I outed myself in a previous post for serving such low-brow dishes as boxed macaroni and cheese with canned tuna. So I might as well fess up to another food that, with a few extra fixings, masquerades as a meal.
Sausages, frankfurters or, in the words of Anthony Bourdain, “meat in tube form” are handily kept in the fridge or freezer. My family is much less inclined toward hot dogs at backyard gatherings or campfire fetes, preferring to doctor them up for impromptu lunches and dinners (OK, maybe even breakfasts)
Our usual bill of fare is Foster Farms fresh turkey sausages on a Franz pub roll with caramelized onions and Dijon mustard, sauerkraut (if we have it) and a side of sweet-potato fries. That array seems positively gourmet next to my husband’s unwholesome craving for pigs in blankets.
You know the drill: Pop open a canister of refrigerated biscuit dough and wrap said dough around hot dogs and maybe a few other odds and ends like cheese, pepperoncini or onions. He occasionally goes upscale with a cheddar-studded frank from Taylor’s Sausage in Cave Junction.
Sausage aficionados know that Taylor’s country store is the place to save on the varieties stocked at grocers, as well to procure items, such as blood sausage, that Taylor’s doesn’t sell elsewhere.
Like any local, small-batch product, Taylor’s sausages don’t come cheap. So what’s a few more dollars spent on some sophisticated toppings?
This Spanish-inspired recipe would be ideal with smoked chorizo. Pecorino or Asiago cheeses could be substituted for the Manchego.
Manchego Cheese and Garlic Hot Dogs
2 large garlic heads
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup roasted, jarred red peppers, drained and diced
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
6 grilled hot dog buns or 2 1/2-inch-wide pieces of ciabatta cut to hot dog length and split lengthwise
6 grilled all-beef hot dogs
2 ounces Manchego or hot-pepper cheese
Sherry wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Trim the top ¼ to ½ inch from each of the garlic heads. Place each head, cut side up, in center of a square of foil; drizzle each with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Enclose garlic in foil. Place packets on oven rack; roast until garlic is tender, for about 45 minutes. Open packets; cool 15 minutes.
Squeeze garlic cloves into a small bowl. Mash enough to measure 1/4 cup (reserve remaining garlic for another use). Transfer to bowl. Mix in remaining 3 teaspoons oil, the red pepper and parsley. Season with the salt and pepper.
Arrange the hot dog buns on plates. Top each with a grilled hot dog, some of the cheese, garlic relish and a drizzle of the vinegar.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe adapted by the Detroit Free Press from Bon Appétit magazine’s July 2009 issue.