Grilled Mexican Hot Dogs
National hot dog day is today…um…was last week. I’m late on this one, but trust me, it’s worth it.
Mexican hot dogs are cross-border pollination at its best. Take a hot dog, wrap it in bacon, and serve it in a thick bun with beans, salsa, jalapeños, and a drizzle of crema. These dogs are from the Sonoran desert region, Northwestern Mexico through Southern Arizona. No one really knows where they came from – there are all sorts of rumors – but my bet is on the hot dog carts around the University of Sonora in Mexico. A hot dog wrapped in bacon, topped with everything else that is available? It sounds like the perfect food for a starving college student. These dogs spread through the Sonoran desert region, ignoring the political border and establishing themselves as a local delicacy in Tucson, Arizona.
There are three keys to cooking hot dogs wrapped in bacon:
1. Assembly: Wind the bacon around the hot dog in a single layer, like you are wrapping a candy cane.
2. Low and slow: Cook the dogs low and slow, turning them often. Dripping bacon fat is just looking for an excuse to flare up and cause a grease fire, so keep the dogs moving, and don’t rush them. You don’t want burnt bacon.
3. Flip with the wind, not against it: When you do turn the dogs, make sure you twist them in the direction of the bacon. Until the bacon is well cooked, it is loose on the hot dogs. Turn them in the wrong direction and the bacon will unwrap itself and flop onto the grill. (Not that it happened to me. Over and over. Ahem.) Make sure you turn with the wrap, which keeps the bacon tight.
The final key to these dogs? Toppings. What goes on (or with) a taco? Beans, diced tomatoes and onions, and a drizzle of crema are traditional; some people favor avocados (great!) and mayonnaise (what?); I’ve heard of dogs topped with all of the above, plus a dusting of crushed potato chips (yikes). Like most hot dogs, the toppings aren’t really a recipe, they’re more of a suggestion. “Drag them through the garden” and go nuts with whatever Mexican themed toppings you like. In my house, one kid liked sour cream and Mexican shredded cheese; another preferred beans, salsa, and Mexican crumbled queso. Me? Bring me all the toppings. I want everything you’ve got, and that jar of pickled jalapeños hiding in the back of the refrigerator, too.
Recipe: Grilled Mexican Hot Dogs
- Grill (I love my massive Weber Summit, but any grill will work for this recipe.)
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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