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Cook the Book: Sonoran Hot Dogs

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

Living in San Diego I had my first encounter with the Sonoran hot dog. Every weekend night a vendor would set up his cart across the street from our go-to bar an hour or two before last call. From just after midnight until well after 2 a.m. he'd grill up bacon-wrapped hot dogs and finish them with pickled jalapeƱos and your choice of red or green salsa. Even in a town with 24-hour taco shops on pretty much every corner, these hot dogs were some of the best late-night snacks around.

Sadly, moving to New York City has left a hole in my heart when it comes to this specific breed of hot dogs. To satisfy my craving I decided to give Robb Walsh's version from The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook a try.

At first glance this recipe for Sonoran hot dogs might seem like a lot of work for just a few dogs, but when you think about it, making a big batch of refried beans and a few cups of salsa verde isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if you're planning on serving a few more Tex-Mex meals in the upcoming week.

One of the most important steps in this recipe is finding a roll that can handle all of the toppings that go on top and underneath of these bacon-wrapped dogs. Walsh recommends a torpedo roll or—even better—bolillos, if you live near a Mexican bakery. Once the hot dogs are sizzling away in their bacon wrapping you can set about lining the split rolls with refried beans, chopped avocado (or guacamole), and a sprinkling of cheese. Lay the dogs in the buns, then top with chopped onion and tomato, salsa verde, and a lemon and chile-spiked mayo.

The finished dogs are truly a sight to behold, giant and stuffed to the gills with a rainbow of toppings. I'm usually one to put away more than a few hot dogs, but I could barely handle more than one and a half no matter how badly I wanted to.

Win The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook to give away this week.

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