If your child has a somewhat mature and sophisticated palate, you might get him to eat a little turkey and dressing. But. . kids, for the most part, would just as soon pass on the turkey and have a big ol' plate of macaroni and cheese. And Mom. . .just for the record a national survey has confirmed that most kids would opt for the boxed 'mac-n-cheese' instead of the long-standing family recipe.
So to get your kids to eat, what I've done is compromised between the family recipe and what's inside the box. I then added yet another indisputable 'kid favorite.' Hot dogs! Frankfurters! Weenies (as they say)! Just cut' em up and bake them into the 'pasta fromage.' You'll hear Junior say...'Oh, Mom cool!'
8-ounces (2-1/2 cups) elbow macaroni *
6-8 hot dogs (meat only), sliced into small chunks
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Frank Davis Garlic Hot Sauce
6 ounces shredded mild cheddar cheese plus the 'box cheese powder'
4 tablespoons seasoned Italian bread crumbs
2 teaspoons butter,
* Instead of buy the pasta in an individual package, you can buy a box of macaroni and cheese and use that pasta for this dish. . .since you're gonna need the powdered cheese packet anyway!
In a 3-quart saucepan, cook the elbows to a desired doneness as directed on the package (most kids like 'em a little past al dente).
Oh you'll need to add the hot dogs during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and immediately return it to the saucepan.
Next, heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 2-quart Pyrex glass casserole with non-stick cooking spray (Pam). Then, in a 2-quart saucepan, combine a half cup of milk, the flour, the salt, and the hot sauce and whisk the mixture together until smooth.
Then stir in the remaining cup-and-a-half of milk. Now cook this sauce base over a medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens.
You should plan on stirring it frequently to keep it from scorching on the bottom of the pot.
At this point, remove the pan from the heat and add in the shredded cheese and the boxed cheese powder.
Then gently whisk the sauce until the shredded cheese is completely melted and the powder becomes an integral part of the mixture.
All that's left to do now is add the blended cheese sauce to the cooked pasta and 'dogs' in the saucepan, fold the ingredients together well, and spread it out evenly in the sprayed casserole dish. Finally, quickly toss together the bread crumbs and the butter and sprinkle it over the top of the casserole.
All that's left is to bake the dish uncovered at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until 'mac-n-cheese' is bubbly and the crumb topping is golden brown.
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