Looking for a good way to transition into the football season? Why not take a Camden Yards summertime hot dog classic and bring it to the parking lot for a Ravens tailgate? We finally have two relevant teams here in Baltimore, so go ahead and merge the two, at least on a culinary level. Hard core Orioles fans know that way out behind center field inside Camden Yards, Stuggy's serves a fantastic concoction called the Crab Mac N' Cheese Hot Dog. It's a wonderful blend of a creamy macaroni and cheese and chunks of crab meat on top of a classic hot dog. Here's how you can pull it off for a tailgate — either in the M&T Bank Stadium parking lot or in your own backyard.
Crab macaroni and cheese hot dog
Make the macaroni and cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter (plus extra for buttering the pan)
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
2 cups mild or medium cheddar cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
What to bring to the tailgate
2-3 packs of all-beef hot dogs
2-3 packs of potato hot dog rolls
1 container jumbo lump crab meat (in a small aluminum tin that is safe for grilling, such as a disposable small loaf pan)
Prepared macaroni and cheese (in aluminum serving tin that is safe for grilling)
1 can of Old Bay seasoning
Kettle-style potato chips (optional side dish)
Up to a day in advance, prepare the macaroni and cheese. This is a simple stove-top macaroni and cheese that can be made in as little as 30 minutes. Boil the macaroni according to the instructions. In another sauce pan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk vigorously for a couple of minutes. Slowly drizzle in the milk. At first it will clump; that is normal. Once the milk is in, add handfuls of cheddar cheese while continuing to mix. After all of the cheese is incorporated and the sauce is creamy and smooth, add the salt, pepper, mustard powder and Old Bay seasoning and mix well. Drain the macaroni and add it into the cheese sauce. Stir well. Butter an aluminum pan and pour the macaroni and cheese into the buttered pan. Cover with foil and refrigerate. Add the crab meat into a small aluminum pan and cover with foil. You're ready to head to the stadium.
When you arrive at the parking lot, prepare and light the grill on a medium heat. Once heated, place the aluminum pan with macaroni and cheese directly on the grill next to the tin of crab meat. To keep the macaroni and cheese moist, add a little bit of water to it and mix it up before grilling. Keep stirring both the macaroni and cheese and the crab meat while they are on the grill to avoid burning. Once the macaroni and cheese and crab meat are both warm, grill the hot dogs. Place the grilled hot dog on a bun and top with a generous amount of macaroni and cheese and top it with crab meat. Don't forget to sprinkle some extra Old Bay seasoning over them. Serve up the dogs. If you are looking for an easy side dish, these hot dogs pair nicely with a big serving of kettle-style potato chips.
John Thomas is the author of the Baltimore-based grilling blog http://www.grilling24x7.com.