I can't be the only one in America that just happened to have both ground beef and hot dogs left over from the July Fourth weekend. The staples of the national cookout could have made for a couple of fine indoor lunches—but what if they could be combined into something new? It didn't take long for chili dogs to start dancing in my head. A properly made chili dog, like the ones I snarfed down at a Skyline Chili in Cincinnati when I was young, are a delicious thing to behold.
Of course, I didn't have much time or, really, access to many ingredients to create something truly authentic. I'm still living on friends' couches at the moment, and don't have access to a wide variety of spices. That's why I gravitated towards Tyler Florence's version of the chili dog. Not only was it quick, but it could basically be completed with the same condiments used for the cookout. Ketchup and mustard serve as the base, with only a little chili powder added for heat. This might as well be called the cookout-leftover Chili Dog.
I knew that I was not creating an authentic version of a chili dog before I began, but I probably still should have read the comments first. Nearly everyone mentioned that it was too sweet and didn't have enough heat. They were right. The ketchup makes the "chili" way too sweet. I tried to correct this by adding some hot sauce and much more chili powder than was originally called for. I'd also recommend adding crushed tomatoes instead of ketchup. It will never be perfect. This is more of an oddity than a perfect recipe. But for a bunch of leftovers from the July 4th weekend, it was rather interesting.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- Salt and pepper
- 4 hot dogs
- 4 hot dog buns
- 1/2 cup grated Cheddar
- Hot sauce, to taste
Pour the oil into a skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Dump in the ground beef and cook, breaking up the chunks with a spatula, for ten minutes. You want the meat to be well browned, but not burned.
Add the ketchup, chili powder, and mustard. Stir until combined, and then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.
Meanwhile, grill the hot dogs, or saute them in a pan until warm.
Toss the dogs in the hot dog buns, and then top with a spoonful of the chili. Sprinkle with a little of the grated cheddar cheese. Add more hot sauce if needed.