Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hot dog history and Bacon-Wrapped Duck Hot Dogs, Stuffed with Cheese

What’s Cooking in America  looked back to the ‘rosy fingered dawn’ of sausage history and discovered a line in Homer’s Odyssey  "As when a man besides a great fire has filled a sausage with fat and blood and turns it this way and that and is very eager to get it quickly roasted.”  The Roman Emperor Gaius (1st century AD) thought he discovered the links we love when he noticed intestines swelling in a cooked pig and announced, "I have discovered something of great importance". Who can argue with an emperor, but he was off by a long shot –– there had been sausages for 1000 years or more by the time he made that pronouncement.  By the Middle Ages you could find sausage recipes in cookbooks all over Europe and in the Middle East.

It seems meat has been cooked in intestines and stomachs and such for eons – it’s a great way to cook seasoned meat, a method that keeps the beautiful flavor in one place.

The seasonings for sausages of all varieties are similar and haven’t really changed that much in hundreds of years. Of course, the introduction of chili peppers added paprika and cayenne to the sausage mix for many classic sausages. Otherwise, the same sweet spices and herbs show up all over Western cuisine’s sausage recipes (the Chinese, among others, use different spices).

And what about hot dogs? I read that the first 'frankfurter’ was born in Frankfurt in 1852 – it was also know as the “dachshund sausage” thanks to the butcher’s pet.

Hot dogs NYC 1906

Hot dogs came to America in the 1860’s, served from German immigrant pushcarts on New York’s Bowery with milk rolls and sauerkraut. The hot dog bun was born in 1880’s St. Louis, created to protect customer’s hands from burning sausage–– they were named ‘red-hots” and the original rolls were crisp, not soft. Nathan’s on Coney Island started selling hot dogs in 1916 and still serves the hot dog it made famous (they made more than 435,000,000 of them last year). 16 billion hot dogs are eaten every year in the USA.

Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile, 1936

According to How It's Made, baseball parks helped to introduce hot dogs to the rest of country beginning in 1893 with the St. Louis Browns.

I have now stuffed quite a few sausages on my own but have never gotten around to making hot dogs. The meat ingredients of hot dogs can vary wildly but the hot dog flavor comes from a classic mix of spices. Whether beef, pork, chicken, turkey or duck, they taste like hot dogs because they have a specific mix of mustard, sugar, coriander, salt, pepper, garlic and paprika—many have mace and marjoram as well. They also have a preservative or 'cure' in the mix.

A few weeks ago I saw a very bad photograph of a very good idea –– a hotdog stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. I have been dreaming about the combination ever since. I thought for fun I would glam it up a bit.

I went to D’Artagnan and got spectacular duck hot dogs and D’Artagnan applewood smoked bacon – I LOVE their bacon and won’t eat anything else now (the smoke is divine). Added to that Irish Cheddar to stuff it and toasted maple-rye buns to hold it (I got the recipe online a few years ago and don't know whose it is but it's a delicious bun). Who says a hot dog has to be dull or bad? This is a rich nosh to be sure, but you will not regret the calories.  I think this could be great grilled as well -- when the weather improves!

Hot Dogs –– Bacon Wrapped & Cheese Stuffed based on a Michael Symon recipe for 6 (but easily changed to more or less)

Peanut or Vegetable Oil for frying
6 D'Artagnan Duck Hot Dogs
6 slices Irish cheddar (cut in half)
6 slices of D'Artagnan Applewood smoked Bacon
12 Toothpicks
6 Hot Dog Buns

Preheat your oil to 350 degrees –– OR–– heat grill.

In the meantime, split the hot dogs in half lengthwise, not cutting them all the way through. Overlap two halves of Cheddar cheese down the length of the hot dog then put them back together. Lay out a slice of bacon. At one end of the hot dog, secure the end of the piece of bacon with a toothpick. Wrap the bacon around the entire hot dog, securing the other end with another toothpick. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs.

Fry in oil till the bacon is brown and crisp –– OR –– grill till brown and crisp.  Remove toothpicks and serve on rolls with mustard, fried onions, relish –– whatever you like.

Rye and White Sandwich Buns (makes 7-8)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast*
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cups scalded milk
3/4 c rye flour
1 3/4 to 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 T butter melted

Place yeast in a large bowl. Add water and stir to dissolve. Stir in syrup and let sit until yeast begins to foam, about 5 minutes. Add salt, oil, scalded milk and rye flour.  Blend

Add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Let rest for 15 minutes. Turn dough onto a floured board and knead for 10 to 15 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Turn into a greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.* If you want to let it rise slowly, only add 1/4 t yeast and rise overnight in fridge.  Let come to room temp for 2 hours the next day.

Grease baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Divide dough into 7-8 equal-sized pieces. Shape into hamburger or hot dog-style buns  and p. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat 400ºF.

Brush tops of buns with butter; bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Yield: 7-8 buns.


chow and chatter said...

you can;t beat a good hot dog fun post

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Oh these do sound good - I love a hot dog now and then! A few years ago a few of my friends and I went out to the original Nathans on the subway at Coney Island...that was an adventure (and a disappointment) but it was a good hot dog :-)

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Hot Dogs have come a long way, and thankfully, it's easy to find a good hot dog without nitrites used as a preservative. I even buy nitrite free bacon now. I've never seen a duck hot dog. Tres chic, indeed! I would love to try some version of this along with those delicious rolls. They sound wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes a hot dog for me just hits the spot. Sometimes I don't want something fancy and something like a hot dog or a hamburger hits the spot like nobody's business. That being said, I loved the way you pimped yours out LOL.
Have a great weekend daaaahling.
*kisses* H

Marjie said...

I'm sadly afraid that hot dogs are now taboo in my house. But those buns sound great! Maple syrup for the sugar, really? Splendid idea! But I'm usually adding extra yeast to make my breads and rolls rise faster!

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Deana,

Interesting post about the sausage and hot dog. They have come a long way from the humble sausage to many gourmet types
I often like to cook a sausage cassoulet on a winters night.
Enjoy the weekend

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I secretly love hot dogs. The only thing that now assuages my guilt is the fact that there are so many artisan hot dogs popping up around town. I had no idea that a true hot dog required a certain type of spice. By the way, the very idea of duck hot dogs is just insane!!! In a good way.

Frank said...

My my my! If decadent can be used to describe a savory dish, then this looks decadently delicious. Reminds me a bit of the Käsewurst they should sell in Vienna, taken to another level!

lindaraxa said...

My dear, you have really outdone yourself with this recipe. It is just noon now and until I get my hands on some of those hot dogs and bacon you mentioned, I am going to frantically search for some frozen hot dogs I recall seeing in the freezer last week. Nothing else will do for lunch today. I love hot dogs and your recipe sounds fantastic!

Burenwurst said...

Our Vienna Käsekrainer is a bit different, there are little bits of cheese all through the sausage itself, but bacon-wrapped split frankfurters filled with cheese (usually Gouda or Emmentaler) are indeed served here and known as Berner Würstel (Berne sausages)