How to Cook and Dress the Perfect Dog
Whatever brand of hot dogs you choose, be careful not to condemn them to death by boiling. I know you've seen it – the poor dog boiled until the casing splits and the insides ooze out into unappealing blobs. Then a dripping wet dog is plopped into a classic soft hot dog bun creating a soggy mess that's not high on my list of favorite dishes. Yuk!
All hot dogs are precooked so all they need is 3 to 5 minutes in gently simmering water. A much better method, aside from grilling, is cooking the hot dogs on a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Turn them with tongs from time to time until they are heated through – moist on the outside and very lightly browned is just about right.
The only decision left is what to top them with. Yellow mustard and sweet pickle relish is the classic topping, but here are a few more delicious options to try.
Top each dog with spicy mustard and about 3 tablespoons prepared sauerkraut.
Top each dog with 1 or 2 slices American cheese or 2 tablespoons cheese spread. Soften the cheese with about a 10-second zap in the microwave.
Hot and Sour Dog:
Place a well-drained dill pickle spear alongside the hot dog in the bun, top with a slice of Pepper Jack cheese.
Top each dog with about ¼ cup of canned or homemade chili.
Cincinnati Five-Way Chili Dog:
Top each dog with about ¼ cup Cincinnati chili, 2 tablespoons cooked kidney beans, 2 tablespoons chopped onions, 2 tablespoons shredded American cheese, and a pinch of ground red pepper. (See Cincinnati Chili recipe under Main Courses)