Saturday, May 7, 2022

Hot Dogs with Pico de Gallo


I've never lost my love for a good hot dog. Still make them for lunch these days. I can remember when my boys were little, we'd always arrive at the Minnesota State Fair at the crack of dawn....and a foot-long hot dog smothered in onions and yellow mustard was what we always had for breakfast.

There's a company here in Minnesota that opened it's doors 20 years before I was born. And they started making the most incredible hot dogs....I've yet to find a dog that is even close. Ambassador Old Fashioned Wieners are my all-time favorite. They call it a Scandinavian-style hot dog. It has a very unique, slightly sweet favor. It's made with beef and pork and then wrapped with natural casings and smoked over hardwood for hours on end.

The recipe I'm sharing today is from The New York Times. Their recipe does not call for Ambassador Old Fashioned Wieners. But if I were the author, I would tell you to make sure you use this wiener. It has an incredible taste and the perfect "snap" when you bite into it. As anyone from Minnesota will tell you, the best complement to a fresh and vibrant Mexican salsa is a Scandinavian hot dog.


For the Pico de Gallo
2 firm tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 jalapeƱos, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1/cup cilantro leaves with stems, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
Kosher salt 

For the Hot Dogs
4 hot dogs
4 hot dog buns
2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  1. Combine all of the Pico de Gallo ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with salt and mix well. Add more lime juice and/or salt to taste. Set aside.
  2. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over medium heat.
  3. Butterfly the hot dogs: Slice them in half lengthwise without cutting all the way through, then open them so they lay flat. Place them on the grill, cut-side down, and cook until grill marks appear, 3-5 minutes. Then flip the dogs, so that the casing side is down, and cook until casing deepens in color, 2-4 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, open hot dog buns and spread mayo on the cut sides. Grill, cut-side down, until toasted, 1-2 minutes. Then flip the buns and grill for 1 minute.
  5. Place the grilled dogs in the toasted buns, cut-side up. Then pile the Pico de Gallo into the butterflied opening. Serve with remaining salsa on the side.  

Pairing: An ice cold Pilsner

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