In my hunt for the quintessential L.A. Street dog, I discovered that the greasy heart of the L.A. street-cart scene lies in the bustling, pedestrian-friendly Fashion District of Downtown L.A. In this concluding video post of my August Hot Dog Month series, I go prowling there on a dog day afternoon, then return to my kitchen to show you how to make your own flavor-packed street-style wiener -- a safer alternative for the squeamish.
This is one delectable hot mess!
In downtown L.A. I zoomed past flag-waving parking attendants luring drivers into $5 lots, and parked on San Julian Street, just South of Pico Boulevard (click here) for metered parking at $1 per hour, and walked up to 12th Street and Maple Avenue (click here) -- an area with more hot dog carts per square block than anywhere else in Los Angeles. The carts do a brisk business from all the clothing stall employees, shoppers, and tourists. A street-smart tip: look for carts that offer the extra topping of fresh chopped pico de gallo (onion, tomato, cilantro and avocado marinated in lime juice). The grilled, plump, bacon-wrapped wieners are jumbo-sized; and at $3 each, they're the right price for this cast iron-stomached chintzy chef.
And have a happy Labor Day weekend!
L.A. Street Dog - Video
1 jumbo hot dog wiener (regular size is okay)
1 slice of bacon
1/4 onion, sliced
1/4 bell pepper, sliced - red and/or green
1 large jalapeno - or more, to your taste. If you use from jar or canned, drain well.
Hot dog bun
Mayo, mustard and ketchup
On a heated grill or frying pan, saute chopped onion, bell pepper and jalapeno over medium heat. Bacon wrap the wiener, fastening with toothpicks if necessary. If pan is large enough, add the bacon-wrapped dog alongside the grilling veggies. The bacon grease just adds flavor.
Cook until bacon is browned on all sides, and veggies are soft and caramelized, including the jalapeno -- about 10 -15 minutes. (The jalapeno becomes milder and sweeter when well-browned during sauteing.) If you cook veggies separately, add a teaspoon of oil for grilling.
During the last minute, push aside veggies and hot dog, and grill (optional) an open-faced hot dog bun. To assemble, add bacon-wrapped hot dog to bun and slather on mayo, mustard and ketchup. Finally, top with grilled fajita mix and add the jalapeno. You can saute extra veggies, jalapenos, and bacon-wrapped wieners for an L.A. Street Dog Party!
Homemade L.A. Street Dog -- A Delicious Hot Mess!
99 thanks to the Fashion District Hot Dog Carts, and Bob McGinness for his kitchen camerawork!
For HTML to embed, or to just link from Youtube, click here.