Nacho Dogs

She often laid on the floor of the family room, watching television and eating hot dogs.

The hot dogs were almost always on a paper plate.  This was because washing the dishes was one of her household chores, and she excelled at creating less work for herself.  She would spear each hot dog with a fork and eat it skewer-style.  That eliminated the need for a knife.  With a swipe through the mustard mound on the edge of the plate and then up to her mouth, her eyes never even had to leave the screen.

I have many memories of growing up with my older sister, Kelli, and much of it relates to food.

There was the time she brought a peperoncini to me and asked me if I wanted to eat it.
“What is it?” I asked innocently.
“A deflated pickle!” she cheerily replied, then relished as I popped it into my mouth only to scream moments later at the sour bile exploding on my tongue.  I immediately reported this violation to my mom, who went looking for the peperoncini jar intending to force Kelli to eat one as punishment.  But Kid Kelli had quite cleverly already dumped the rest of the jar’s contents down the garbage disposal.  At family get-togethers, she still boasts about this story.

When we were fortunate enough to have a box of Lucky Charms in the house, Kelli would get out of bed early, fish out all the marbits and create for herself an “all Charms” breakfast, leaving me with a bowl of toasted oat bits.  She’d also take the toy.

Kelli’s short-changing me on flavor enjoyment was not always intentional however.  She happened to know that when there were no traditional sweets in the house, she could eat baking chocolate instead and it was just as good.  Though she finally did share this secret with me, the box my mother happened to have on hand that day was unsweetened rather than sweetened, and I ended up with yet another mouth full of bitterness… and betrayal.

Kelli created food miracles for herself every day.  There was very little she couldn’t turn into a meal.  At least three times a week, she’d make her famous dinner of popcorn and salami slices. By the way, a surprisingly tasty popcorn recipe is rosemary and Parmesan. Take your freshly made popcorn out of your maker and drizzle a little olive oil, rosemary sprigs, salt and grated Parmesan over the top before stirring. Its a wonderful savoury treat..  If the jar of pickles on the refrigerator door was empty, the juice left behind made for an exciting and energy-restoring beverage.  And then there was butter… not spread on anything, or melted into anything.  Kid Kelli just ate butter.  A cube resting on its open wrapper, warmed to room temperature and eaten with her index finger did away with the need for plates and utensils altogether!

As for hot dogs, Kelli preferred them cooked in the microwave for a minimum of four minutes.  She enjoyed them best ruptured and rubbery, with not a hint of moisture left behind.  If they didn’t look like kindling, they weren’t done.  Hot dog buns were a rare luxury in our house, so she simply rolled the mummified links onto a paper plate and headed for the family room floor.  If there was butter or pickle juice handy, so much the better.

Kelli grew up to become a very good cook… when she deems the timing suitable to her.  On her list of engaging activities, I would guess time in the kitchen doesn’t even make her top twenty. She’s got a career, a husband and a daughter, two dogs and an extended family she travels across the country to visit as much as she can.  Does she have time for a forty-minute hot dog recipe?  Maybe, but why should she bother when she knows she can get me to make them for her whenever she wants.  After all, these dogs are satisfying not only in taste, but in design.  Grill marks, orange shreds of cheese, green chunky guacamole, red tangy salsa and crumbled blue corn chips combine here for an eye-popping regal feast!

But offering to give up forty minutes… for hot dogs?

Kelli wouldn’t even laugh. Forty minutes?

She’d just look confused, and a little disappointed in you.

Nacho Dogs from Bobby Flay

For the guacamole:

  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large jalapeno, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Grilled Tomato-Chipotle Salsa:

  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo puree
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced red onion

For the hot dogs:

  • 8 kosher beef or turkey or chicken hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns, split 3/4 of the way through
  • 1 1/2 cups grated yellow Cheddar
  • 8 pickled jalapenos, thinly sliced (I went without them)
  • Fried blue corn tortilla chips, coarsely crumbled

For the guacamole: Combine the avocados, jalapeno, onion, lime juice, oil and cilantro in a bowl and gently mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

For the grilled tomato-chipotle salsa: Heat the grill to high. Brush tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of thecanola oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and grill until charred on all sides. Remove from the grill, slice the tomatoes in half, remove the seeds and coarsely chop.

Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, vinegar, chipotle puree and onion in a small bowl, add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

For the hot dogs: Preheat the grill to high. Grill hot dogs until golden brown on all sides, about 7 minutes. Remove to a plate. Place buns on the grill cut side down and grill until lightly golden brown, about 20 seconds. Place hot dogs in the buns, top with cheese, jalapeno, guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips.

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12 thoughts on “Nacho Dogs

  • January 10, 2011 at 12:26 am

    And a couple more pieces to the puzzle snap into place.

  • Pingback:Tweets that mention Tv Food and Drink - Gary Green » Nacho Dogs --

  • January 10, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Ahhh! You told all the bad stuff!!! Who gave you the recipe for chocolate whipped nuts and Ovaltine ice cream with the ice cream spoon??????? 🙂

  • January 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

    The bad stuff? I thought your moves were pretty sharp, save for the pickle juice and the butter. And while you may own the rights to Ovaltine ice cream, chocolate whipped nuts was entirely my creation. With a name like that, how could it not be?

  • January 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Love the story. Love Kelli! “All Charms” cereal – why didn’t I think of that as a little punk back in my bully days??? Miss those days.

  • January 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Kelly sound like a hoot. I bet you learned from her, and got some revenge too, although I guess we’ll have to wait for HER blog to find out about that.

  • January 10, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Aww I loved this story about your sister! Sounds like you two have a lot of fun busting each others balls. Kind of like me and my brother. Gotta love that.

    I’m not really a huge hot dog fan, but give me a nacho sausage, and I’ll be good to go.

  • July 5, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Great story. I am the big sister to my poor suffering little brother so I can relate. Love the hot dog recipe. Just started watching Next Food Network Star after our return from the motorcycle trip. Looking forward to your next installment. Penny is giving the name a bad rap.

  • August 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Is this the same sister I read about with the quiz at the Lincoln/Disneyland exhibit???

    And now I am singing Nacho nacho dogs…
    I want to eat a nacho dog

    sigh I am a child of the 70’s

  • August 9, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Nope. This one is Kelli. The other is Jodi. They’re both older than I am, Kelli by five years and Jodi… more

  • July 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Have to admit my growing family made life very interesting. Wouldn’t change one minute of it.

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