A friend of mine saw my Banh Mi on a Bun Hot Dog Topper post a while back and told me that her cousin owns a publishing company and had recently written a cookbook devoted entirely to hot dogs. I asked her to put me in touch with her to see if I could do a review/giveaway, and she happily obliged.
It wasn’t until afterward that I found out that the title of the book was absolutely perfect: Wieners Gone Wild! Out-of-the-Ballpark Recipes for Extraordinary Hot Dogs.
This book beyond exceeded my expectations! It elevates the everyday hot dog into something worthy of a special occasion. The book is bright and colorful, full of drool-inducing recipes and photos along witty commentary that makes it a super fun read.
The book starts out with some background on hot dogs and sausages. Next is an entire section dedicated to homemade condiments and buns. I haven’t ever tried making my own buns, but I’m excited to try it out once the weather gets a bit cooler here in New York. I also love the idea of making my own mustards (bonus points for versions spiked with bourbon and whiskey!).
The hot dog recipes are broken down into 4 sections. Slumdogs: Down ’n’ Dirty Wieners includes dishes that ride the line of trashy comfort food in such a perfect way. Things like Porked (a hot dog slathered in pulled pork and mac & cheese), the Drunk Dog (a beer battered, deep fried hot dog topped with tomatillo-tequila salsa) and the Thanksgiving Dog (a hot dog on top of cornbread and stuffing topped with gravy and cranberry sauce). My husband is going to be all over that one come November!
Next up is Show Dogs: Wieners Dressed to Impress. This one really pushes the boundaries and presents a lot of unexpected topping combinations. Things like the Salty Dog (a hot dog topped with homemade fried clams, spicy coleslaw, tartar sauce and pickles), the Caesar Dog (a hot dog wrapped in a Parmesan crisp lounging in garlic bread, topped with Caesar salad) and the the Apple Pie Dog (a hot dog topped with a savory mixture of sautéed apples, onions and thyme, drizzled with ginger honey mustard and baked in a pie crust). Lots of fun and exciting options in this section.
In Dogs That Bite: Spicy Wieners Gone Wild, there are options that really crank up the heat. The Soul Dog (a hot dog inside a homemade buttermilk biscuit bun topped with spicy bacon-barbecued onions, all nestled on a fluffy bed of cheesy grits), the Nacho Mama’s Dog (butter filed hot dog topped with guacamole, salsa, olives, cheese, onions, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream and hot sauce), and the Hair of the Dog (hot Italian sausage with hash browns and bourbon ketchup) are all bold options.
Finally, Dogs with Passports: Wild Wieners from Around the World has fun with international flavors. This section includes recipes like the Bark Bourguignon (short ribs draped over top of a hot dog with sautéed mushrooms and pearl onions, nestled into a popover), the Tiki Terrier (a hot dog marinated in a simple homemade teriyaki sauce, topped with grilled pineapple salsa), and the Paella Dog (chorizo sausage topped with Spanish rice and sofrito sauce).
This book is a lot of fun, and I think I’ve bookmarked nearly every recipe as “to try”. I’ve been totally crushing on Applegate hot dogs lately, so this book couldn’t have come at a better time. You can feel free to substitute turkey or veggie dogs in these recipes if you like, too. Check out the giveaway at the end of the post to enter to win your very own copy of this wonderful cookbook!
The theme for my Supper Club’s July dinner was Street Food. I knew I wanted to try out one of the fun recipes from this book, since hot dogs are the epitome of street food, especially here in New York. I chose to make one called General Tso’s Wiener, which is a hot dog rolled into an egg roll wrapper, deep-fried and topped with a spicy-sweet sauce.
It turned out fantastically! The dogs were nice and crunchy on the outside, and the sauce was the perfect accompaniment.I doubled the recipe and had a bit of sauce leftover, which would be perfect over some chicken or tofu.
These wieners were a huge hit, and pretty darn easy to put together. Don’t be afraid of the deep-fryer! Give this recipe a try! My only note is that you need to wet the top edges of the egg roll wrappers with a bit of water to get them to seal closed so they don’t make a mess when you fry them.
General Tso’s Wiener
Wieners Gone Wild! – Holly Schmidt and Allan Penn
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons peeled and freshly grated ginger
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/8 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sambal oelek (chile-garlic sauce found in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
3 tablespoons raw or Demerara sugar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
8 egg roll wrappers
8 hot dogs
4 cups peanut or vegetable oil (or enough to come 2 inches up the sides of your pot)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
In a separate bowl, mix together the chicken broth, soy sauce, orange juice, cornstarch, sambal oelek, and raw sugar.
Add this mixture to the ginger-garlic mixture and bring to a boil. Stir until the sauce is thick and shiny. Remove the pan from the heat and cover it to keep it warm.
Put 1/2 teaspoon of mustard in a line down the center of each egg roll wrapper and place a hot dog on top. Roll the wrapper up like an egg roll, tucking the ends in to make a cylindrical package.
Heat the peanut oil to 375°F in a large, deep pot.
Fry the wieners a few at a time until they are brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Place the cooked wieners on a paper-towel lined plate to cool. When all the hot dogs are fried, pour the sauce over them and sprinkle them with chives.
Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars
And now, for the giveaway! Do you want to win a copy of Wieners Gone Wild? To enter to win, leave a comment below telling me your favorite hot dog topping. The contest will close on Friday, August 22, 2014 at 12 noon (Eastern Standard Time). Winner will be chosen via random.org and will be contacted via email to get mailing information. U.S. residents only. Good luck, everyone!