Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Hot Dog

Hot Dog (Noun); A smooth-textured sausage of minced beef or pork usually smoked; often served on a bread roll .

Webster can call it anything it pleases, but a Hot Dog is one of the most sought after crowd pleaser's, whether at a Football game, a backyard get-together, a Hot Dog will suffice!

Where did the idea come from? Coney Island? Not really....let's go back to the 9th Century....

"As when a man besides a great fire has filled a sausage with fat and blood and turns it this way and that and is very eager to get it quickly roasted. . ." ____Homer's Odyssey 850 AD

(54-68 AD) Emperor Nero's cook, Gaius, is often credited with discovering the first sausage!
Customarily, pigs were starved about one week before they were cooked and eaten. Legend attributes that one piggy was brought out roasted and ready to eat...but someone noticed that the pig had not been cleaned. Gaius ran a knife into its belly to see if the pig was fit to eat and surprisingly, puffed up and hollow intestines popped out! He reportedly said... "I have discovered something of great importance." The Royal Cook stuffed the intestines with ground venison and ground beef mixed with cooked ground wheat and spices, tied them into sections and gave birth to the "Wiener, Weenie, Frankfurter, whatever you want to call it!

Enough of Hotdog 101...onto the recipes. Hotdogs are versatile and fun....again, an imagination can do wonders for a drab Hot Dog!

In the south, a hot dog is a weiner on the bun with chili and other condiments such as chopped onions, cole slaw and chili (without the beans).

It amazes me to watch other people prepare Hot Dogs and at the same time it's quite frustrating for me to see the order in which they add their ingredients or "Build Their Dog"!

Since the "Hot Dog" was an item on my Dad's menu for over 50 years I'm accustomed to the basic "Dog Build" as follows:

1. Bun and Wiener
2. apply mustard
3. apply onions and cole slaw (for some, it's optional but for me, it's essential)
4. Chili (Make sure you drain the chili some beforehand or you'll have a "Wet Dog"!

It makes no sense to me any other way....or else you have a sloppy hot dog that is very difficult to eat.

My choice of weiners are all beef and Kosher! Forget the "Turkey, Chicken, Beef Combo's", if I want to eat Turkey or Chicken I don't need mustard and a bun!

Chili makes the hot dog....and the following recipe is simple, tasty and it's my Dad's! The great thing about this chili is that you can freeze it! The recipe below will consist of one pound of ground beef but if you want to make more, buy the five pounder in the grocer and adjust the recipe to taste.

Southern Dog

1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 cup chili powder (season to taste, may require more, or less...up to you)

Cole Slaw


Chopped Cabbage marinated in a weak vinegar water base with salt added....

Brown the ground beef in a skillet, add water to cover, bring to a boil, adding remaining ingredients and simmer! Fix your Dawg! You can add a few drops of Texas Pete or Tabasco for an added "bite"! Thats your basic Southern Hot Dog, and a novelty is the "Cheese Dog", replacing the weiner with a small log of sharp cheddar cheese....!

While residing on the Carolina Coast I visited a deli that was noted for their Sub Sandwiches and on a particular visit, browsing their menu I ran across an unusual Hot Dog. According to the waiter this was a specialty in Jekyl Island, Georgia. At first, I thought it was hideous....but the more the waiter talked about it and convinced me that no words can describe how good it was, I had to try it.

Jekyl Island Dog

Beef Weiner
Peanut Butter
Chopped Onions

Spread the mayo and peanut butter on the weiner, add chopped onions! Folks, you gotta try's awesome!

The following Hot Dog is what I call the "Reuben Dog" and it's basically a Kraut Dog with a little added flavor!

Reuben Dog

1 pkg Kosher All Beef Weiners
1 jar Sauerkraut
1 bottle Thousand Island Dressing
1 pkg Baby Swiss Cheese
1 jar Mustard

Boil weiners for about 10 minutes. Place weiner with slice of cheese in oven to melt. Remove from oven, spread Mustard, Thousand Island and spoon kraut on the top. Serve with Kosher Dill pickle and Chips and a tankard of Ale!

That's Amore Dog

This is what I call an Italian Hot Dog, and it can be served with a side order of pasta salad and a glass of wine!

1 lb Italian Sausage
1 pkg Mozarella Cheeze
Parmesan Cheese
1 Small Jar Marinara Sauce

Grill the sausages until brown. Start building the dog....add mozzarella grill until cheese has melted and spoon the sauce, add parmesan! This recipe can be improvised to include Bell Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms for added flavor!

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