We made chili last night and one of my favourite things to do with the leftover chili is Chili Dogs. They make me think of the summer, relaxing and family outings. It was a cold rainy day today, so the Chili Dogs cheered my up and I hope they cheer you up too.
To make the Chili Dogs you first need chili. I make a decent chili. I start by browning a pound and half of half inch pieces of sweet Italian sausage and then brown two pounds of 80/20 hamburger both of which I set aside so I can cook the veggies in same pot. I like to saute about 2 cups of yellow onions, four cloves of garlic, a pound of sliced baby bellas mushrooms, a chopped red pepper, a chopped green pepper, a thinly sliced jalapeno pepper and a cup of celery. Salt and pepper to season. Once the veggies are soft, I add the meat back in and stir to combine. I then add spices oregano, thyme, basil, cayenne pepper and chili powder. The amounts vary each time I make it so use your own judgement. I like a nice bean to meat ration so that every spoonful gets meat, veggies and beans. I also like to use different types of beans so you get different colours and and shapes. Last night I used thee cans of black and three cans of red beans. I also added the big jar of red sauce and stirred to combine. Salt and pepper again to season. As the mixture comes to temperature, I did a taste taste and adjusted the spices and heat for the audience (mostly Donna and I but we always make more for Ryan and Robbie and their portions disappear during the night). Last night was a mild chili night so I didn’t kick up the spices too much.
I like to serve my chili covered with some cheese. Last night we used a shredded cheese blend of mozza, provolone and cheddar. A few minutes under the broiler gives the cheese a nice melt. I also like to serve some bread for dipping. I have served garlic toast on occasion but with the four cloves already in the chili I thought the french bread would do.
So now we have day old chili to make the Chili Dogs for supper. I like an all beef dog pan fried and a steamed bun. Once you get that far it’s pretty straight forward, cooked dog goes in bun, cover with reheated chili, sprinkle with cheese (same blend as last night) broil until the cheese melt, plate and serve. It takes a bit of practice to figure out the right amount of chili in the bun so that you can control the chili with the bun and loose only a little chili with each bite. I like potato chips and pickles to garnish and to add some crunch to the dish but Robbie ate all the chips while we were out and didn’t tell us. Darn kids keep eating and it’s like everyday we have to feed them again. LOL.
These Chili Dogs were great. The soft lightly steamed buns holding the moist chili. The veggie and meat chucks in the chili and the heat from the cayenne and jalepeno peppers gives the dog great mouth feel. The pan fried dog snaps when I bit into it making all those memories and feelings return even on a rainy night. They were really good. Soon it will warm enough to grill outside every night and I can revisit the recipe again and perhaps make spicy chili dogs.
So readers where can you get a great hot dog or chili dog? Click on comment link below to share.