Ah the hot dog. Whether you call it a frankfurter, frank, wiener, or weenie that little sausage is revered and loved by many, maligned and despised by some. Me? I pretty much like 'em quite a bit. And for a few good reasons. I guess first off because of it's ease of preparation.
Lately, I've been craving the frank. In trying to satisfy that craving a couple of weeks ago I bought a couple of packages of Foster Farms hot dogs. One chicken and one turkey. They were just okay. Heated some by boiling in a pot of hot water. And pan grilled some with the flat cast iron skillet. I found that both ways after getting them in the bun, and garnishing with mustard, sauerkraut or just mustard and little ketchup that by the time I got to the last bite of the first dog (I usually have 2) it had cooled somewhat. Half way through the second it had cooled it had cooled quite a bit. And with this brand of franks the skin is very thin and when pan grilled, what I thought my favorite way to cook them indoors, they just tend to blister instead of that seared grill texture.
So I went out and got some good 'ol Oscar Mayer Light 'Premium' Beef Franks. My gosh those FFs dogs, 1 dog 12 grams of fat! Two of those is a little 'fat overload'. The OM Lights, just 7 grams per dog. Whew! But I digress. When I looked through the wrapping I could immediately tell the difference in the skin between them and the FFs. So I had pan grilled some and noticed a big difference in how these do actually sear. But still got the cooling effect by the last bite. So I decided to try somewhat different method of heating. I turned up the toaster oven to the broil setting, foil lined the shallow baking pan and inserted the rack. Placed the dogs on the rack, and into the oven. Occasionally rotating with a pair of tongs they're fully heated and start to get a good sear under that broiler when they just start to curl up a bit. And heated in this manner I found that even by the time I get to eating the second dog it stays good and hot to last bite! Voila! My new favorite way to heat wieners indoors!
Now on to toppings/garnishings. I'm a lover of the kraut dog! Just give me some mustard and jar of Libby's 'Crispy' Sauerkraut and I'm lovin' that dog! Not much of a fan of sweet pickle relish or onions, unless the onion is finely, and I do mean finely, chopped and then just a little. Occasionally I do like them topped with chili and a little shredded cheese, and a little of the 'finely' chopped onion.
Okay those are pretty much the 'run of the mill toppings'. Now I think I'm going to try a 'slaw' dog, dog topped with of course, coleslaw. The sweetness of the slaw dressing is something I could handle as opposed to the over the top sweetness of sweet pickle relish. I think its the perfect ratio of sweetness to 'salt' of the dog. I'm also thinking along the lines of a kimchee topped dog as I'm a huge fan 'hot' spice! Oh and I just remembered we have on hand in the frig a couple varieties of Sriracha Hot Chil Sauce!!! Ooo, as well as some Tapatio and Castillo's Habenero sauces! Oh yeah, look out broiler, you're about to get 'busy' (LOL).
Okay so let's share our favorite prep methods as well as toppings/garnishings and ideas for 'exotic' T & Gs as well. And with late spring and summer approaching it will be break out the BBQs which of course we all know is the ultimate cooking method for the hot dog!