from: Jamey W. Bennett
to: Daniel Larkin
date: Mon, May 20, 2013 at 9:16 PM
subject: Danger Dogs and Mexican Hot Dogs
I already gave you a sneak peek via text message, but I’ve gotta tell you—Mexican hot dogs are the shit. Which is funny, because they’re sometimes called Danger Dogs.
My first experience with Mexican hot dogs is with the variety known as Sonoran Dogs. Philly has the cheesesteak and Tucson has Sonoran Hot Dogs. Named after nearby Sonora, Mexico, these things are incredible, but unless you live in Tucson and have access to the amazing and famous El Guero Canelo or a street cart equivalent, these are tough to come by.
The exception is places like Los Angeles, where you can find little old ladies who have turned old metal trash cans into grills, and can be seen cooking these over a fire on cookie sheets at 2 am to sell to all the drunks coming out of the bars. I first enjoyed this completely unregulated health department Danger Dog nightmare with Pigeon John and King Charismatic after a Rootbeer show in the wee hours of the morning. The second time? Right before seeing LA Symphony and Wu-Tang tear it up. Let’s just say these dogs go well with good times.
My love was rekindled at a local cantina here in Philly. Their food is typically expensive, so when they added $3.50 Mexican hot dogs to the a la carte menu, I was getting them on the semi-regular with free chips and salsa. They recently doubled the price to $7 a dog, so I decided it was time to discover my own dogs.
So anyway, what makes these dogs special? Bacon. And peppers. And everything but the kitchen sink. The basic idea is that you wrap a hot dog wiener in bacon, and put it on a bun with a whole bunch of other stuff. The Danger Dogs in California (in my experience) are usually served with sauteed onions and peppers and whatever condiments you want. The Sonoran Dogs get crazier, usually dipping the dog deep in big buns, and slathering everything on top, including pinto beans. I’ve even heard that so-called Tijuana Dogs sometimes include pineapple and avocado.
In short, it’s a more-or-less a Chicago Dog, re-imagined south of the border style.
Here’s my easy approach to Mexican hot dogs. Gather up the following ingredients:
- Hot Dog Wieners
- Hot Dog Buns
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Queso Blanco (I like real Mexican cheese crumbled, but shredded cheese is fine, too.)
- Jar of Jalapenos
- Onions and Oil (to sautee)
- Fresh Peppers (serrano or jalapeno or something else)
- Hot Sauce of Choice
Now get a load of how easy this is.
1. Wrap hot dog wieners in bacon. Cook (preferably on a grill) until the bacon is the way you like bacon. Careful for flare ups, since bacon is so fatty.
2. Begin grilling the fresh peppers. Sautee the onions until carmelized. After the peppers have nice grill marks, throw them in with the onions to add a sauteed touch.
3. Grill the buns slightly.
4. Crumble the queso, and toss it up with some of the jalapenos. This makes the dressing of the dogs much easier.
5. When everything is done, assemble the buns like so: mayo first, then queso/jalapeno mixture, sauteed onions, and hot sauce. Then add the wiener/bacon and fill in the extra space with the fresh salsa.
6. Now what to do with your grilled/sauteed peppers? You can either add them to the bun for an extra kick, or what I like to do is grind sea salt lightly all over them, and nibble on them throughout the meal as a side. It’s absolutely wonderful. Picked this trick up from an old taco shack in Hawaii.
Finally, eat your Mexican hot dogs with luxurious, inexpensive abandon.
Oh, I almost forgot a very important part. Drink a beer. But you should do this before, during, and after the meal preparation. Also, before, during, and after the meal consumption.