(Before It's News)
I had the opportunity to go to Costco the other day with a friend and I stocked up on All Beef Hot Dogs. I love hotdogs, and I really like the all beef ones. The only place you can get all beef hot dogs over here in the UK is at Costco, so when I get the chance to go, I stock up on them and bang them into the freezer. Their dogs are really good and have no fillers and a nice crisp skin. I know that hotdogs are not the healthiest thing you could be eating, but every now and again, a bit of what you really enjoy does a person the world of good!
My mother made the best hotdogs in the world. She had a waffle/grill iron that you could use either as a grill or a waffle maker. Every Friday night she would fire up the grill plates in prep for Friday night hotdog night. She didn't use quality dogs, just Larsens and they were not my favourite things . . . ordinarily, but her treatment with them made even a Larsen's hotdog taste good.
First off the buns would be buttered on the outsides and then toasted in the grill . . . just like a grilled cheese sandwich, all buttery and toasty on the surface, but still hot and steamy soft inside . . .
The weiners/franks would be split down the length almost all the way through so that they opened up like a book. These would be placed cut side down onto the grill and then it would be shut and they would grill until golden brown on both sides.
If you have never tasted a weiner/frank that has been toasted in just this manner you have been missing out on something really special . . . they are quite simply wonderful. That was her secret. Just the split weiners and the toasted buns. We added our own toppings. I like mustard and relish and have never ever been able to abide tomato catsup on any kind of bread! Its just one of my quirks!
I don't have a fancy grill/press. I did have a lovely cuisineart one, but it stopped working after using it a couple of times and I have never bothered to replace it. Too expensive. I make do with my Pampered Chef grill pan and a baking sheet and some heavy weights. They get the job done.
The other day I added cheese which melted down over those toasty franks gilding them to perfection . . . I served them with sweet potato fries and we were in hot dog heaven. I confess . . . I had one of the leftovers reheated in the microwave for breakfast the next morning and I was one very happy gluttonous camper!
*Grilled Cheese Dogs*
These are a real favourite with the children and a once in a blue moon treat for the adults!
6 soft sided, top cut hot dog buns
softened butter for spreading
12 TBS of a mix of strong cheddar and red leicester cheese
(You can use whichever cheese you like, Cheddar and Jack are also good)
Your favourite hot dog toppings to serve
Heat a large non stick grill pan (without ridges) or a non stick skillet over medium heat. Butter your buns on both of the outer edges. Place each, with one buttered side down in the heated skillet. Grill over medium heat until golden. Flip over and press down lightly with a spatula. Brown on the other side. Remove and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the frankfurters.
Taking a sharp knife, slit each frankfurter almost all the way through down the length of them. Open up like a book. Place open side down in the hot pan. I like to lay a baking sheet on top with a heavy weight on top. Alternately you can use a panini press. Cook until golden. Remove the pan and weight and flip the frankfurters over. Place the pan and weight on top again and cook until golden on the other side. Remove the pan and weight and top each dog with 2 TBS of the cheese. Pop under a pre-heated grill to melt the cheese. Place into the warm toasted buns and serve along with your favourite hot dog toppings.
You know it really is the simple things in life which bring me the most pleasure! Bon Appetit!
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