Glorified Mac & Cheese With Hot Dogs.

I got a special surprise from my dear friends Steph and Matt (who did NOT run the Philadelphia marathon, even though I tracked a mysterious man of the same name) with the gift of hot dogs. Yes. Just to be clear, hot dogs make for a nice—albeit slightly out of the norm—birthday present.

Also, Matt came in second at the inaugural Hot Dog Challenge last winter. I suspect this was his way of telling me he’s coming back with a vengeance to take the number 1 spot.

Anywho, His Lordship and I decided to use the dogs in a macaroni and cheese dish. You remember, the kind your Mom made with the Kraft blue box and mixed in cut up hot dogs?

Yeah. We remember too.

Glorified Mac & Cheese With Hot Dogs
Serve 2-3

I swear it tastes better than it looks.

Ingredients
½ pound pasta
4 hot dogs, cut into 1-inch slices
1 cup milk
2 tbsps. butter, and more for baking
2 Tbsps. flour
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese; grated; 1 oz. reserved
1 cup breadcrumbs
salt & pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

Procedure
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
2. Heat 1-2 Tbsps. olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add dogs, and sauté for 7-8 minutes, until golden brown. Reserve.
3. Make cheddar mornay sauce: In small saucepan over low flame, add butter. Once melted, add flour and whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly incorporate milk. Raise heat—the béchamel (milk sauce) will thicken once it comes to a boil. Slowly whisk in cheddar, and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until just short of al dente. Drain.
5. Combine pasta, hot dogs, and mornay sauce in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to buttered casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs, remaining cheddar. Top with pieces of butter. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

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