Every once in a while, and probably too often, The Husband and I will have what we call “dogs” for dinner.
This basically is a glorified hot dog, dressed up with a nice sausage, some grilled onions, soft buns and tasty mustard. Oh, and some homemade sweet potato fries on the side.
These dogs are great with any kind of sausage, although I cannot bring myself to eat a regular “hot dog”. Give me a tofu dog any day before a ballpark frank. Ew. That said, we usually use the Trader Joe’s Andouille sausages (luckily it has no relation to the true Cajun andouille sausage, except for the fact that it’s a little spicy), sometimes their fresh spicy Italian pork sausages that take a little more care to grill since they’re not pre-cooked, and I’ve even used the vegan Field Roast Grain sausages to great results.
I will also apologize for eating dinner before taking a photo! I’ll add one next time we have them, which won’t be too long. That’s probably why I can’t seem to lose those few pounds I keep whining about. Really, it’s pretty simple if I think about it…but they’re so danged delicious!
So, here’s your recipes. They serve two, as usual.
THE DOGS OF DINNER
2 sausages of your choice*
Half an onion, yellow or red—your choice
Cheddar cheese (omit for vegan recipe)
Mayonnaise (or Vegennaise)
Hot dog buns***
First, slice the onion horizontally, so you get half-moon rings. Throw them in a bowl and grease them up with some grapeseed oil. This is where I give them to The Husband in our vegetable grill pan so he can brown them up on the grill so I don’t have to mess up the kitchen with the grill pan. When it’s raining, unfortunately, this process gets moved inside.
When the onions are grilled to taste, bring them in the kitchen and let them sit in the oven while the dogs get toasty on the grill. If you are using cheddar, slice it and tuck it into each of the buns. Wrap them in foil and stick them in a 300 degree F oven to warm up and melt the cheese.
When the dogs come off the grill, take out the buns and carefully slap on some mayo and mustard. Be careful—between the cheese and the steam, they can be dangerous. I’ve found it’s best to put the onions on the bottom, then tuck the dog on top, but please yourself. I won’t say “I told you so.”
Serve with some delicious sweet potato fries, recipe below. And throw in a salad too, to make yourself feel like it’s a healthy dinner. Yeah, I don’t buy it either.
SWEET POTATO FRIES, à la Tiny Kitchen
3 sweet potatoes‡
Spanish spice mixture (click here for recipe)
More sea salt
Peel the taters and cut the ends off. I then halved, quartered and sliced them lengthways til I got as evenly cut slices as possible, then cut them in half so they were about three-inches long. Put them in a bowl and cover them with cold water for 10 minutes; drain and dry well. I skipped that step last time and they came out all soggy.
I used a large plastic container that seals well to shake the fries with the seasoning and grapeseed oil. You could just use a bowl and your hands. Use as much of the spice mixture as you’d like, but definitely add a bit more salt.
Line your best, rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread out the fries on it. Make sure they aren’t too crowded—this also results in soggy fries. Use two sheets if you need to. My oven is so small I can’t use my big sheets in there without them tipping up. Annoying.
Shove them in an oven that’s about 400 degrees F. Take them out and flip them as best you can with a spatula after about 10 minutes. This is never easy, but do your best. They’re fries, for goodness sake, not a Michelin-starred appetizer. Add more salt if you’d like.
Since I don’t know exactly how big you cut your fries, I can’t give you an exact time. Bake them til they’re nice and brown, and hopefully crispy.
*We usually cook all the sausages in the packet and use them up in lunches during the week, or use them for another dinner. The fresh spicy Italian sausages are always good repurposed in a quick pasta sauce.
**The Husband loves (and I mean almost in an unhealthy way) the Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce from Trader Joe’s. I swear I’ll catch him eating it out of the jar at some point… But you can use a good Dijon, a whole-grain or even a nice Sierra Nevada Porter mustard, one of my faves.
***We’ve used Orowheat’s Country Potato Hot Dog Buns in a pinch because you can get them at the Ralph’s down the street from us (and they are soft and delicious), but The Husband bought some whole-grain buns from Trader’s last week and they were awesome. I love me a whole-grain bread any time.
‡OK, it took me five minutes to find that symbol on my computer. Whew. I bought some Japanese yams at the farmer’s market, and tried them out the other night. They were like a cross between sweet potato and regular potato! I heartily recommend giving them a try.