Friday, March 5, 2010

The Squirrel Can Cook - Chili Dogs

I know, I know… chili dogs are not fancy or difficult. But they are darned tasty, and are on my list of “comfort foods.” They’re also relatively quick and easy, and we all know that time in the kitchen is often limited by other obligations. I’ve got some tips that I hope will make your next chili dogs just a little bit more special.

First off, get good hotdogs! Cheap hotdogs just don’t taste very good, but premium hotdogs are not really that much more expensive. I like Ballpark all-beef hotdogs, myself. Hebrew National are also very good, all-beef hotdogs. In my opinion, chicken or turkey hotdogs are just vile, anyway.

Next, the chili: While I make a pretty good homemade chili, I don’t like it on chili dogs. I prefer Nalley’s Original Chili. Nalley’s just blends really well with the flavor of the hotdogs. One 15-ounce can does 4 chili dogs, and 4 chili dogs, around our house, serves two.

Arrange four hotdog buns on a baking sheet, and preheat your broiler. If you have a choice, use the medium setting. Meanwhile, place 4 hotdogs in a medium saucepan and fill with cold water to approximately 2 ½ to 3 inches in depth (2 to 3 cups of water.) Place pan over high heat, bring to a boil, and boil hotdogs for 4 minutes.

While the hotdogs are boiling, heat the chili in the microwave, according to the directions. With my microwave, it takes 2 minutes on high, stir, 2 more minutes on high, and we’re ready to go.

Arrange the hotdogs on the buns, then spoon the chili evenly over the hotdogs, top with cheese (I used Velveeta slices, but grated chedder also works very well) and place under the broiler for a couple of minutes, until the cheese is nice and melted.

I very strongly recommend that you eat your chili dogs with a knife and fork. You really shouldn’t try to pick these up and eat them by hand. (Your drycleaner may differ.) Enjoy!

The Squirrel shall not live by bread alone!

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