Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Great Hot Dog

Hebrew National Franks really does make the best hot dogs I've ever eaten. At this point if it ain't Hebrew National I ain't eatin' it. After all, it's kosher. So if it's good enough for Jesus it's good enough for me. But then again Jesus was something of a radical. Maybe he bucked Jewish law and ate non kosher beef. If he did and was trying to spite the establishment and was still around, he would be missing out on a great hot dog.

If you are going to have a great hot dog you are going to need a great hot dog bun. Otherwise, what's the point? The best hot bug bun I've found is Martin's Long Roll Potato Rolls and according to the packaging, it has that "famous Dutch taste".

My condiment choices are simple yet cosmopolitan. It requires mayonnaise, pesto, sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheeses and ketchup (optional). Hellmann's is the only brand of mayonnaise I'll buy. As they say, "if you bring out the Hellman's you bring out the best" [Those TV people ain't never lied!]. I've tried different brands of pesto and can't say I've found a favorite brand. They all bring something a little different. I'm currently using Classico brand pesto, in case you want a place to start. Cracker Barrel shredded sharp cheddar is my cheddar of choice. I also like Sargento but Cracker Barrel has just a little more bite to it. Finally, we get to ketchup. I'm a Heinz man. Been that way since I was a boy. I'll try others when outside the domicile and Heinz is not available, but never while I'm at home.

So now its time to put it all together. Boil the hot dogs, cover the pot, turn the stove off, and immediately ...

  1. Spread mayo on half of the bun.
  2. Spread pesto on the other half.
  3. Lay down a light layer of cheese in the bun groove.
  4. Drop a hot dog in the groove.
  5. Add another layer of cheese on top.
  6. Let sit for 30-60 seconds.
  7. Enjoy!
Let me expand step 6 briefly. The reason there is a step 6 is to allow the heat from the cooling hot dog to lightly melt the (refrigerated) cheese.

You may have noticed that the application of ketchup was not in any of the steps. That's because you have a choice to make. It's been my observation that the ketchup weakens the impact of the cheese on the pallet. Thus, if you are afflicted by this you may want to skip the ketchup entirely. But since one hot dog is never enough, make two, then you can have it both ways.

P.S. I'm not Jewish. Not even a little bit.