I started a Talk thread a couple weeks back in honor of National Hot Dog Day asking you guys what your favorite topping combinations are. To be frank, I didn't realize Serious Eats was populated by so many
weirdos amazingly interesting people, but I relish every chance I get to ketchup with you guys, so it's nice to give our conversations that little kick in the buns every once in a while. This here post is about one of my favorite hot dog toppings. I hope it cuts the mustard.
Ack, I 'm terribly sorry for all that, I don't know what came over me. Jokes about sausages are the wurst.
The dogs start like any good dog should: with high quality natural casing franks cooked until extra crisp and snappy. In this case*, they're all-beef Boar's Head franks. But after that, things go a bit astray from the normal order.
*That was NOT a pun. What would you have me say?
The cooking method (and many of the toppings) are based off of the infamous Sonoran Hot Dogs from Tucson: a beast of a dog made by wrapping a hot dog in bacon, deep frying it, and tucking it into a wide Mexican roll stuffed with beans, tomatoes, onions, jalapeño sauce, mustard, and mayonnaise. It's a lot to handle on a single dog, and to be honest, my franks don't need beans.
Instead, I started with the same bacon-wrapped, deep-fried base, but added a mixture of salted tomatoes, avocados, and onions to the top. A sort of chopped guacamole if you will, along with some pickled jalapeños. Don't go too light on those, because the richer, meatier, and creamier flavors will dominate this dog if you do.
I then added a few dollops of mayonnaise enhanced with a squirt of lime juice for extra tang, followed by some chopped cilantro, but the dog was still lacking texture. The missing link** was crushed up potato chips. It's a trick I saw in Colombia, and it's fast become one of my favorite hot dog or burger toppings.
**Also NOT a pun.
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.