|Football Mac & Cheese|
If you have a guy in your house or kids, this one is a winner. It’s a go-to meal because chances are you have the ingredients in your kitchen already, especially if you love cheese the way we do in my house. I call it Football Party Mac & Cheese because it’s a manly type meal and perfect for a few friends crowded around a TV rooting for their favorite team. Check it out:
1 lb whole wheat rotini pasta
5 turkey hot dogs
7 tbsp unsalted butter
6 tbsp all purpose flour
4 cups 2% milk
2 tsp of dried mustard
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
fresh black ground pepper
10 ounces shredded Wisconsin white cheddar
4 ounces shredded extra sharp cheddar
1 cup Italian style breaded crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Bring salted water to a boil for pasta and cook to al denté based on package instructions (usually 7-9 minutes). If hot dogs are frozen, throw into boiling water for the last minute. In heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt 6 tbsp butter over low heat and whisk in flour until fully incorporated. Stream in milk, continuing to whisk and raise temp to medium to medium high. Bring milk mixture to a boil, whisking along the way to prevent milk from burning. Cut back heat to low to low-medium and add in mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper, whisking occasionally until mixture thickens. Adjust S & P if necessary.
Drain pasta thoroughly and cut hot dogs into small bite sized pieces. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in milk mixture, white cheddar and sharp cheddar.
Grease a shallow baking dish with butter and transfer all to dish. Mix together bread crumbs and Parmesan and spread over the top of pasta. Cut up remaining tbsp of butter and distribute pieces over breadcrumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes, comes out bubbly and golden. Serve it up alongside a mixed greens salad with a mustard vinaigrette to compliment the flavors in the mac & cheese.