Fancy Franks For the Fourth

All along on my Hot Dog Research Journey I knew that I would be purchasing my own weenies and take the inspirations from Happy Fatz and Frank along to make some bomb-dot-com hot dogs.

 

The 4th of July is this week and I want to share some information from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council from www.hot-dog.org,

On Independence Day, Americans will enjoy 150 million hot dogs, enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. over five times.

During Hot Dog Season, Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs or 818 hot dogs consumed every second during that period.

Los Angeles residents consume more hot dogs than any other city (over 95 million), beating out Baltimore/Washington and New York.

 

As discussed in my previous post about Franks (address here) I found that I can dress a hot dog with any elements that I would usually pair with turkey, beef or pork. My all time favorite pizza is the Hawaiian with Canadian bacon and pineapple so I set my sights on making the Hawaiian Weenie.

 

I took myself to the grocery store in search of supplies for my dogs where I spent 20 minutes in front of the meats reading the back of hot dog packages, trying to determine which one’s had fewer mystery and unpronounceable ingredients. Lesson 1: Do not read the ingredients in hot dogs. There is nothing gross in them but there are many elements that are processed, it’s just like buying fast food or packaged meals, there are ingredients that you can’t pronounce so you decide to ignore them. I went with the Hebrew National’s because they’re Kosher. I myself do not require a Kosher diet but I felt like I was winning the mystery ingredient battle this way.

 

I do not own a grill, while I acknowledge that hot dogs taste a million times better when cooked on a grill outside while enjoying a cool beverage on a fine summer day, I have to work with what I’ve got, a pan and boiled water. I filled my pot and allowed the water to start simmering but not to a full boil, next I placed my weenies into the water for 8-10minutes. I removed them from the water after 8-10 minutes and let them sit as I finished up my dressings.

 

For my Hawaiian Weenie I created a smoky Hawaiian BBQ sauce with a combination of Sweet Baby Ray’s Hawaiian style BBQ sauce, Tomato Ketchup, Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce and brown sugar. Them I chopped up some pineapples to garnish and BOOM, hot dog perfection!

Smoky Hawaiian

Fast-forward a few hours from lunch and I hunger again, for dinner I made myself a Chipotle Chili Pork Dog. Combining mayonnaise, chipotle chili powder and lemon juice I had a small batch of chipotle chili mayo that I paired with two slices of cooked bacon and a freshly heated hot dog. Beware: First start with a small amount of chili pepper and increase as desired and add more mayo and lemon juice to the mix if it’s too spicy. By the end of my meal my nose was running it was so spicy!

Chipotle Chili Dog

 

Recipes

Smoky Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

¼ cup Ketchup

2 Tbsp. – Honey Mustard

1 Tbsp. – Sweet Baby Ray’s Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

1 ½ Tsp. – Packed Brown Sugar

Combine all ingredients and mix. Taste and add additional amounts of ingredients to desired taste.

 

Smoky Hawaiian Hot Dog

Ingredients:

Desired number of Hot Dogs

Smoky Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

Cut Pineapples

Optional Ingredients:

Cooked bacon

Grilled onions

 

Directions:

  1. Heat water in pan until simmering, not boiling
  2. Place hot dogs in simmering water for 8-10 minutes & remove from water after that duration
  3. Dress the dog!
  4. Insert food in mouth

 

I hope you enjoy these recipes & I hope you share your weenie-spirations with us in the future.

 

Have a fun & safe Fourth of July weekend with your friends & families!

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Frank – Gourmet Hot Dog Review

After Happy Fatz in Huston, TX, my hot dog research took me up to Austin, TX to see fellow WY&PF blogger Sherree where we explored the food and the wonderful things that make Austin weird.

 

Our first stop was Frank (hot dogs, cold beer) a restaurant claiming to be a purveyor of artisan sausage. Frank is located on Colorado Street between 4th and 5th streets in Austin, TX (zip 78701), it has a huge parking lot with a monthly rotating mural supporting local and up and coming artists.

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Help yourself get more familiarized with Franks, check out their website http://hotdogscoldbeer.com/austin/eats/

 

There were four of us dining that afternoon, we were able to sit as soon as we walked in and asked for a table and were able to place our drink orders quickly. Sherree and I sampled the freshly made lemonade and puckered up immediately, word or advice it’s t-a-r-t. It took us awhile to decide on what dog we would all order but we settled on the following,

 

Carolina Pork It – Vienna Beef stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon then deep-fried (why not amiright?) with a layer of grilled horseradish coleslaw and pimento cheese.

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Southern Boy – The base of this dog is a blackened, split Vienna Beef Hot Polish link with caramelized onions, crispy pork belly, pepper jack cheese and Frank’s Dr. Doppelgänger BBQ sauce.

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Jackalope – Smoked antelope, rabbit and pork sausage topped with cranberry compote, sriracha aioli and cheddar cheese.

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And The Notorious P.I.G – Smoked pork, bacon, jalapeno and sage sausage dressed with mac n’cheese and Dr. Doppelgänger BBQ sauce.

