We do love hour hots dogs and frankfurters.
Most regularly we keep a bunch of beef dogs from Al Amena in the freezer.
Sometimes we splash out on the smoked – and much more expensive – versions from Andrew’s in Anderson St, Yarraville and elsewhere.
Problem is, we find when eating them in traditional style – in a roll – the balance of meat to bread is out of whack.
No matter what kind of bread roll we use, there is too much of it compared with the frankfurters, making two of them quite a big ask even when we’re really hungry.
So routinely we split the bread rolls lengthways and scoop out the soft middles, leaving hot dog receptacles that look like canoes.
Load up with franks and our choice of extras and condiments, and we’re happy.
However, our most recent hot dog frenzy took a different turn initiated by the happy presence in the fridge of a bag of fresh pita breads.
Place hot dog on half a pita bread; dress with homemade roast red capsicum, dijon mustard and dill pickle; roll up so it’s like a big fat cigar; eat.
(Roll up one end as you would with a kebab so the goodies don’t ooze out!)
And with a bread/meat balance pretty much attaining our ideal.
(We had an earlier version in our hot dog dinner that had the above ingredients PLUS chopped tomato. Turns out the halved pita bread is very moisture sensitive. Turns out, too, the mustard, capsicum and dill pickle provide enough flavour lift and moisture to do the job without the doggy wrap falling apart before its eating is completed.)
We sometimes also avoid the Bread Problem entirely by having our dogs with our version of spud salad – roughly mashed or chopped skin-on potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and a handful of chopped parsley.
I googled “cross-cultural hot dogs” and was surprised to find the results mainly concerned with curry powder and franks of various kinds, along with some interesting results obtained through introducing Japanese elements such as bonito flakes.
Funny that – I had a hunch that a universal dog may’ve had just as much cyber action as, say, the many variants on deep-fried dough or the countless genres of fried rice.
Hot dogs: What works for you?