Stop Buying Hot Dogs, Dude: The Four Best Ways to Put a Franks Surplus to Good Use

June 20, 2012 4:01 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Hot Dogs
Hot dogs. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Maybe it's the onset of heat stroke, but it always seems like a good idea in the beginning of the summer to head on down to the supermarket and buy one of those gigantic boxes of hot dogs that always takes up too much space in the freezer. You'll argue that it just makes sense: "I never don't want a hot dog," you'll say. "I'm going to have a barbecue this weekend," you'll remind yourself. "They're fast, easy, and not all that bad for you," you'll reason.

Then the weekend comes, and it's raining or you're lazy/hungover. And the buns get all moldy. And pretty soon, you have a freezer full of hot dogs to go with your pocket full of regret. We don't blame you; as a matter of fact, we empathize. And here are five remedies to your distinctly American ailment.

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1. Filipino Spaghetti

Prepared traditionally, the sweet-as-it-is-authentic filipino spaghetti sees Italian noodles drowned in banana ketchup: a very sweet ketchup made from, you guess it, bananas. My mom also calls it "kiddy spaghetti," because that's the only demographic that has a real stomach for the stuff.

The other component that makes this spaghetti dish filipino is how ingeniously (or gut-churningly, depending) it makes use of hot dogs. Whereas the Italians use ground beef, veal, or pork for their bolognese, the Philippine people use ground hot dog. It cooks quickly, releasing its fat into the sauce, and if you do it right, it gives a flavor that's really delicious, no matter your native tongue.

Food processor yourself up some hot dogs grind and sauté them in olive oil with chopped Vidalia onions. Top with your tomato sauce of choice and simmer it while your spaghetti noodles cook. Combine, and enjoy. It's pretty decadent, so maybe enjoy it in secret.

Also, beer goes incredibly with it. Wine won't. Bring it to a picnic potluck and watch how fast it disappears.

2. Gametime Hors D'oeuvres

Admittedly, I'm not a sports fan. I use sports as an excuse to scarf down really unhealthy foods. This one's at the top of my list.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Chop your hot dogs into thirds. Chop pieces of bacon into half down the waist. Wrap the hot dog in it. Pierce with a toothpick. Pop it in the oven for ten minutes, or until the bacon cooks.

Serve with good root beer.

3. All American, Pan Asian Crackers

When all else fails, boil a hot dog till done, grab some ritz crackers, and assemble as follows:

Cracker, thinly sliced hot dog, thinly sliced pineapple, dollop of Thai Chili Sauce.

Serve to amigos, apologizing for phoning it in at the last minute, apologizing for not actually being sorry because these are really yummy.

4. Celebrate National Papaya Month

Another plug for National Papaya Month, which is a holiday! And since we've saved the best for last, use a good hot dog for this, especially if that's what you happened to buy. Cook it in the oven or on a grill, then split it down the middle the long way, three-quarters of the way down. Fill with grated papaya, jalapeno peppers, and pastrami.



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