On Labor Day weekend I'm always thinking hot dogs and hamburgers when it comes to food. Although I love a plain, simple grilled hot dog, this holiday weekend I have decided to make what I call serious bacon-cheese hot dogs, adapted from Jessica Harris's terrific cookbook, The Martha's Vineyard Table.
Why? Hot dogs! Bacon! Cheese! Three of the best reasons I know.
I use all-beef natural-casing hot dogs because I like their garlicky taste, though this recipe would taste great with whatever your favorite brand of hot dogs is. You can use fancy-pants bacon like Nueske's or Niman Ranch, but good ol' Oscar Mayer will do just fine. I like to use Kraft Deli Deluxe American cheese. It melts beautifully and has plenty of flavor without overwhelming the hot dog the way a fancy-pants cheddar would. Finally, using New England–style hot dog buns, which are top-sliced and have no crust on the sides, allows you to toast the buns on the grill after buttering the sides. Just watch the buns really carefully, as they will burn before you know it. (If you can't find top-sliced hot dog buns in your area, you can order them here.)
Is this a brunch dish? The brunch police have declared that on Labor Day weekend it is.
- 8 All-beef natural-casing hot dogs
- 8 New England–style (top-sliced) hot dog rolls
- 4 American cheese slices, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 8 strips of bacon
- A softened stick of salted or sweet butter
- Deli mustard and sweet pickle relish for condiments
Make a lengthwise slit in each of the hot dogs. Place the cheese strips in the slits. Wrap each hot dog in a strip of bacon, securing the ends with toothpicks.
Slip each hot dog into a bun; serve with the mustard and relish.