You are probably thinking this is just another mac and cheese recipe and that you’ve seen or tried them all. Let me start off by saying, this dish is not your typical mac and cheese. And it’s not just because it has the hot dogs mixed in either. This mac and cheese is called “summer-style” for a reason. It tastes like a summer hot dog in mac and cheese form. I’m talking ketchup, mustard, lots of cheese, and of course - hot dogs. All of these ingredients can be found in this dish.
Interested yet? I hope so. My husband said this was “the very best mac and cheese ever.” And to my little one-year old baby, he could not chew and swallow fast enough. He was giggling and laughing the whole time he was eating this. Oh, and he ate a lot.
This mac and cheese has a unique, but delicious flavor. Plus, this dish can be made in less than thirty minutes. That is always my favorite kind of dinner. The quicker you can get dinner on the table, the more time you have to soak up the amazing summer weather!
This dish starts with some pasta (I would recommend shells or macaroni) and some hot dogs. Cook the pasta according to the package directions to al dente. To cook pasta to al dente means that the pasta should still be firm and not completely cooked through or soft. It is important to cook the pasta to al dente because the noodles will get cooked more throughout the process of the meal. If you over-cook the noodles they will end up being too soft and taste soggy.
While the pasta is cooking, you can prepare the hot dogs by slicing them up and cooking them over the stove-top. It takes about four to five minutes to cook up the hot dogs and afterwards you will transfer them to some paper towel and dab out the grease.
Once the hot dogs have been cooked, the pasta will still be cooking which leaves you time to make the delicious cheese sauce. The cheese sauce starts with some butter, olive oil, and a little bit of flour to thicken it up.
By whisking together the butter, olive oil, and flour you are creating a roux which will become the thickening agent for this dish. It is important to make sure the flour is completely incorporated with the butter and olive oil.
I do this by slowly adding in the flour while briskly whisking the mixture. Once a thick dough-like substance forms you know the mixture is ready to continue on to become a sauce.
So after you have the roux, whisk in the milk slowly. The milk will work it’s way into the roux you’ve already formed to create a thick sauce. Allow time for the milk to thicken up and then ketchup and mustard.
The amounts of ketchup and mustard aren’t too over-powering. They are definitely there in taste, but it is subtle. You’ll want to taste the sauce before the cheese and adjust the flavors to your preference. You can increase the ketchup or mustard, add more salt and pepper, or thin it out with more milk.
Once everything has been stirred together and thickened up, its time to add in the cheese. You will stir the mixture until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick, creamy, and smooth. I used cheddar cheese, but you could get creative with different types of cheeses if desired.
By this time, the pasta is done, the hot dogs are still warm, and it’s time to stir everything together. Drain the pasta, stir in the hot dogs, and pour the cheese sauce over it all.
Voila! It couldn’t get much easier than that. And these flavors? Unreal.