through and the cheese has melted and browned (If you prepare this in advance, wait to add the remaining cheese until you are ready to bake the casserole the next day).
- For variety, I have tried other types of cheeses and thought Cheddar blended with Monterey Jack was also very nice in this.
- NOTE: This does not freeze well.