Texas Dogs

Please understand that I have no interest in discrediting the standard summer hot dog served up on that doughy white bread bun and weighed down in yellow mustard or store-bought ketchup.  Plant one of those babies in front of me right now and I dare you to predict how long it lasts!

The whole experience of the low-brow, shiny stadium-style dogs clumsily wrapped in cheap wax paper and dripping with salty juices will never get old. Forget that they’re considered traditionally American, family-oriented, and best of all, cheap.  They just taste good!

But a simple, inexpensive hot dog can go so much further.  And right now is the perfect time of the year to take this standard summer staple out for a test drive, and see what it can really do for you.

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Herbed Avocado Spread and Harold, the Neighborhood Hitchcock Double

I have a very weird history with the avocado.  It extends back to being a child, though I don’t think I ever actually ate an avocado and subsequently learned to love its flavor, until I was well into my thirties.

I originally made this spread as the crowning ingredient to a Sunday afternoon grilled chicken, Swiss and bacon burger. Since then, I have gone back to it over and over again, incorporating it into one new meal after another: BLT’s, salads, tuna and sausage paninis. It’s a thick creamy spread with abundant chunks of avocado and a nice kick from the white wine vinegar and Kosher salt. Best of all, it’s got a slim ingredient list and takes all of about five minutes to put together.

Herbed Avocado Spread from Chow.com

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 pinches Kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste

Dice or mash the avocados in a non-reactive bowl.  Add chives, parsley, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  Fold together until well combined.

My first memories of avocados are tied to some interesting visuals, including an Alfred Hitchcock doppelganger, a framed photo of a black and white cat that wasn’t mine, and two inadvertently bloodied inner thighs.

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