Labor Day Weekend signifies the end of summer. Not really though—summer isn’t officially over until September 21st, but you know how we Americans like to get ready early. Just like how the big box stores stuff the shelves with Christmas decorations by October. Actually I’ve already seen some holiday things in stores. Forget buying anything for Halloween, you’re probably too late.
To honor the last weekend of summer, you better get ready for your final BBQ. Hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, chicken—hopefully shrimp if you’re inviting me over. If you don’t feel like BBQ’ing, maybe you could prepare this fancy dish my Mom used to make—Hot Dog Surprise. And oh what a surprise it is. I imagine quite a few of you might like this one. That just freaks me out. I know, you all love your hot dogs. I bet you like chili on them, too. That’s like the worst thing I can imagine. In addition to everything on Andrew Zimmern’s show, hot dogs with chili is something I will never eat. I can’t even talk about how some people put sauerkraut on them, it’s too upsetting.
My Mom liked to have fun at dinner sometimes and she came up with this one to liven up our dinner table. I don’t remember if she found this recipe or conjured it up herself—either way…torture. I couldn’t stand hot dogs and this was a death sentence. There was no separate little dish prepared especially for me on Hot Dog Surprise night. There might’ve been some canned spinach if I was really lucky. I’m the only one in my family who liked spinach back then. Oh yeah, I like spinach prepared every way possible. I even eat it cold out of the can. I take it back, I love spinach prepared every way EXCEPT for creamed spinach. Can you blame me…
If you’ve decided to keep reading to discover the magical Hot Dog Surprise recipe, then I guess I better provide it—against my better judgment.
8 hot dogs, or 6, however they package them these days
8 hot dog buns, or 6, however they package them these days
1 chopped medium onion
2 TBS oil
3 TBS flour
1 tsp salt
½ Cup ketchup
½ Cup water
½ Cup shredded cheese
Scoop out some of each hot dog bun and set it aside. I’m not sure why…maybe you can throw it in a plastic bag and save it to feed the ducks. Chop up the hot dogs and sauté them with onion in oil until browned. Stir in flour, salt, ketchup and water. Cook for five minutes. Add cheese and heave, I mean “heat” for another minute. Spoon that slop into hollowed out buns. Wrap them separately in foil, place them all in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. You’ll need to make sure to bake them a few extra minutes so the foil burns and sticks to each bun. What you’ll end up with is a bunch of dried out hot dog buns with nasty stuff in them. I can still remember watching my family devour these; well, whatever I could see through my tears.