In addition to reflecting upon and honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day weekend, many of us will be hosting or attending a backyard soiree. Yahoo Sports wants to help take you from a backyard bench player to a barbecue MVP with four ballpark-inspired takes on the classic hot dog.
All ingredients we utilized can be found at your local grocer or butcher. Let’s get grilling!
Exact details on its origins are sketchy (it’s widely accepted that it started somewhere in northern Mexico) but the taste is indisputable. You can find them outside most nighttime events in and around Los Angeles (not to mention bars at last call), where they’re typically cooked on small mobile carts. It’s your standard hot dog, wrapped in bacon and served with peppers, onions and condiments. They’re now available inside Dodger Stadium as well – served the “classic way” with mayonnaise and mustard.
To recreate these in our backyard set up, we took basic hot dogs and rolled one slice of bacon around each one in a spiral pattern, securing the ends with toothpicks. For the peppers, we formed a steaming envelope with heavy duty aluminum foil (shiny side in) and dropped in some onion chopped into strips and a julienned bell pepper with just a bit of oil. Be careful to cook over no more than a medium high flame, over indirect heat, as the fat dripping from the bacon will cause intense grill flares. Cook until the bacon reaches your desired crispness, carefully open the pepper and onion packet and dress the hot dog with as much or as little as you want.
“Big Kids Dog”
Another Dodger Stadium staple, this is the most basic dog on the list, but maybe the best. Why? It includes three childhood favorites (hence the name) into one. To recreate, just grill your favorite hot dog, place it on your favorite bun, and top with your favorite mac and cheese and corn chip brand. For our backyard barbecue, we used all-beef franks in the casing, pre-prepared mac and cheese from a local grocer and Fritos.
There’s no ketchup on this hot dog (which is practically a law in Chicago), but there’s plenty more to carry the taste of this geographically specific delicacy. Vienna beef, a Chicago original, describes the origins as “[C]art hot dog vendors during the hard times of the Great Depression. … business was booming for these entrepreneurs who offered a delicious hot meal on a bun for only a nickel.”
While the basic recipe for the Chicago dog hasn’t changed since, you may have trouble finding at least one of the authentic ingredients in your neck of the woods. Sport peppers (pickled Serrano peppers) aren’t as ubiquitous as buns, hot dogs and produce, so we recommend going with your favorite pickled pepper from the local market (we used pepperoncini from the supermarket). To replicate, take an all-beef hot dog, place on a poppyseed bun (vital), flank the dog with mustard and green relish, top with diced onion, flank with a pickle spear on one side and a slice of tomato on the other and, finally, top with sport peppers and celery salt.
Diamondbacks’ “Chicken Enchilada Dog”
Each spring the unveiling of new ballpark specialties (which in some cases are monstrosities), generates considerable buzz, especially in the food blogosphere. The Stew reported on the Diamondbacks’ new 2017 creation, the “Chicken Enchilada Dog” back in March. According to the Arizona Diamondbacks, it’s an “18-inch chicken enchilada sausage, queso blanco, enchilada sauce, pico de gallo, black olives, sour cream and tortilla strips on a talera hot dog roll.”
Well, then. While an 18-inch chicken enchilada sausage is certainly a specialty concessionaire item, you can get around that by picking up chicken sausage links at your local grocer or butcher. The rest of those items are pretty easy to find. Here’s the sequence we used: Bun, sausage, enchilada sauce drizzled on one side of the bun, olives on that same side, pico de gallo on the other, warm queso blanco dip over top of the sausage, sour cream drizzled diagonally over everything and topped with crunchy tortilla strips (typically found with salad dressings and croutons in your local supermarket, not the chips aisle).
We hope you’re inspired to try re-creating one or all of these the next time you light the grill.