The past few days I’ve been posting Thanksgiving recipes. Well, this post has absolutely nothing to do with Thanksgiving, and I cannot imagine anyone serving chili dogs at Thanksgiving (but if you do, please, oh please send me a picture of the looks on your family’s faces!!). I just know that I meant to blog this a couple of weeks ago and it’s possible that if I don’t blog it now I might never get around to it, and that would be sad. Because this recipe is so simple and so delicious. So here it is.
I made these to celebrate the season opener of my all-time favorite show: 30 Rock. Oh yes, I’m one of the more ardent 30 Rock fans out there. Matt is just as addicted, and quoting lines from it has become one of our inside jokes. So the season 7 opener was an event in my house, one that deserves a proper culinary accompaniment. But what would that be, exactly?
I chose chili dogs. It seemed fitting in a way, because season 7 is the last season of the show, and by cooking up hot dogs, I’m referencing the pilot episode, which ties together the beginning and the beginning of the end in some philosophical way, but don’t worry, I will not go down that windy path. Remember the pilot, where Liz Lemon gets mad at the guy for butting in line to buy a hot dog from the street vendor, so she buys all the hot dogs, spending over $150, but it’s worth it to ensure that the rule breaker cannot have one? Hilarious scene! And when I watched that for the first time, I knew I was hooked.
So I think chili dogs are appropriate. I think Liz Lemon would approve. I just reread what I wrote looking for typos, and I realized that I am now hoping I don’t come off too weird. But then I thought, this is no odder than making food for football games, or for watching the Oscars, or for movie night. So I stand by it.
And now I would love to know what your favorite TV show is, and if you’ve ever made any themed (or non-themed) food to accompany watching the opener or maybe the finale.
Source: adapted from Eat This Book, by Tyler Florence
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup ketchup
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp yellow mustard
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
8 all-beef hot dogs
8 hot dog or hoagie rolls, toasted if desired
1/2 cup grated yellow cheddar cheese
Put a large skillet over medium heat and drizzle in some olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no traces of pink remain. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, chili powder, and mustard. Simmer for 15 minutes, until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the chili is cooking, preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Oil your grill grate.
Remove the hot dogs from the package and prick them all over with a fork. Place them on the hot grill and grill until you have nice char marks and they are heated through.
To serve, place a hot dog in a bun, then top with a ladleful of the chili, then some cheese. Serve immediately.