Memorial Day is coming up fast, signaling the start of barbecue season. Whether you’re a charcoal-purist or a propane-head, everyone can agree that it’s really the food that matters most. Everybody has their favorites, but barbecue season is also a time to share new foods or new variations of the usual with the people you enjoy most. As such, I feel it is my duty to spread the word about a food that embodies true weekend indulgence: the bacon-wrapped hot dog. Common at sporting events and with street vendors (colloquially known at some places as Ghetto Dogs), this divine food still doesn’t have the widespread recognition it deserves, especially with those who live in cities other than New York or Chicago. So put down that boring burger, scrap the chicken, and consider the bacon-wrapped hot dog to have a starring role at your barbecue this weekend.
The mere name of the delicacy is enough to make many feel their arteries already begin to clog and harden. Fear not, however, as it isn’t the disgusting mess of fat and cholesterol it seems. It’s by no means healthy, of course, but the basic recipe consists of one hot dog and one strip of bacon, not too far off from the typical wiener you’re likely serving alongside burgers, ribs, and all those other unhealthy (albeit delectable) foods.
Simply wrap a hot dog with an uncooked slice of bacon and slap it down on the grill. Cook until the bacon is at your preferred level of crispiness and toss that sucker into a bun! I prefer mine with a simple kiss of ketchup, but you can load it with as much as you like. After all, it’s the weekend; indulge in your vices. I do not, however, suggest frying these. The grill cooks hot enough that the bacon stays in place and cooks thoroughly. When frying, it’s common to have the bacon ‘unravel’ and not cook evenly on all sides of the hot dog. It’s simply not worth the hassle, so save these for when you plan on firing up the grill.
As mentioned earlier, this ‘recipe’ is open to many variations. You could keep it simple, as the bacon alone adds a remarkable amount of flavor to the hot dog, or you could go crazy and pile on some cheese, onions, peppers, relish, mustard, hot wings, cheese sticks, steaks…ok, maybe I got a bit out of hand, but you get the idea. To those of you seeking something different to serve on Memorial Day, I urge you to strongly consider serving this delicious alternative to the standard, cliche hot dog. I can all but guarantee that at least one guest, if not all of them, will suddenly have a new favorite barbecue food in mind for the rest of this summer.