• Luci, Michele, and Billa

Hot Dog!

Updated: May 10

By Luci


Wandering through Costco, my eyes lit up - a case full of hot dogs! OMG! I haven’t had a hot dog since July 4th! These are my favorites, Nathan’s all beef. And cheap! SOLD! But at home, a contrary thought - - what am I going to do with 3½ pounds of hot dogs? All I wanted was a couple of hotdogs for lunch.


What to do? Freeze them? Well, I could, but still, I probably eat all of 4 hot dogs all year. I do know some serious hot-dog lovers, so why not invite them for a hot-dog dinner. I could make some non-traditional, interesting beans with hot dogs. White beans, with herbed, oven-roasted tomatoes. What else? And then it came to me. They like hot dogs? I’ll give them hot dogs! In every course, even dessert. A fitting finish - ice cream and caramelized hot dog! Here’s the menu:


HOT DOG!

Michele’s dear friend, Spike, graciously agreed to model the theme


Appetizers

Frizzled Hot Dog Bits in Onion Dip for Chips

Crostini with Hot Dog and Mozzarella


Main

White Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Fried Hot Dogs

Rice with Onion and Pine Nuts 


Salad

Greens with Apple and Hot Dog Shavings, Mustard Vinaigrette


Dessert

Maple-Caramelized Medallions of Hot Dog

Ice Cream


So how does someone generate a crazy menu like this? Analyze the dishes and you’ll see that each substitutes hot dogs for pork in familiar recipes: (crostini with prosciutto and mozzarella, bacon/onion dip, beans with pork, salad with bacon, maple-caramelized bacon). The substitution makes perfect sense because hot dogs are spicy sausages full of yummy fat, just like pork, especially cured or smoked pork products. 


The idea illustrates one way to generate novel foods. Analyze a favorite recipe in terms of basic tastes and relate these tastes to those of other foods. Substitute accordingly.


How did the menu turn out? Great! Everyone loved the food. Hilarity reigned.



THE RECIPES


Appetizers

Frizzled Hot Dog Bits in Onion Dip for Chips

Cut hot dogs into small bits. Put in skillet with a small amount of hot olive oil. Fry until the bits are nicely frizzled but not burnt. When cool, mix with onion dip and serve with chips. Use a generous amount of hot dog in the dip.


Crostini with Hot Dog and Mozzarella

Boil the hot dogs and then slice thin, lengthwise. Cut each slice in half. You should have 6 half slices from each hot dog. Prepare bread slices for crostini as usual – brush both sides with olive oil and toast very lightly. Cover one side with the hot dog slices, top with shredded mozzarella and broil until the cheese is dappled with small brown spots. Place one full cross section of hot dog on top.


Main

White Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Fried Hot Dogs

Soak beans overnight or use canned beans. Roast ripe tomatoes with garlic, rosemary and thyme or simmer canned tomatoes with garlic and herbs (I often use Hunt’s fire-roasted tomatoes). Fry ½-inch chunks of hot dog in olive oil so that they are crisp on the outside and soft in the center. Cook the beans with the tomatoes. Add the hot dog chunks when beans are finished.


Rice with Onion and Pine Nuts

My never-fail, favorite preparation of this common dish: Sweat chopped onion in butter over low heat until it begins to color. Add basmati rice; stir often until the rice colors. Add boiling water (1 cup rice, 1 ½ cups water). Turn heat to low, cover tightly and cook for 17 minutes. Turn heat off but allow rice, still covered, to rest for 10 minutes. Stir in toasted pine nuts.


Salad

Greens with Apple and Hot Dog Shavings, Mustard Vinaigrette

To shave hot dogs, have them very cold so they will cut cleanly. Make shavings with a mandolin, food processor or the large openings of a grater. Dress greens with a mustard vinaigrette. Place on individual salad plates. Place 3 or 5 slices of a tart apple on top in a cartwheel pattern, leaving a space in the center. Mound some hot-dog shavings in the center.


Dessert

Maple-Caramelized Medallions of Hot Dog

Cut hot dogs into crosswise slices 1/8 inch thick. Fry over sufficient heat to brown-crisp the edges. Pour some maple syrup over and sauté over medium heat until the slices are nicely glazed with the syrup. Serve with ice cream -vanilla or a nutty maple/pecan.









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