Thankfully, winter is over and it’s time to get outside. And after hibernating, it’s nice to get some fresh air. Hopefully some of you were able to enjoy skiing or other winter sports that may have been available with Covid restrictions. Now that’s it’s April, I’m back out on the tennis court and taking my bike for long rides anxiously awaiting stepping on a boat in May.
It’s a little early to be talking about eating at the mooring or underway, but I’ve done many columns on snacks, breakfasts and sandwiches to enjoy while getting your boat ready to launch, so I thought maybe you could try this months’ recipes at home to see if they’re worthy of feeding family and friends once the grill comes out on the boat. And we’ve never talked about hot dogs.
An American classic. Researching the web for the history of the hot dog, I found they were originally called sausages and date back to the 9th century. The first ‘frankfurter’ was developed in Germany around the 15th century, but Austria claims that they produced the first ‘wiener’ in the 19th century. Regardless, once in America, it is said that a German peddler sold hot sausages in the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. He would supply white gloves with each purchase so that his customers would not burn their hands while eating them. Seeing his profits going down because the customers kept taking the gloves and walking off with them, his wife suggested that he put the sausages in a split bun instead. Asking his brother-in-law, a baker, for help, an improvised long soft roll that fit the meat was developed, thus inventing the hot dog bun. The hot dog was born and our peddler named them ‘red hots’. In 1867 a German baker (or butcher – history is unsure) opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand in Brooklyn. And from this, our little hot dog became a very popular food.
I found these out-of-the-norm recipes on the web. I hope you enjoy them. I, for one, can’t wait to serve the Chili Cheese Dog bread at my first BBQ!
Chili Cheese Dog Bread
1 long baguette
1-1/2 c. of shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 (more or less) hot dogs, depending on the length of your baguette
1 can of premade chili (or make you own)
2 tbsp. of chives, for garnish (optional)
Take the baguette and cut a small “V” down the its length. Pull out some of the inside to create a boat. Sprinkle 1 cup cheddar on the bottom of the baguette, then place hot dogs end to end until the baguette is filled. (You may have to cut the hot dogs to fit, depending on the length of your bread.) Spoon the chili over hot dogs and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar. Place the baguette on a long piece of foil, then bring the sides and ends up to completely wrap it.
If at home, bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 25 minutes until it is warm throughout and the cheese has melted. If on the boat, place on a warm grill for the same time – keep a watch though so it doesn’t burn. Once done let cool slightly, then unwrap and top with the chives. With a serrated knife, cut into 3” long pieces and serve. Great as an appetizer, snack or even lunch with some coleslaw on the side. Serves 6-8.
Hot Taco Dogs
8 hot dogs
1/2 cup of red onion, finely diced
Salt and pepper
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and mashed
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tb. of chopped cilantro
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
8 6-inch flour tortillas
Heat a griddle or grill over medium heat. Once heated, place the hot dogs on the grill and cook until casings are crisp. When done, take off the grill and set aside.
While the dogs are grilling, make the guacamole. Sprinkle the onion with 1 teaspoon of salt and set aside to allow the salt to pull out the liquid from the onions. Combine the avocado, tomato, lime juice and cilantro. Stir in the onions and any juice that has accumulated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Put some salsa and guacamole down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Place the hot dogs over the toppings, then top with cheese and wrap the tortilla around the dogs. Insert toothpicks to keep them closed. Spray with cooking spray and grill for a few minutes on each side until brown and crisp. Serves 8.
Hot Dog Hash
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
8 hot dogs, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
Sliced green onions, for garnish
Hot sauce, for serving (or ketchup…)
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced hot dogs and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the potatoes, onion, and bell pepper to the skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat, 5 minutes. Remove the lid and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are golden and knife-tender, about 7 minutes more. Stir in the garlic and hot dogs. Cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Garnish with scallions.
Serve with hot sauce, ketchup or whatever else you may like on hash. Serves 4.