I actually made this recipe last summer, trying to use up an excess of corn tortillas before they spoiled, and while this is a great summer recipe (I could totally see chowing down on this after a day at the pool), I also think it’s quite appropriate to share at this time of year: you know, when winter is winding down and the weather is showing hints of warming up consistently, and it’s almost time to start thinking about how we might look in a swimsuit, but we can bury our heads in the proverbial sand just a few weeks longer.
The Mexican hot dog is a crafty delicious thing that I’m pretty sure was not invented by a cardiologist, but rather enterprising street cart owners who capitalized on drunk people exiting dance clubs and wanting something a little greasy. It’s a hot dog split in half lengthwise, stuffed with jalapenos and cheese, then wrapped in bacon to seal it all up. Putting such a thing in a tortilla and dousing it with salsa to make a taco is one of the best things ever.
Bookmark this recipe for your next splurge day. I promise it’s so worth it. Enjoy!
Source: adapted from Dos Caminos Tacos by Ivy Start
6 hot dogs
2-3 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
About 18 slices of pickled jalapeno
12 slices bacon
6 corn tortillas, warmed
Canola oil, for greasing
4 ripe Roma tomatoes (about 1 lb.)
2 unpeeled cloves garlic
1 medium white onion
1 small jalapeno
1 dried chile de arbol, stemmed
1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, coarse stems removed
First make the SALSA: position a broiler rack about 8 inches from the broiler, or as close as you can get while still being safe.
Pour a little canola oil onto a thickly folded paper towel, then wipe it all over a rimmed baking sheet. Place the tomatoes, garlic, onion, jalapeno, and chile de arbol on the prepared baking sheet. Tomatoes and jalapeno should be skin side up. Broil until the skins are charred and somewhat blackened.
Leave the blackened skin on the vegetables and let them cool until you can handle them. Take the garlic and squeeze the flesh out from the skins over your blender or food processor. Add the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, chile de arbol, lime juice, and cilantro to the blender. Process until you get that chunky-smooth texture of restaurant salsa. Add salt to taste – you’ll need a good bit of it. Set the salsa aside to cool down to room temperature.
For the TACOS: with a very sharp knife, cut each hot dog open lengthwise, making a slit but not cutting all the way through, so you could open the hot dog like a book.
Slice the cheese into strips, then cut those strips lengthwise so they will fit nestled into the slit you just cut into the hot dogs. Place the cheese strips into the cut open hot dogs, using as many as you need to fit the entire length of the hot dog. Wedge 2-3 (depending on their size) pickled jalapeno slices into the open hot dogs. It’s fine to squish them in there. Now wrap each hot dog in 2 slices of bacon, securing with toothpicks at the ends.
Preheat your grill, indoor or outdoor is fine, to medium-high heat. I used an indoor grill for this to prevent the inevitable fiery flare-ups that would have happened (thanks to the bacon fat) on the charcoal grill outside. Drizzle or wipe down the grill with a touch of canola oil to prevent sticking, then place the bacon-wrapped hot dogs on the grill cut side up. When the cheese has mostly melted, flip the hot dogs and continue cooking until the bacon is crisped up and browned. The whole thing will take 10-12 minutes total. Remove the hot dogs from the grill with tongs, then carefully remove the toothpicks.
To serve, place 1 hot dog in a warmed tortilla and spoon some salsa over top. Serve immediately. You’ll likely have extra salsa – serve with tortilla chips for dipping and refrigerate the leftovers for a snack later.