Sunday, February 8, 2009

TFF - Ultimate Chili Cheese Dog

I think we should have Game Day foods every weekend. It just makes the whole meal so festive! And of course, it's a lot of fun to watch DH getting all excited. Like most of his gender, he likes to unwind in front of his big-screen TV, chomping down on some man-food, with an endless supply of soda on the side. Even if there's no game to his liking on TV, he'll get just as pumped watching back-to-back episodes of How It's Made (*groan* I reeeeeeeally don't care how they make circular saw blades or windshield wipers!) or How Do They Do It, and other such shows that I could easily sleep through. But I don't mind sacrificing the remote for a couple of hours (as long as I get it back in time for reruns of No Reservations), and anything is bearable if you have enjoyable food in front of you.

This recipe for the Ultimate Chili Cheese Dogs is another reason why I'm so happy to be a part of Tyler Florence Fridays. I'm discovering that Tyler's recipes are so easy to follow, and am such a fan of the big, bold flavors he isn't afraid to use. This recipe is a solid HOME RUN! I've had my fair share of chili cheese dogs at carnivals and amusement parks, but this home-made version turned out to be the best one I've ever had (a sentiment that was seconded whole-heartedly by DH). Man-food like this can make any girl go weak in the knees!
Ultimate Chili Cheese Dogs (my adaptation of Tyler's recipe)
Serves: 4 servings

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 of a medium bottle of ketchup, about 2 cups
1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional, but I like it)
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 all-beef hot dogs
8 hot dog rolls
1 cup grated Cheddar


1. Put a skillet over medium heat and drizzle in the olive oil. When the oil gets hazy, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until it is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, and cook until nicely browned, about 10 more minutes.

3. Stir in the ketchup, chili powder, ground cumin, and mustard and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

4. While the chili is cooking, get the grill/frying pan/skillet going.

5. Bring a pot of water up to a simmer and parboil the dogs for about 5 minutes. Take them out of the water, pat them dry, and grill/sear them just long enough to mark them. (That'll give them a grilled flavor too.)

6. Brush the insides of the rolls with olive oil and lay them face down on the grill; cook until toasty. To serve, put a dog in each roll and top with the chili and some (ok, lots!) cheddar cheese.

Verdict: Like I said earlier - best chili dogs ever! That hot dog chili is perfect for this purpose. You might be skeptical about using that much ketchup (I was - ended up using 3/4 of a bottle instead of the whole bottle as Tyler instructed, but it worked for me), but it really melds well with the ground meat and spices, giving the whole thing a smoky, complex flavor - it's a party in your mouth. Parboiling then grilling the dogs is a great idea too, because it gives the hot dog that extra bite. Being a New Yorker, I know a great hot dog when I taste it! Pair it with seasoned oven-fries and you've got yourself a family favorite.

All of next week, I'll be posting recipes with a Valentine's theme. Not because I really celebrate it (boring story, will get to it later), but because I think theme-cooking is fun! That is, if my silly Ozzy-cat will ever let me get to it. Every time I sit on the computer to research some interesting recipes, or post to my blog (a noble calling, if I do say so myself), he'll keep assaulting me till I prop my legs up on the edge of the bed and let him get comfortable in my lap - where he will proceed to purr and cuddle and knead my flesh with his sharp claws, till he falls fast asleep. *Sigh* ... ok fine, my heart melts when he does that, but I can never get any work done!


Anonymous said...

This looks great, I'll have to make them this weekend, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I DO want to eat this but you must admit, that is the perviest looking image of a hot dog... ha.

Muneeba said...

tee hee - you're right Jessica! But hot dogs are pretty pervy-looking in general .. and pretty hard to resist!

Anonymous said...

This isn't a conversation about food anymore apparently, and this could spiral out of control. You guys need to get a tight grip on things here...THAT's WHAT SHE SAID! But that chili cheese dog does look nyummy. However what are your thoughts about adding condiments, such as the sauce they call Ketchup, and it's less popular and hence rebelious brother, Mustard?

NKP said...

I love guy food too! Great with a beer on a casual weekend.
The hot dog does look really good.. and a little phallic.. ;)
Thanks for cooking with us at TFF!
(so funny, my hubby loves How It's Made too!)

Muneeba said...

Hugh J., I'll leave you alone with your chili dog and you can do whatever you want with it!

Natashya, just do some more of your great blogging when the hubbs starts watching How It's Made - that's my strategy!

Jo said...

Haha .. this has got to be my #1 movie night food. Great.

Donna-FFW said...

Wow, does that ever look good.. I will have to make this food for my man too! YUM!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Yum--nothing like a good chili-cheese dog! I am sure your husband was in heaven!

Michelle said...

The chili dogs are on my list as well and I've not had a chili dogs in years and years.

I've got an Ozzy-cat named Tinkerbelle "Tink".

Jenny said...

Oh I like this idea, chili without beans. Might see if my boys would eat it.

Dazy said...

The cheese added to this enhances its glamor. My brothers are crazy about cheese. I think they will like it for summer time treat, would make for the family and give them a surprise.

Anonymous said...

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