In what has ended up being my longest blogging hiatus yet, I’ve spent some time thinking and researching the food blogging scene in general, and wondering if I should continue this space. To make a long story short, yes I will keep blogging – because I want to, not because it makes much sense.
Food blogging has become quite a big business, and quite a crowded and competitive industry. The steps needed to just keep up, let alone pull ahead, are simply steps I don’t wish to take. Because there are now so many of us, ad revenue is stretched pretty thin, and I don’t want to do sponsored posts or accept swag. But I started this game about five years too late to financially get away with taking that stance. Also, my food photography isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen, but it’s not competitive, and I don’t enjoy photography in general enough to motivate myself to get much better. Another thing – it’s very important to Matt and me to eat dinner together as many nights as possible, but that means we eat after dark due to work schedules; ergo, bad conditions for food photography.
I’ve also wondered if I really contribute anything, mainly because I don’t have too much original content here. I love recipe development, but I also genuinely love working through my cookbook collection. I learn so much from chefs and cooks far more experienced than me, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I’ve learned and accomplished.
So here we are: I’ve decided that for me, this space isn’t going to be a business. I’m very fortunate to have other avenues to earn a living, and I don’t really need any income off this blog. So I’m not going to pursue it anymore. I’m going old school with the blog – this space will be a hobby, and a place where I share my love of cooking and improving my kitchen skills. My food styling and photography will continue to impress pretty much no one, but this space will be lots of fun. And pretty adventurous too.
I wanted something really special to share as my first blog “back”, so to speak, and what better recipe than one of my grandmother’s? This is a wonderfully messy, tasty comfort food dish that takes little time to whip up. My mom and her siblings grew up eating this regularly, and while I don’t specifically remember having this as a kid, the recipe was passed to me when I got married. It’s kind of like a sloppy joe sandwich made out of hot dogs but in a hoagie roll instead of a hamburger bun. The sauce, which is pretty much a simple, homemade barbecue sauce, is perfectly balanced between spicy and sweet. I hope y’all enjoy it!
1 (8 count) package hot dogs, each cut in half lengthwise and then across in roughly 2” pieces
4 tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbs Worcestershire sauce
¾ cup ketchup
3 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs yellow mustard
A dash or two of hot sauce, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, if needed
4 hoagie rolls or large hot dog buns
Melted butter, for brushing the hot dog buns
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs butter and once melted add the hot dog pieces. Crisp them up and render the fat, stirring occasionally. Once they are browned and crisped, remove them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Add the onion to the skillet (do not wipe it out) and saute until softened. Add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
Now add the Worcestershire, ketchup, sugar, and mustard. Add the hot dogs back in and simmer for about 15 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add the last 3 tbs butter and let them melt. Stir them into the sauce. Add hot sauce and black pepper to taste. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed.
Brush the insides of the hoagie rolls with melted butter and toast under the broiler until lightly browned. Spoon the hot dog mixture into the rolls and serve immediately.