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Chef's Morning After Mac and Cheese

Chef's Morning After Mac and Cheese

Serves: 6

Hands On Time: 

Total Time: 


1 (10-count) package hot dogs, sliced into 3/4-inch-thick rounds
8 strips applewood-smoked bacon
3 cups elbow macaroni
2 cups heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups frozen English peas, thawed
Sriracha sauce (optional)


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the hot dogs on one prepared baking sheet and evenly spread the bacon out on the second baking sheet. Bake until the bacon is crisp and hot dogs are very deeply browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool to room temperature, and coarsely chop the bacon.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente. It should be cooked through, but still have some bite.

In a large saucepan, combine the cream, garlic, mustard, hot sauce, salt, nutmeg and pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cream has thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves.

Stir in the cheese, peas, chopped bacon, hot dogs and cooked macaroni. Continue to cook over medium-low, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is creamy. Transfer to bowls and serve drizzled with Sriracha sauce, as desired.

Photo Credit: Maura Friedman

About the recipe

This decadent mac and cheese recipe comes straight from the brilliant mind of chef Jeffrey Gardner, who developed the combination as a cure for all of the, er, late night adventures he went on after working the line at his restaurants.

Whether you're out at a bar with other restaurant chefs or just had one too many glasses of wine at a dinner party, a bowl of cheesy, porky pasta will certainly help sooth whatever's ailing you. And yes, hot dogs and bacon together may sound like a little much, but don't knock it 'till you try it, especially with a more-than-generous topping of Sriracha sauce.

Be sure to get a deeply browned (even charred) color on your hot dogs — you’re looking to channel a campfire dog here.

We like to use Texas Pete hot sauce in this recipe.