Hot dogs are so disgusting that even Ray Kroc—the dude who made McDonald’s popular—said that they don’t live up to the chain’s standards of quality. That’s right. Hot dogs were too unsanitary for McDonald’s. But they’re delicious. Especially when they’re Nathan’s dogs, or maybe your local organic uncured links. So forget about ingredients like intestine or rat flesh. Instead, close your eyes and savor each wonderful, mysterious bite.
Hot dog flower
- Cut your wiener into sixths. Cut them along the circumference, like so (see right).
- In the middle, stick something classy. Ideas for the something classy: aged gouda, capers, anchovies.
- Serve it on a triscuit with a slice of manchego. Gherkins on the side.
You can make a dip with thousand island and hot sauce, or ranch with buffalo sauce. Don’t limit yourself.
Hot dog omelet
Eggs are the canvas, hot dogs the paint, and you my friend, are Rembrandt. Hot dog dishes are imprecise, so rely on instincts for this.
- Cut up some hot dogs. Take a few slices of American cheese. Keep them handy.
- Take a few eggs. Beat them.
- Crack black pepper, grind sea salt. (Yes, you can substitute pre-ground pepper and normal salt.)
- Throw in a dash of your favorite hot sauce. Tabasco, cholula or Sriracha work well.
- Heat up a non-stick pan. Cut off a chunk of butter and let it melt.
- Pour in your eggs. Let them solidify a bit. Put in your hot dogs. Mush it about like an innocent child playing in quicksand.
- Turn the eggs over. Put your slices of American cheese on top. Turn off the heat.
The beauty of this dish is that you can add as many or as few ingredients. Want to substitute pimento or asiago for the American cheese? Go for it. Want to add frozen peas (let ‘em thaw!), use olive oil instead, chop fresh chives in, add a little crème fraiche, bell peppers, salami, spinach, anchovies (don’t add the salt if you do), the roasted head of an ortolan bunting? Bob’s your uncle. Your uncle Bob.
Hot dog en croute
Well, en croute is kind of a lie, because we’re not wrapping it in phyllo dough. But this is even more delicious.
- Take a pre-boiled hot dog.
- Take a can of Pillsbury crossaints.
- Roll up the hot dog in the crossaint and bake that shit. If you want to be really extravagant, you can roll up your hot dog in a slice of deli provolone first. (Oh my god I would kill your firstborn for a taste of that.)
When you’re serving this, make a joke about how it’s really not en croute. Nobody will care, because it’s delicious, but you’ll seem cultured. And if you want to make it en croute, you can do that too. Just make sure your phyllo dough is frozen first, and use liberal amounts of butter to avoid drying it out.
For a sauce, stone-ground mustard is best.
Like the omelet, this is another canvas on which you can go Jackson Pollock. Or Lichenstein if you use a lot of ketchup and shredded cheddar.
- Take a frozen pita bread. Sprinkle water on it so that it’s all nice and moist. Make sure it’s really moist.
- Throw on some cut-up hot dogs. Some sauces—mustard and ketchup play a fine symphony, but you can use a dab of Worcester sauce, or anchovies, or Sriracha, or even just some olive oil.
- Crack some black pepper on top. Salt to taste.
- Add cheese. Use your favorite. Goat cheese works just as well as mozzarella, and they both benefit from some crumbled pecorino. (Don’t use feta though, that’s just vulgar.)
Add other ingredients—cherry tomatoes, prosciutto, salami, artichoke hearts, spinach, sardines, Portobello mushrooms, etc. Crushed garlic is wonderful, as is roasted eggplant. If you want to add olives, the meatier texture of green olives is delicious.
Then bake in the oven till desired crispiness is reached. If you are feeling messy, you can use the microwave.
Hot dog spaghetti wonder
This looks like the Flying Spaghetti Monster that other, different internet geeks worship. But it’s delicious.
- Boil hot dogs.
- Cut ‘em up.
- Insert dry spaghetti into the hot dogs.
- Boil spaghetti with the dogs.
- Pretend you’re eating a monster.
For the sauce, you can use whatever sauce you like. Making alfredo sauce at home is easy enough. If you want to seem like a pretentious jerk, make beurre blanc instead.
I like pecorino cheeses with this. Pre-grated parmesan does not count. Robusto is divine.
Bonus fact: In the mid 2000s, before I could afford Amtrak, I used to take the Chinatown bus from Boston to New York. The ticket booth for the Fung Wah bus sold hot dogs for under a dollar. They were delicious. If you find yourself waiting for the Fung Wah, seek out that dog and love it.
Arafat Kazi is a copywriter, drummer, and competitive winker. Follow him on Twitter @arafatkazi.