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Everyone loved his or her weenies. The Carolina Pork It was a tasty meaty choice, the Southern Boy was pretty freaking spicy so know that before you go face deep in that bad boy but the spices were flavorful even though they were hot. The Notorious P.I.G. was another hit, the mac n’ cheese wasn’t particularly delicious, fortunately for Sherree she ordered it on the side and not on top of her dog. As a whole we felt that the sides at Frank were lacking. The waffle frys and the additional dips available for order were amazing. My personal favorite was the Chili Mayo. I ate the Jackalope, this dog has changed my wiener life, let me tell you why.

 

While eating the Jackalope I realized that any recipe used for pork, beef or turkey could be done for a hot dog! I am a huge cranberry fan and I dream of big fat turkey and cranberry sandwiches every time there is a boxed lunch option at the Business school or work. Finding that I can marry some of my favorite toppings on what I had previously thought was a run of the mill hot dog is a total game changer.

 

If I lived in Austin I would make regular visits to Frank to eat my way through their menu. I highly recommend this restaurant for any locals, those in the surrounding Austin area or anyone passing through, make a point to stop by this place.

 

Not food related I also recommend you take the time to either walk down South Congress to the 1300 block to see the famous “I love you very much” graffiti and other surrounding gems. If you’re in town around dusk 1.5 million bats fly out from under the South Congress bridge to do their nighttime thing, apparently the site is one to be held and one of the many things that help to keep Austin Weird.

 

Happy Fatz – Gourmet Hot Dog Review

I’ve had hot dogs on the brain recently and there are a few reasons I can think of that would make me be thinking of weeines so much:

  1. I love potty humor
  2. I enjoyed a delicious white sausage with a pint of Hefeweizen during a recent layover in the Frankfurt, Germany airport (more on this Sausage experience later)
  3. It’s summer and I’m dreaming of baseball and hotdogs in my beloved AT&T Park
  4. I saw an article on the cover of All You while in the checkout lane with an article on fresh recreations on a family favorite, hot dogs (http://dailysavings.allyou.com/2014/06/11/easy-ketchup-recipes/)

 

So I launched my first research project for WY&PF that I dubbed simply “hot dog research”, my initial name was “Weiner Search 2014” but I thought I should reel myself in a little bit…

 

When I told some fellow interns at work they were very concerned that I was going to be researching à la Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle) I’m not a mystery meat kinda gal, so I let them know I most certainly would be staying out of slaughter houses for this assignment and would focus solely on artisan sausages.

 

First up on my tour de dog was Happy Fatz in Houston, Texas.

 

Happy Fatz is located in The Heights, a cute hipster residential part of Houston that is one of Texas’ earliest planned communities that boasts many quant restaurants and beer gardens. Happy Fatz is known for its Gourmet Hotdogs and Specialty Desserts and regularily receives favorable reviews on Yelp.com as well as operates a clean and user friendly website, http://happyfatz.com, all of these things are important to me.

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On a Friday night for dinner I met up with a friend from Purdue who is also interning in Houston this summer. I ordered The Clucker and she ordered the Texas Chili, it just so happens our orders represent the two most ordered dogs on the menu.

 

The Clucker is a mammoth of ¼ pound Hebrew National Kosher Beef hot dog with shredded has brows, large bacon bits, grilled white onions, and an over easy egg onto of a gourmet sausage covered in a light red secret “clucker sauce”. When asked how many calories this behemoth was I was told the calories count is unknown and likely for the best, I decided to order the side of fresh cut fruit to ease my caloric guilt. I had to cut through this dog with a knife and fork, there was no way I could take it to the face with out a bib. With that being said the dog was good and I enjoyed the toppings and the experience of eating a big fat hot dog but I was hoping for bolder flavors. The grilled white onions were prefect and there were bites of flavor with the bacon bits but the clucker sauce didn’t bring much favor to the experience and the egg mostly stressed me out with the running yoke.

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My friend ordered the Texas Chili that housed the same ¼ pound Hebrew National Kosher Beef hot dog along with homemade Shiner Bock chili, onions, melted cheddar topped with a handful of Frito chips. Another dog that was too big to eat without a knife and fork that left a little more to be desired. The chili was spicy but the report back was that it was just OK. I personally love the idea of chips on my hot dog (or homemade sandwich for that matter) and my recommendation would be to add a side of sour cream to ease the heat of the chili.

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Overall, would I go back to Happy Fatz? Oh heck yes.

 

The Happy Fatz experience is laid back and relaxing. I thought the restaurant was a great place to kick back and catch up with a friend and expand my palate. I appreciated how there were local artists hung on the walls and mention to animal adoptions hosted by the Happy Fatz community, these are all the elements I like to see in a local establishment that engrains it into the community members and brings a sense of belonging to customers.

 

Lastly, I have my eye on the Lotus Blossom (Fresh spinach, red cabbage, Happy Fatz white cheddar pimento cheese on a jalapeno bun) or a Build your Own dog with grilled onions, grilled peppers, hash browns, feta cheese & salsa verde. Also, I didn’t have a stomach capacity to explore the Specialty Desserts so a second visit to Happy Fatz is in my future.