Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Hot Dogs of Summer - Chili Dog

It's summertime the time is right for Hot Dogs. My Hot Dog Series covers all the greatest hits including Kraut DogMustard & Relish DogChili Dog, plus the killer combos of Kraut & Chili Dog, Slaw & Chili Dog, and Relish & Chili Dog. Now that's a mouthful and they are all cheap of course. So keep checking back here for all the yummy recipes served with tasty text and scrumptious photos!

Okay let's be frank, anyone can make these, and maybe this Series is just a celebration of  America's favorite frankfurter or a reminder of the joys of dining simply.

Click on any photo to see larger.

 My last Hot Dog of summer was a Kraut Dog, well move over there's a new dog in town and it's a meaty Chili Dog!

I've made Hot Dogs with all kinds of canned chili, from name-brand Hormel to brands I've never heard of like Hartford House...and they are all just fine by me. In the South, my Mom tops her Chili-Cheese Enchiladas with Wolf Brand Chili.

Canned chilis should mainly be flavored with chili powder. These days it's usually a mix of meats like pork and chicken, but mainly beef. I've grown used to canned chili and actually like the flavor.

The main problem is the texture which is often crumbly from ground meat, not stringy like a saucy pulled pork which I prefer - hey, you get what you pay for!

The last couple of years I started making my own Homemade Beef Chili and you can click on the recipe name to see it, but a warning, this recipe has beans, although it's easy enough to leave them out. Check back in a  few and I'll have a Homemade Beef Chili (no beans) video on my YouTube Channel.

I use the cheapest cut of beef called shank. It's one tough steak but after 2 or 3 hours of simmering in spices and tomato sauce, it becomes fall-apart tender and extra flavorful. Try slow-cooking with beef shank sometime, as it's even cheaper than hamburger these days.

Can you top your Hot Dog with a can of Chili with Beans? Sure, I have in desperate times.

I build my Chili Dog with mustard. I also add pickle relish if I have it in the fridge. A jolt of sour keeps the taste buds dancing and provides a delicious yin and yang contrast.

Here is the whole shebang, from bun to weenie to toppings. Just watch my Chili Dog video below.
Chili Dog - Video

Play it here, video runs 2 minutes, 6 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

These days it easy to make vegan versions using tofu dogs and vegan chili, so everyone can join in summertime patio Hot Dog partying.

 And the main ingredients of a Hot Dog are cheap of course, but that's not the only reason to like them. They are just a satisfying combination of flavors that you can build any way you like.

A package of Hot Dog Buns for about a buck? Check. I prefer regular white flour buns, but I often find whole wheat bun on sale too -- it's all good.

Meaty tube steak for a buck? If you know where to look and don't mind if they are a mix of beef, chicken, and pork. I always find them on sale at my local 99c only Store and Dollar Tree.

I mean, there is a texture taste difference - I find the typically mixed meat wieners a bit softer when you bite into them and with a milder meaty taste, while an all-beef wiener has more snap and thicker texture and an intense beef flavor. Depending on how my pocketbook is feeling I can work with any type of Hot Dog wieners.

Do you like your weenies steamed, sauteed, or grilled? I find it easiest to just steam mine in a pot with a basket and covered until they are hot and plump. This way you can walk away and get all the fixing ready while they cook - when you steam them you don't have to worry about burnt weenies.

How about the Hot Dog Buns? Well, at the last minute I will throw in a couple of buns on top of my steaming wieners, cover and give them a minute to soften. This works especially well if the buns are old and hard.

You do have to watch steaming buns as they can become soggy, although you can always let a soggy bun dry out for a couple of minutes if necessary.

 If I am barbequing then I will grill the wieners and add the buns at the finish line - same with sauteing in a frying pan on a stovetop.

I like Hot Dogs dress simply with mustard and sweet or sour pickle relish. I always can find jars for a buck.

So, how do you like to make yours? Leave a comment and let's compare wiener...recipes. Ha, ha, I couldn't resist. And check back for more simply delicious and cheap Hot Dogs. So load up the steamer basket or fire up the grill and get to cooking one of my yummy Hot Dog recipes.

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